The fashion world has gotten increasingly casual in the past decade or so. We have seen sneakers on the runway (and at the office), the proliferation of athleisure, and the general less formal atmosphere of today’s workplaces. And that goes doubly so in the summertime when it seems like everyone lets their hair down and relaxes. Chances are that most of you reading this don’t have to wear a suit every day, if you even to have to at all! Which is awesome in many ways, but it can be tough to determine what to wear to work if you work in an office with no real dress code – and let’s face it, “business casual” doesn’t really mean much anyways.
However, it’s definitely possible to dress professionally, and look chic and interesting, within even the vaguest constraints. Here are some of our favorite styles to rock in professional environments with less-than-obvious dress codes.
Wide Leg Pants
Katharine Hepburn knew what she was talking about. Wide leg pants can be comfortable, easy to move in, and have a feminine swagger to them. In the summer, switch it up with crops or culottes. These Rachel Zoe pin-striped crepe pants are impeccable (Katharine approves), and these olive J.Crew crop pants are a perfect summer choice as well.
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These flowy button down styles are super simple to pair with everything from the aforementioned wide leg pants to skinny jeans, ankle crops, and tucked into tailored shorts if your workplace is casual enough. This poet-sleeved option from Treasure & Bond drapes beautifully, and this short-sleeved beaded Vince top has just the right amount of detail.
Silk tees are just as comfortable as your weekend tees, but polished enough for the weekdays. They are great under blazers and other jackets as well. This Sézane pocket tee is a perfect basic, and Cuyana’s more relaxed version is also an excellent choice.
Menswear Inspired Shoes
Do you want to skip the heels but you’re not a fan of ballet flats? Go for oxfords, brogues or lace-ups. For skirts or dresses, something like these super feminine Nicholas Kirkwoods, and we’re loving more masculine styles like this 3.1 Phillip Lim loafer with pants.
Long Pendant Necklaces
Something about a long chain or string of beads draws the eye up and down, elongating your figure. Who doesn’t want to look more long and lean? And this is where you can add some creativity and personality to your look. Even a basic black dress becomes an #outfit with a great necklace. This opalite pendant necklace by Gorjana is light and perfect over summer whites, while this dramatic number by Aqua would be awesome over black.
What are your favorite pieces to wear to work in the summer, especially if you don’t have a defined level of formality? Does your office have unspoken fashion rules (e.g. jeans only on a Friday)? Fashionably inquiring minds want to know!
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Cuyana Silk Tee, $155
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