Dressing for work in the summer here requires prepping for two scenarios: 1. melting into a human puddle of sweat during your outdoor commute. 2. plunging into a frigid office with the AC blasting so high, it feels like a walk-in freezer.
One of my go-to “foundation” pairings for summer days is simply a skirt with a sleeveless top tucked in. A patterned cotton / linen tee like this one is breezy and camouflages unsightly sweat stains (all too much a reality when shlepping a 10lb laptop tote in the 90 degree heat) better than silk or delicate fabrics.
See how else I’ve styled this floral tee over the years: here with a pleated skirt, here with colorful pants, and here in a video on how to improve basic outfits! Below are a few similarly versatile floral tees that are currently available – the LOFT ones (options #2 and #4) are 40% off right now!
Before running out the door, though, don’t forget to grab an extra layer for the icebox / cubicle (also to keep your shoulders appropriately covered in a professional setting). To make getting dressed in the morning quick and mindless, here are 4 finishing layer options in my regular rotation:
1. Cropped Cardigan
It’s no secret I love these for pairing with dresses and high-waisted bottoms! The shorter length shows off the narrowest part of your torso, which might otherwise be covered by a longer layer. My sweater here is very old, but I also love these Modcloth cropped cardigans and own a few different colors in size xs regular!
2. Cozy Wrap
This fleece wrap is perfect for keeping at your desk year-round. The angled, draped front is flattering with both high and low-rise bottoms alike. For fit reference, it’s listed to run big but I didn’t find that to be the case! Mine is my usual size xxs petite, and I likely could’ve sized up.
Under a business formal dress code, a jacket or blazer of some sort is required. Consistent with the cardigan theme above, I look for shrunken-fit or cropped styles that nip in at the waist to really highlight that area. Mine’s several years old from H&M, but you can find similar styles in petite-friendly sizes here:
4. Button-up Shirt
For a less formal setting, I love the casual chic look of a shirt tied around the waist, and it doubles as an extra layer when you need it. Mine is old from J.Crew (shop very similar at an affordable price!).
Which of these finished looks is your favorite?