Navigating a professional style in the boardroom and informal meetings can be challenging. Even more so when you need to dress for hot weather and the humidity is competing with overused air conditioners.
A professional dress code that takes the setting and weather into play can be overwhelming — keep it too casual, and you can lose optics. Or, if you choose the wrong garments and fabrics, you can be left feeling overheated. Luckily, a capsule wardrobe of summer work outfits will see you through any climate while maintaining an elevated in-office ensemble.
This guide will give you five looks you can rely on to comfortably wear in the office while withstanding the harsh Australian summer.
1. Linen suiting and separates
Suits in an office are non-negotiable for formal discussions and meeting clients. Make your day a little easier in a linen pantsuit tailored to give you polished yet relaxed wear. With a naturally breathable and lightweight fabrication, linen sets offer a comfortable feel from day to night.
If structured cuts inspire your aesthetic, capitalise on this classic women’s summer work outfit by pairing it with a shirt finished in a repeating pattern. Anchor your look with strappy heels to create a streamlined ensemble, or transform it into a summer casual work outfit for relaxed office Fridays by swapping your low-mid heels for white leather sneakers.
2. Keep it classic in a midi shirt dress
If you’re looking for one of the most sought-after summer work outfits in Australia that you can wear on repeat, a midi-length shirt dress will strike a balance between comfort and conservative dressing. Choose a linen or cotton fabrication for extra breathability and an A-line cut that is easy to style up or down.
To make a statement during your nine-to-five, step into a pair of strappy heels and enhance the dress’s pin-tuck detailing by mixing in dainty silver bracelets and earrings. For work days followed by after-work drinks, pair the dress with a denim jacket for a more relaxed and casual look.
3. Lightweight layering
If you like to inject some personality into your workwear but need to bring some warmth into your work summer outfits thanks to the always-on, always-freezing air conditioner — have fun building your look by layering lightweight separates in various block colours.
Make a relaxed-fitting silk blouse the foundation of your outfit, and choose a style featuring intricate detailing, such as a keyhole front or a soft tie at the neck. Mirror its plush fabrication with relaxed-cut pants that are easy to style with anything from loafers to block heels.
4. Step out in cropped pants
With a shorter hem that lets you turn a relaxed look into a smart casual outfit by alternating loafers and sneakers for block or wedge heels, cropped pants help create a versatile summer outfit for work you can call on when you’re visiting clients on the go.
Embrace the season with a sleeveless blouse in a light colourway to create a streamlined look. Keep the top untucked to lean into its relaxed cut, and tie the look together with a narrow belt and an oversized bag to give your ensemble an extra carefree touch.
5. Midi of the range
Few pieces are as effortless or versatile to wear as midi skirts. They’re a cut that can be worn any season and can easily be dressed up or down to help you create endless outfit combinations. Take the opportunity to style yourself with bright colours, vibrant prints and soft fabrications for a summer-ready office outfit.
The key to nailing this look is alternating the colour and print finishes. Keep your midi skirt the focus of your ensemble by choosing an A-line silhouette with a thick print or pattern. Balance it with a short-sleeve top finished in a block colour or neutral tone.
When it comes to footwear, you can’t go wrong with loafers, sandals or a mid-stiletto heel. Add the finishing touch with an embellished necklace or bracelet, and you’re set to comfortably take on a busy day in the office in style.
Discover an expansive wardrobe of summer work outfits at Perri Cutten
With a foundational wardrobe and careful styling, building a reliable roster of formal and casual summer work outfits will give you comfortable all-day wear while respecting an office-appropriate dress code.