If you’re heading back to the office soon, a summer work dress should be at the top of your shopping list. Coming back home after such a long time is intimidating enough without worrying about what you’re going to wear.
Smart, refreshing and comfortable, the right dress is easy to put on, but instantly makes you look reassured. Moreover, with only accessories to consider a Monday morning, you might even have a few extra minutes in bed. Win win.
As temperatures rise, weekend and workday wardrobes become more distinct. Bare shoulders, shorter hems, sheer fabrics, and plunging necklines are best suited for barbecues and picnics. And, no, they don’t count as casual business.
But on bulky trips (with the added discomfort of optional face covers), you’ll want to stay cool and collected, while balancing summery and smart enough for the job. The answer? Invest in a few seasonal work dresses and keep them in rotation.
From shirt and shirt styles to the silk numbers that’ll go with you to socially distanced Friday night drinks, we’ve rounded up the summer dress options that feel both suitable for the office and very trendy for the summer.
Belted English embroidery midi dress
Sleeveless midi shirt dress
Belted denim midi shirt dress
Floral Midaxi Tie Front Shirt Dress
Ruffled dress in Lyocell cotton
Inspired by classic menswear basics, shirt dresses were literally made for the office.
But while crisp cotton poplin looks classy, the coolest styles have a modern twist: trendy prints, oversized pockets, pleated details, or utilitarian hardware.
Our favorite in this edition is Crew Clothing’s gorgeous English embroidery dress from their Henley Regatta collection – the 50s-inspired shape and buckle belt are to die for. But if you prefer something a little looser, go for a layered style like Arket’s instead.
Ingrid Jacquard Shift Dress – Blue Depths
Straight cotton dress with polka dots and square collar
Tie Front Striped Midi A-Line Dress
Evie 7/8 Straight Leg Check Pant
There’s a reason the shift dress is a staple in workwear. Not only elegant and timeless, it’s also universally flattering, skimming your figure to fall into a neat A-line shape.
If you prefer something more fitted, go for her sister style: the sheath dress. The cleverly placed darts will enhance your curves and adapt to a larger bust.
The contrasting Hobbs color and M&S polka dot patterns both nod to Jackie O’s iconic ’60s, while Boden takes a retro shape and refreshes it in a comfy jersey. But if you’re looking for a straight dress with a modern twist, the iterations of Arket and Mango are ideal.
Eleanor Jersey Midi Dress – Black
Jersey Plisse Midaxi Column Dress
Silk-blend crepe dress
V-neck, belted, pure cotton midi dress
Nowadays, nine to five is less common, so there is often little chance of a quick change before going out after work on a Friday night. The perfect dress from the office to dinner can be instantly upgraded with a simple shoe swap – from leather loafers to heeled sandals or black ankle boots.
Fortunately, black dresses are the new micro-trend of the summer. Surprising, we know, since this season is usually associated with colorful hues. However, there is something very chic about a clean solid color dress that lets the cut do the talking – it’s a natural tan booster too.
The best ? This style will go with absolutely anything in your wardrobe and can be instantly enhanced with silver or gold jewelry.
Flowing ruffled shirt dress
Ellen palm-print pleated midi dress
Highland floral maxi dress
Indo floral trapeze dress
Bonnie dress with LENZING ™ ECOVERO ™
The latest midi dresses are longer than ever and, as a result, 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 hems, so they still look formal enough for meetings.
Mid-length smocked dress with tie at the back
Tie-back color-block piqué midi dress
Just because summer is here doesn’t mean you have to lay it all bare. If the thought of showing off your arms gives you a cold sweat, fear not, there are plenty of long sleeve summer dresses out there.
From elegant three-quarter length bracelet lengths to puffy balloon and kimono shapes, you can choose how much statement you want to make.
So there you have it, the five summer workwear styles that will make you look like the company …