Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Cool summer workwear

With the weather hotting up again (fingers crossed that’s not just put a stop to that!) is it getting harder to decide what to wear to the office? I was invited to discuss this on BBC Radio Bristol last week and it prompted me to pull together this post. 

When the weather’s gorgeous and the sun’s shining, it can be difficult not to head to work looking like you’re off for the weekend. So, how do you pull together a look that’s both comfortable in the warm and stuffy office, but that keeps you looking and feeling cool? More importantly how do you stay fresh in the heat and ensure you’re still taken seriously?   Flip flops and short shorts just won't cut it.

If you’ve found yourself staring blankly into your wardrobe first thing in the morning, clueless as to what to wear to work when it’s 21 degrees, then read on. I’ve pulled together the hottest summer work wardrobe, to keep you cool, nine to five.
Thanks to Kerry and Kara from Grayling for the images. Thanks also to PR Shots.

1. This ruched blouse from All Saints, Cabot Circus is a pretty choice for the office.  Wear it tucked into a skirt (9 ) or tapered trousers (12 ).

2. If you keep fabrics loose like this shirt from TFNC, Cabot Circus, you’ll remain cool but won’t fail to impress in the style stakes!  I love this colour, it goes so well with the nudes and navy we can’t get enough of this season.

3. This pretty spot blouse is also from TFNC, they have some perfect office wear pieces in this season.  Either wear this loose over a pair of capri pants, or team it with shorts like these from M&S (4)

4. Most people consider shorts unsuitable for the office, but if you opt for a pair that finishes just above the knee, they make a stylish and practical choice!  Wear these from Marks and Spencer, Broadmead, with a pair of flats (16 )  or a low heel (13 ), add a plain top (5 ) and finish with a loose jacket (6) for a tres chic look

5. This top from Whistles, Park Street (5) is a wardrobe staple.  It will go with trousers and skirts and can be layered with a jacket for days when you need to be a little smarter.

6. This draped jacket from Miss Selfridge, Broadmead, will layer over a variety of tops.  The relaxed, light weight fabric will be perfect for hot days and the light colour is so versatile.

7. For days when you need to dress for success, consider a dress like this one from LK Bennett, Quakers Friars. The fabulous shape will hug you in all the right places, and the the capped sleeve will keep you cool.  Finish the look with some tan accessorise (15 ) (17 ).  Or, to dress it down,  just add the pink draped jacket (6 ) and a pair of nude sandals (13 ).

8. Inject some fun into your work wardrobe with this cute blouse from NW3, John Lewis.  It’s another versatile choice as it can be worn with skirts (9 ) trousers ( 12) and shorts ( 4).

9. I love this pencil skirt from A/Wear, Cabot Circus, this colour will go with pretty much anything and the style is perfectly suited to the loose blouses and striped tops that are in abundance this season.  It can be smartened with the addition of a pair kitten heels like these from Dune (14)

10. This outfit from Whistles, Park Street is spot on for work-wear!  Consider splitting up the pieces and mixing them with other items.  For example, try wearing the trousers with the NW3 blouse (8), or the top with the camel pencil skirt (9)

11. I’ve mentioned this shirt from Warehouse in a previous post but it’s just so perfect and so versatile that I had to include it in this one too.  It will look fab tucked into the Whistles trousers (10) and accessorised with the nude sandals from Carvela (12) but it will also work with the grey trousers from Oasis (12) teamed with the flat brogues from Schuh ( 16).

12. Grey is a great colour for the summer months.  It’s so much softer than everyone’s favourite – black.  It compliments this seasons soft ballerina tones and looks smart at the office.  This pair from Oasis, Cabot Circus, (12) will go with all the tops I’ve picked here, and can be worn with heels or flats.

13. Sandals are a must when it’s beautifully hot, however flat sandals don’t quite hit the mark when you’re heading to the office.  Something like these nude sandals with a low heel from Carvela available at KG in Quakers Friars (13), however are perfect.

14. Everyone should have some leopard print in their wardrobe, but if you’re worried about over doing it then opt for a pair of print shoes.  These kitten heels from Dune, House of Fraser (14) will turn your skirts and trousers into something more ladylike and the heel is so practical for wearing all day.

15. These platforms from Reiss, Quakers Friars give you height without the pain!  They’ll work well with any work wardrobe and will keep your feet nice and cool.  Make sure you paint your toes – how about a bright coral?

16. Heels aren’t a must for work; sometimes it’s nice to wear a flat shoe.  This pair from Schuh, Cabot Circus, makes a brilliant choice, not only do they look smart, but they’re a versatile style.

17. I’m loving tan accessories this season, I find them so versatile.  This bag from French Connection, Quakers Friars (16) would make a great purchase.


UK Shopping said...

Heard you on the Radio, definitely using some of these suggestions myself when it comes to shopping. Will have to make a trip down towards cabot circus now though

Rachel said...

Cool looks! I luve how you put the pieces together!