Along with “how to do your taxes” and “how to negotiate a raise,” “how to dress for work in the summer” is one of those life skills that really should have been taught in college.
Navigating office politics; impressing your boss; shattering the glass ceiling—work is hard enough without worrying whether you’re appropriately dressed. And believe me, working in fashion, I’ve seen my fair share of questionable choices: interns hobbling after their supervisors on six-inch stilettos, assistants in bandage dresses that had clearly been on since the night before, and the rare dude in a mesh shirt through which you could plainly see nipples.
And I’m not immune, either—the designer at my first internship had to foist a proper down coat on me once when I turned up in a wholly weather-inappropriate (albeit very cute) light jacket in February, and I can think of several instances of ill-fitting pieces I borrowed from roommates after I exhausted my own supply of “office” attire. Mercifully, I feel a little more confident in my ability to dress myself these days, but the summer months are still an ongoing challenge.
Since I’m sure I’m not alone, here are 35 summer work outfits to start you off with a little inspiration—certainly enough to take you through till Labor Day. Some are more corporate, others are more start-up-friendly, but all are guaranteed to help you kick some ass.