50 Work-Appropriate Summer Outfit Ideas

These looks are HR-approved.

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When it comes to fashion, summer is "less is more" season. It's time to peel off the thick coats, sweaters, and tights that have constrained your body all winter long—finally, your skin can breathe. There is a tiny problem, though. For those of us who toil away at office jobs, the "less is more" look may not fly with HR. To help you toe the line between weather-appropriate workwear and NSFW, I rounded up 50 conservative-enough—but still cute—outfit ideas. Plus, I tossed in a few styling tricks free of charge. Still not satisfied? Check out these affordable work pieces and trouser options that will earn you best-dressed marks at the office.

paris, france   july 01 julia pelipas wears sunglasses, a black top, a shiny light camel leather skirt, a large white clutch, different colors gladiator sandals  white and black, outside dior, during paris fashion week  haute couture fallwinter 20192020, on july 01, 2019 in paris, france photo by edward berthelotgetty images
Edward BerthelotGetty Images
An Anytime Look

In a time crunch? Start with a versatile core piece, like this black tank top. We love how it's styled with another year-round piece, a leather pencil skirt, and summery sandals for a stylish and work appropriate get-up.

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paris, france   july 15 gabriella berdugo wears a cap, a maison sarah lavoine green floral print silky flowing dress, a max mara large brown leather belt, black leather gladiator sandals, a loewe large summer basket straw bag with brown leather inserts, on july 15, 2020 in paris, france photo by edward berthelotgetty images
Edward BerthelotGetty Images
Walk The Line

Walking to work? Do it in style. Pick out a flowy printed dress that will keep you cool, leather flat sandals to save your feet and a visor that will keep the hat-hair at bay. Hit your 10,000 steps before your morning meetings and look good doing it.

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barcelona, spain   june 27 a guest is seen on the street attending 080 barcelona fashion week wearing blue shirt, high waisted blue jeans, black belt and black dior bag on june 27, 2019 in barcelona, spain photo by matthew sperzelgetty images
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A Supersized Casual Look

Keep casual Fridays relaxed with an dropped-shoulder button-up and tuck it into a pair of oversized denim. Secure everything in place by belting a Western-style belt around your waist.

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paris, france   july 07 gabriella berdugo wears a rowen rose outfit made of a yellow oversized shirt, a white and green skirt with printed argyle patterns, a clear plastic belt, balenciaga burgundy leather sandals, a large straw loewe bag, loewe sunglasses, on july 07, 2020 in paris, france photo by edward berthelotgetty images
Edward BerthelotGetty Images
A Bright and Bold Look

Transform your weekday mood by slipping on bright and playful pieces. Don't be shy about mixing vibrant colors together, like this lemony-yellow blouse and a bold green skirt.

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copenhagen, denmark   august 09 xenia adonts wearing louis vuitton sneakers, dior saddle bag, grey checked belted jacket is seen outside designers remix during the copenhagen fashion week springsummer 2019 on august 9, 2018 in copenhagen, denmark photo by christian vieriggetty images
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An '80s Skirt-Suit

Bring some nostalgia to the workplace. Find yourself an oversized plaid skirt-suit, dig out that early aughts transparent belt, and finish off your look with some retro cat-eye sunnies for a full "blast from the past" look.

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A Monochromatic Pink Pant Suit

Give your co-workers something to talk about. Pair a pink-on-pink outfit with a pair of sneakers to dress it down.

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A Sundress and White Bodysuit

Make your spaghetti-strap sundress work appropriate with a simple white T-shirt or cap-sleeve bodysuit.

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A Patchwork Blouse With Jeans

Give your weekend denim a boho touch with a patchwork blouse and strappy sandals. This look also works perfectly for the office or happy hour.

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A Vintage Tee and Trousers

A little edge never hurt anyone. Rock your vintage tee with a pair of office-friendly work pants to bring out your inner Avril Lavigne.

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An Animal Print Shirt and Yellow Trousers

Take a walk on the wild side with this tiger print shirt. It's okay to be a little more daring if you work in a creative environment, so have a little fun by matching your top with yellow trousers.

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A Polo Shirt and Skirt

Take a preppy approach to your work attire, and don't be afraid of bright colors! Pair a bright polo with a contrasting skirt to bring a playfulness to your outfits.

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A Ruffled Blouse and a Ruffled Midi Skirt

Show off your own style and personality at the office by mixing prints, and be extra with the ruffles. Keep things light and fun (the way summer is supposed to be!) with this ruffled striped blouse and ruffle midi skirt.

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A Classic White Tee and Embellished Skirt

If casual Friday isn't really your thing, take it one step at a time. A classic white T-shirt is never a bad idea; it'll lend a casualness to your embellished or intense pencil skirt.

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street style paris fashion week day three
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A Sundress and Strappy Sandals

Lace-up sandals are all the rage this summer. Throw on a floral boho sundress and your outfit is complete faster than you can say, "I need iced coffee."

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A Slip Dress, Oversized Blazer, and Slides

Who wouldn't want to wear pajamas to work? Make this possible by wearing a silky slip dress and adding an oversized blazer on top, plus slip-on sandals.

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A '90s Skirt Suit and Dad Sneakers

Bring back the '90s! Grab this mini skirt suit out of your mom's closet and pair it with a pair of chunky sneakers. It's "vintage," and we love it.

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street style  new york fashion week september 2018 day 3
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A Printed Top and White Jeans

Once you find the right pair of white jeans, you'll never want to take them off. It serves as the best base for your more colorful tops and accessories. And if you want to go white-on-white, I support that too.

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Street Style - New York Fashion Week September 2018 - Day 8
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A Floral Dress and Knee-High Boots

You don't have to give up boots in the summer, especially if you can wear them with a dress. Should your outfit have brighter colors than this, pick a little white or brown bootie to match.

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Street Style - New York Fashion Week September 2018 - Day 4
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A Boiler Suit

A photo to remind you to finally buy that boiler suit. This season there are so many options, though an off-white one like this is the perfect way to welcome summer. Skip the furry mules, though, and opt for nice open-toe sandals.

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Street Style - New York Fashion Week September 2018 - Day 4
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A Button-Down and Leather Skirt

Swap your classic button-downs for a shirt with slightly voluminous sleeves that add character. A leather skirt and some rainbow accessories completes the look.

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Street Style - New York Fashion Week September 2018 - Day 3
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A Leopard Print Dress

When everyone arrives to the office in florals, you'll stand out from the pack in this spotty leopard print dress. The hem length and three-quarter sleeve provide modest coverage, so no need to bring that blazer or jacket to work.

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Street Style - New York Fashion Week September 2018 - Day 7
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A T-shirt, Patterned Skirt, and Sneakers

You can do so much with this formula for summer: a tee, a skirt, and sneakers. Go for a color-mixing palette like this street style star or take it easy with all-neutral tones.

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A Ruffle Top and Long Shorts

Even if we can get away with wearing shorts to the office, we should maintain a level of decorum. Instead of rocking your denim kickoffs, opt for a longer tailored pair of shorts like this navy pair. It looks polished and smart while still keeping above the knees. You can be a little more daring with a fun ruffle or printed top.

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Street Style - New York Fashion Week September 2018 - Day 8
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A Pastel Colored Pantsuit Set

A bright power suit like this will keep you on your A-game both in style and in meetings. The suit will cut your dressing time in half since you can bypass that whole mix-and-match situation. You have everything you need already!

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Street Style Work Outfits
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A Striped Collar Shirt and Jeans

Give your white button-down shirt a break. Select an alternative version, like one with stripes, to keep your look fresh and elevated.

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Street Style Work Outfits
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A Dress, T-shirt, and Booties

If your dress shows too much skin, simply layer a tee underneath for a more modest look at the office.

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Street Style Work Outfits
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A Graphic Tee, Skinny Jeans, and Mules

Pick a mule with a heel if you want an extra boost in height around the office (taller = more confident = more powerful, right?). The shoes pair perfectly with skinny jeans and a graphic tee.

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Street Style Work Outfits
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A Cold-Shoulder Dress and Printed Mules

For the lucky ladies who work in creative environments, you can get away with wearing a dress that exposes your shoulders. Choose one in a neutral color, but still have fun by pairing it with the season's latest mule heel in a feisty print.

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Street Style Work Outfits
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A Printed Blazer and High-Waisted Trousers

Shed your black and navy winter blazers for brightly-colored printed ones in the summer. This small change makes a dramatic statement with an otherwise neutral ensemble.

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Street Style Work Outfits
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A Leather Jacket and Jumpsuit

You've chosen your one-and-done work outfit: the jumpsuit. If it's a sleeveless option, don't risk freezing in the office. Bring a light denim or leather jacket to throw over your shoulders as you peck away at your keyboard.

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