Summer Wardrobe Essentials for Professional Women

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Despite the rain and cloudy skies, temperatures are on the rise and Spring is well underway! In an office setting the change in weather can especially be felt. Transitioning between seasons often means feeling cold one day and overheated the next, as building managers attempt to adjust the heat and air conditioning to the moody outdoor climate. It’s only natural, then, that our wardrobes should change, as well! That’s right, ready or not, it’s time to pack up your turtle-necks, cable-knit sweaters and woolen pullovers and embrace cotton button-downs, silk tunics and pretty summer shift-dresses.

This early in the season, a cardigan or, better yet, a blazer is your best friend! Professional, flattering and available in a variety of cuts, colours and fabrics, a blazer can be thrown on over your warm-weather clothes to keep you warmer in chillier air-conditioned spaces. Here are some examples of the different kinds of flattering blazers to try this season: fun & funky stripes stay professional when applied to such a traditional shape; a pretty, dusty pink number that is feminine and comfortable with its looser fit; bright tones that can be bold and appropriate, as in this yellow jacket and finally, even traditional can be funky, as you can see in the puffy shoulders and long sleeves that have been added to this black piece.

I can’t get over these bold blazers! So Pretty!

As things heat up outside, a blazer might eventually feel too heavy, like in July-August, when temperatures can soar to heights that seem unimaginable in the freezing cold, winter months. It’s when this happens that most people slip up and make the biggest fashion mistakes; spaghetti straps, short skirts, shorts and all sorts of other inappropriate pieces seem to wiggle their way into the working woman’s wardrobe when she feels too hot to function! Have no fear, however; while the maxi-skirt trend doesn’t translate too smoothly into the workplace, its cousin, the midi-skirt, does! Light and airy, a midi-skirt can provide the relief you need while still looking polished. Go for midi-skirts in solid colours for work and accessorize minimally. Personally, I love the look of a good-quality black or white t-shirt tucked into one of these pretty midis with a classy, medium-length necklace.

My closet is full of midi’s – modern, edgy, vintage, and feminine, these skirts have it all.

And on a final note, here are a few donts, simply because they are not always obvious! Bermuda shorts are acceptable in some workplaces but it’s best to check, and shorts that hit any higher on the leg are never appropriate in professional settings, even in pretty fabrics or baggy cuts. The same goes for flip-flops and summer dresses that look beautiful, but fall too far on the casual side of things. And finally, halter tops/spaghetti straps, no matter how nice a top looks, are not suitable for work – unless, of course, you pair it with a lovely cardigan or blazer, as shown above!

A few easy mistakes!: These pieces are all gorgeous, but not quite workplace appropriate. Save lovely, casual clothing like this in the evenings and on weekends!

Happy summer!

Rachel

(All images created by author at www.polyvore.com)

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