25 of the best summer work dresses to help you stay cool in the office
If you’re office-based this season, a summer work dress should be high on your shopping list. Navigating the new flexi/WFH schedule is tricky enough without worrying about what you’re going to wear.
Sleek, refreshing and comfortable, the right dress is easy to put on but instantly makes you look pulled together. Moreover, with only accessories consider on a Monday morning, you might even spend a few more minutes in bed. Win win.
As temperatures rise, weekend and work wardrobes become more distinct. Bare shoulders, shorter hemlines, sheer fabrics, and plunging necklines work best for barbecues and picnics. And, no, they don’t count as business casual.
But on sweltering commutes, you’ll want to stay cool and serene, while balancing summer and smart enough for work. The answer? Invest in a few seasonal work dresses and keep them in rotation.
From shirt and shirt styles to silk numbers that’ll see you through Friday night drinks, we’ve rounded up the summer dress options that feel both appropriate for the office and very trendy for the summer.
Pure Tencel™ Belted Midi Shirt Dress
Long shirt dress tied at the waist
Inspired by the classic menswear classic, shirt dresses were literally made for the office.
But while crisp cotton poplin looks stylish, the coolest designs have a modern twist: on-trend prints, oversized pockets, pleated details or utilitarian hardware.
Our top pick is Crew Clothing’s Coral Linen Shirt Dress. Its 50s-inspired shape and asymmetrical hemline are super flattering, and you can layer it with t-shirts if you don’t feel comfortable sleeveless in the office. But if you want something more transitional, opt for Marks & Spencer’s belted khaki style instead (it’ll work with knee-high boots in September).
Structured crepe sheath dress with enveloping neckline
V-Neck Knee Length Swing Dress
Hobbs Betty Shift Dress, Navy/Ivory
Jersey Shift Dress With Seam Detailing – Butter
Belted Sleeveless Midi Shift Dress
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There’s a reason the shift dress is a workwear staple. Not only is it elegant and timeless, it’s also universally flattering, skimming your figure to fall into a neat A-line shape.
If you prefer something more tailored, opt for its sister: the sheath dress. Skillfully placed darts will highlight your curves and accommodate a larger chest.
Striped from Hobbs (complete with matching cardigan) and coral patterns both nod to Jackie O’s iconic ’60s shifts, while Boden makes it retro cozy with an A-line shape and stretchy jersey. Karen Millen is a go-to for flattering dresses: this cobalt blue style is fitted and gathered to create instant hourglass curves.
Belted twill midi shirt dress
It’s less common these days to work 9am to 5pm, so there’s often little chance of a quick change before leaving after work on a Friday night. The perfect dress from office to dinner can be instantly enhanced with a simple shoe swap – from leather loafers to heeled sandals or black ankle boots.
Fortunately, black dresses are the new micro-trend for the summer. Surprising, as we know, since this season is generally associated with colorful hues. However, there’s something very chic about a clean, solid-colored dress that lets the cut do the talking – it’s also a natural tan enhancer.
The best piece? This style will go with absolutely everything in your wardrobe and can be instantly enhanced with silver or gold jewelry.
Daisy Polka Dot Midi Dress
Floral eclipse dress in cotton voile
Floral V-Neck Ruffle Midi Dress
Marta dress with LENZING™ ECOVERO™
The latest midi dresses are longer than ever and, therefore, more flattering, ending just above the ankle to show off the thinnest part of your calf.
Surprisingly versatile, a midi length gives you more options. The fitted, sleeveless silhouettes are balanced by understated hemlines, so they still look formal enough for meetings.
Linen Blend Puff Sleeve Tiered Midi Dress
flared skirt jersey midi dress – Navy
Tie Front Midi Skater Dress
Just because summer is here doesn’t mean you have to give it all away. If the idea of showing off your arms gives you cold sweats, fear not, there are plenty of long sleeve summer dresses out there.
From elegant three-quarter bracelet lengths to puffy balloon and kimono shapes, you can choose how assertive you want to be.
So there you have it, the five summer workwear styles that will make you look like the company…