Summer is finally just around the corner. At long last, you can pull those lightweight dresses out from the back of your closet and start working them back into your wardrobe. Trouble is, you don’t want to relegate comfy summer dress to the weekends and keep sweating away in your typical office garb. Summertime should mean an overhaul of your entire wardrobe that includes a way to wear some of your favorite summer dresses for work. Lucky for you, designers feel the same away about warm weather attire and have made a conscious effort to craft lightweight dresses you can wear in both casual and formal settings in 2017. Call it another triumph for consumer-driven fashion or a fresh interpretation of the athleisure aesthetic, but don’t discount what these brands have done with summer clothing for the office. One of these dresses might be just what you were hoping for.
THE MIU MIU
With a vintage sensibility and professional design, this ruffled dress will keep you comfortable while you’re dolled up for office life. You might not feel as free as you would in flowing floral cotton, but the silk material and mini-skirt build will keep you cool and relaxed at your desk. If you work in a formal office, this lightweight outfit is a must-have.
Lettuce sleeves were a big design element in casualwear last winter. Now, the ruffled look is the perfect modern fashion cuts on summer dresses for work. Take this powdery blue dress from Zara. Simple and modern, the elaborate sleeves elevate what could be a bland design into a piece worth of both your office cubicle and the runway.
SMOCKED SATIN AND LACE
Even in summer. Victoria Beckham never looks anything short of professionally chic. In this dress from her Spring ’17 collection, she translates that unimpeded sense of style into a slim white gown of crushed fabrics. Transform it into office attire with a leather belt, then shed the belt when you head out for an evening on the town. You can even slip it on for formal occasions during the warmer months.
SOFT PINK CHIFFON DRESS
Mixing the best of Western Chic with other vintage elements, Beulah has designed a feminine chiffon piece you can proudly add to your summer wardrobe. It’s one of those retro pieces you can pretty up with kitten heels or tone down with metallic sneakers. If you’re trying to further your status as the office fashionista, this is a unique way to show off your style.
Summer dresses for work are best when they come in flowy fabric. It’s perfect if you need somber colors for the office but don’t want to sit through June wearing heavy materials. With a built-in belt, you don’t even have to add anything to highlight the professional element. Layer on a sweater and some thick leggings and this dress is also a great transition piece when summer fades to fall.
FUNNEL NECK TUNIC
No conversation about summer dresses for work is complete without mention of the tunic. Not always a complete dress, this flexible top can be worn on its own or coupled with flowing trousers for a free yet sophisticated outfit. There’s always been something casual yet professional about tunics. If you’re putting customers at ease every day while on the job, this is the ideal summer piece for your weekday wardrobe.
MINIATURE ROSES TIE FRONT
With a waist-tie in the front and robe-like neckline, this dress is a blend of at-home casual and professional 1940s attire. Black but speckled with a pink rose print, the dress alludes to thicker materials while keeping your light and airy in the office and on the town. It’s another one of those dresses you can use for almost any occasion.
You deserve the chance to wear summer dresses for work. Slip one or two of these trendy 2017 options into your work wardrobe now so your time in the office can be more comfortable. You’ll be adding some pretty chic pieces you can use on the weekends too, so it’s totally worth it.
— Timothy Vest