Ah, the summer dress: a lightweight, flowing (often floral) symbol of hope; a promise of sun, sand, sea and out of office replies. We’ve all bought one; most likely frolicked along sandy shores in one and, upon our return from holidays, promptly but begrudgingly relegated said one to the dark depths of our wardrobes, alongside optimistically acquired wide-brim hats and barely-there bikinis. There is nothing more frustrating than shelling out an obscene amount of money on a brand new dress for your holidays, only for you not to wear it for the remaining 51 weeks of the year. This is something those of us who work in an office setting know all too well, and it’s a problem that can easily be solved. Summer dresses can be worn year-round and it’s time we started shopping like it.
Shirt and wrap dresses are the key players here, with both styles offering enough coverage and sophistication for the workplace, whilst also managing to function perfectly as lightweight cover-ups for days spent by the pool. Think cotton, chiffon and linen; double-duty fabrics that can be worn on their own on scorching summer nights, or layered over a long-sleeved tee and under a blazer for a more professional feel. Don’t let a shorter hemline dissuade you from its office potential either: team with breezy culottes and heeled mules for a look that means strictly business. So the next time you’re going shopping for a dress for that sunny escape, remember to make your clothes do the overtime, not you. Because why should we have to do all the work?
Shop our 10 picks of the most office-appropriate summer dresses below.
Floral Wrap Dress, €29.99 at New Look
Cotton Dress, €44.99 at H&M
Frill Sleeve Dress, €50 at Topshop
Floral Flounce Dress, €99 at &otherstories
Pleated Linen Caftan, Lisa Marie Fernandez, €661 at Matches
Origami Dress, €89 at Topshop
Striped Tunic, €49.95 at Zara
Asymmetric Pinafore, Sportmax, €125 at Brown Thomas
Yellow Wrap Dress, €39.99 at New Look
Cotton-Poplin Dress, Rosie Assoulin, €793 at Net-A-Porter
WORDS BY: Hannah Grimes