As the weather gets warmer, more and more employees are wearing less. But what are the do's and don'ts of summer fashions? Alison Deyette of pinpoints smart office-appropriate trends that will help you stay and look cool this season:
For corporate offices, the challenge is to find a serious and sharp look that still looks feminine. Ditch your dark suit for summer and opt for a fresh white one instead. Menswear-inspired styles are always in fashion, just be sure it is tailored to your body and contains something feminine like her floral print camisole and sexy heels.
Bonus: After work, you can take off the jacket and wear the camisole and pants out to dinner.
Shoes: No open toe sandals for a corporate office please.
Hosiery: luckily, with a pants suit there's no need for hosiery. However, corporate office rules may require hosiery when wearing skirts. Look for ultra sheer styles that match your skin tone in warmer weather. If your skirt covers your knee, though, you may be able to skip hosiery in the summer, just look to your superiors first to see what they do.
White suit jacket ($198), pants ($98), floral print camisole ($68) — all from Ann Taylor.
Corporate Office/Casual Friday (2 looks)A) If you work at a corporate office but are fortunate enough to have casual Fridays, it's still important that you look polished but feel free to add some of your personal style. A striped jacket and walking short make the perfect casual Friday suit alternative. Be sure your shorts hit at the knee or longer, and pair them with a heel or wedge for a sleek look.
Navy cowl neck top ($25), navy and white striped jacket ($60), and white linen/rayon walking shorts ($17) from TJ Maxx.
B) Bold prints may draw too much attention from Monday to Thursday at a corporate office, but they're perfect for Casual Fridays. There's nothing easier than slipping on a dress - no need to worry about finding the right top to go with your bottom. Just make sure it's not too girly or low cut and keep your upper arms covered. The classic feminine wrap dress skims the curves without revealing too much. And she can go straight to a Friday night date by adding just a clutch.
Red print wrap dress from Daisy Fuentes for Kohl's ($54).
Creative offices typically offer room for you to express your personal style and wear trendier pieces.
It's still important that you look professional - this means no overt cleavage and nothing too short. You don't want people noticing your legs or bustline instead of your good work. Wear a colorful skirt paired with a sleek sleeveless belted top and just a pop of bright color underneath. Sleeveless styles work in a creative or casual office, but skip them if you work in a corporate environment.
- Metallic accessories and great jewelry add the perfect stylish touch.
- Gold bag from Jane Bolinger
Brown belted sleeveless top ($58) and striped skirt ($68) fromTalbots.
A casual office does not give license to wear anything you want. You still need to look neat, clean and professional. This classic look pairs a striped short sleeve top with sleek capris and peep toe flats.
- Coat is perfect for chilly offices or can be removed.
- White bag from Alexis Hudson $550
Striped short sleeve sweater ($59), stretch capris ($69) and linen/cotton mandarin collar topper ($199) from Liz Claiborne.
Work from home
More and more people are choosing to work from home or telecommute these days. It's important to get dressed everyday (and not stay in your pajamas) when it's time to go to work. It helps you to stay motivated and delineate between personal and work time. Choose something casual, but most of all, comfortable
- This look features comfortable, loose, fluid layers while still offering a neat appearance
- Loose, cropped pants offer room to move in while a soft, drapey cardigan in linen and cotton offers coverage in air conditioning
Light chocolate "kendall" cardigan ($69), white linen cami ($39) and linen "marianna" cropped pants ($79) from J. Jill.
For more information and fashion tips, visit stylebakery.com.