Many people are finally returning to the office after two years of living in sweatpants and athleisure. Add in the fact that it's almost summer — think peak heat and humidity — and it can be hard to decide what to wear to work.
We need summer wardrobe staples that are appropriate for taking a client out to lunch on the hottest of days or sitting in on an important meeting when the boardroom AC is on full blast. So, Shop TODAY searched through options to meet the very specific needs of workwear for the warmer months.
From shorts and skirts that are just the right length to sleeveless blouses made of lightweight, breathable fabric and even a super soft cardigan to keep on your chair for above-mentioned AC, here are 11 office-friendly essentials every working woman needs in her summer wardrobe.
This classy sleeveless top with a notch neck comes in black and white, among other go-with-everything shades. Banana Republic's Essential Sleeveless Shirt is made of a lightweight, machine-washable twill, according to the brand, making it ideal for hot, summer days when you need ventilation or you simply want to show off your shoulders. It's currently available in sizes XXS-XXL.
This square-necked smocked gingham top is currently more than 60 percent off. It features sleeves with just the right amount of puffiness and its slimming peplum silhouette — basically a ruffled flare at the bottom — is as flattering as it gets. Love the look but not a fan of gingham? Or love the look and want more than one? No problem. It also comes in chambray and cotton voile and is available in sizes XS-XXXL.
If spaghetti straps aren't off limits at your office, consider this looser-fitting chic camisole. It looks great on its own or layered under a cardigan or duster. The straps are adjustable, and the blouse looks just as on trend when knotted in the front. It's available in sizes XS-5XL and comes in more than 20 colors and prints. The fabric is a breathable polyester and spandex blend that's machine-washable, according to the brand.
For some reason, many offices like to blast the air conditioning. For that reason, even in the summer you'll want a cozy cardigan at your side. This lightweight, yet warm, tunic-length option from Newchoice comes in 20 different colors and has a soft lived-in feel. But the look is still dressy enough for the office, thanks to the shawl collar, draped style and slightly flared bottom.
This bestselling pleated skirt with pockets is currently No. 2 on Amazon's list of Best Sellers in Women's Skirts. Depending on whether you like your clothes at your waist or your hips, you can wear it as a midi or a maxi. Pair it with a tank top and a denim jacket, or a blazer, and you can easily go from your cubicle to cocktails. It's available in sizes XS-XXL and comes in 13 colors and polka dot, floral, leopard and gingham prints.
Show a little leg, but not too much, with this lightweight midi skirt that comes in more than 30 colors and prints. The wide band at the top is designed to helps slim your waist while the draped, flared skirt design gives your lower half a beautiful silhouette. The Lock and Love Lightweight Flare Midi is one of Amazon's top 20 bestselling skirts and it's available in sizes S-XXL.
If your office allows you to show a little leg, consider these comfortable shorts made of a lightweight linen and rayon blend. They come in four colors, including a stylish khaki stripe, and sizes XXS-XXL. Thanks to their pleated, pull-on elastic waist, there's no need to sport a bulky belt. These shorts also have two front slant pockets.
Goldilocks would love these shorts because they're not too short and not too long — their length is just right. Levi Strauss & Co.'s popular Bermuda shorts have a 4.6-star average rating from more than 8,200 reviews and are ranked No. 2 on Amazon's list of Best Sellers in Women's Shorts. In white, or black, they're perfect for the laidback office that still appreciates an elevated look. (Of course, they're also available in several shades of blue denim.)
These flowy, wide-leg pants feature an elastic waistband, making them super comfy for a long day at the office. They also have diagonal side pockets and back pockets so you can easily store your phone or keys while going on break, instead of having to take your entire bag with you. Grab it on sale now for 25% off!
Every summer wardrobe needs a cute pair of linen pants like these culottes which hit just below the knee and boast a flattering high-rise design and the wide leg. The front pockets come in handy, but the back pockets are just there for looks. Old Navy's High Rise Linen-Blend Culotte Pants currently come in four colors and sizes XS-XXL. (The crop hem also perfectly pairs with comfy flats.)
This popular high-waist jogger looks more like a trouser. On really hot or humid days you don't want to wear shorts or a skirt, opt for these moisture-wicking pants made of Lululemon's signature Luxtreme fabric and Lycra. According to the brand, you can count on a four-way stretch to keep you comfortable — even if your job requires lifting and bending. The Stretch High-Rise Jogger is available in sizes 0-20, and it comes in six colors including a khaki, black and dark olive that go with pretty much everything.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Podiatrists share how to find the best shoe inserts to support your feet
- J.Crew’s massive sale is full of spring and summer must-haves — items start at $4
- 27 Mother's Day gifts so good, even your mother-in-law will be impressed