Written by Sara Macauley : Photographs by Getty Images

When it comes to navigating the tricky world of officeappropriate clothing, the general consensus is that if you could imagine wearing it on a night out, it’s best left in the wardrobe between the hours of 9 and 5. But what about when the sun comes out to say hello? In the current heatwave with temperatures reaching well beyond 30 degrees some days, donning your most practical skirt suit just isn’t an option. While we’d all love to reach for our tiny tank tops and shortest shorts in the morning when faced with the daunting prospect of the sauna that is the central line, dress codes in the workplace still apply. So how do you dress in a way that is both work and crazy heatwave appropriate? We’ve come up with a definitive list of the items that should be in your sartorial arsenal this summer, so you don’t have to sweat it.

Culottes If you don’t have a pair of culottes in regular rotation as part of your work wardrobe, you need to go shopping. Comfortable and fashionable, culottes are the best thing to be dressing your lower half in this summer. They feel like pyjamas, and unless you work in an extremely corporate environment, they’re considered formal enough for most workplaces. Get yourself a pair in a light fabric light linen to ensure your legs can breathe. Topshop, Zara and H&M all carry some great variations of culottes at budgetfriendly prices, or if you’re feeling particularly suave, check out ASOS’ White range for some serious fashion points. You’ll be the envy of everyone in the break room.
A wrap dress A good, basic item to help you walk the tightrope between breezy summer attire and office appropriate clothing is a patterned wrap dress. Instagram this summer is awash with fashion bloggers donning chintzy wrap print dresses with sandals and straw bucket bags, and thankfully this is a look that translates into a 9-5 job. If you’re worried about showing a bit too much skin, grab yourself a plain vest in a complementary colour to pop underneath and for goodness sake, forgo the jacket. Pair your dress with some flat sandals or if your workplace allows, a pair of smart trainers, to take the look from girly to cool.

A printed midi skirt If you’re hearing alarm bells at the mention of anything ‘midi’ in this heat, hear us out. This summer you should definitely have a floaty, patterned midi skirt in your work wardrobe. Opt for a style as far from the oppressive, skin-clinging bodycon design as you can and we bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how cool you’ll feel. Topshop are currently sporting a delightful leopard print midi skirt in their Summer 2018 offerings and this kind of fun, busy print will add a bit of pizzazz to your work wardrobe when paired with a simple ribbed vest or sleeveless top. Add a pair of stylish sandals with an ankle strap and you’re good to go.
Tailored shorts Whilst denim shorts have no place in the office under any circumstances, their closely related cousins of the tailored variety are the perfect summer go to. Shades of khaki, navy and cream work best and a high-waisted fit is an absolute must. Wear yours with a breezy blouse or button up shirt loosely tucked for maximum comfort and style.
Phew, even thinking about that got us all hot and bothered. Thankfully we’ve done the hard work for you, so go forth and shop (online of course, no one should have to face Oxford Street in this boiling heat), safe in the knowledge that you’re about to be the smuggest, appropriately-dressed person in the office.