How to Dress for the Office This Summer, According to a Shopping Expert

Meet Lisa Aiken, fashion director of Moda Operandi and one of our personal style icons here at Who What Wear. Lisa is championed within the industry for setting trends and spotting new designers like it's no one's business. No really—if there's a cool new brand or rising trend, she's not only already wearing it but has also edited it into Moda Operandi's shopping selection for all to enjoy. Since we're always looking to Lisa for our next shopping move, we're thrilled she's agreed to join us as a columnist on the site, serving the latest and greatest when it comes to trends, style, and shopping. Today, it is with great honor and excitement that we welcome her as she discusses all the best summer workwear items that will keep you looking professional while feeling stylish (and unaffected by the heat). 

It’s my first summer in New York, and I’m looking forward to the sartorial changes my wardrobe will naturally adapt to. While my style has always been relatively laid-back, the term “summer Friday” may begin to take on new meaning for the other days of the week. With a hot and humid few months ahead, here’s how I plan to get dressed for the office this summer.

The Shirtdress

Photo:

Image Courtesy of Sandra Semburg

What could arguably be called the most versatile dress, the shirtdress will be the piece I’ll buy in multiple iterations and wear at least once a week. I’ll turn to crisp cotton as a breezy option for the sticky streets that will keep me cool. For the days I need to dress up a bit, I’ll cinch my waist with a belt and add a mule for a more polished approach.

Photo:

Image Courtesy of Sandra Semburg

Different types of transportation noticeably change your footwear choices. I went from taking the Tube every day in London to walking almost everywhere in New York. I’ve grown fond of the “commuter flat” that can actually be worn all day—and for summer that means a sandal that can be worn with anything, anywhere. I’m currently loving Studio Amelia’s skinny-strap sandals in their neutral variations.

The Denim Alternative: Cargo

Photo:

Image Courtesy of Sandra Semburg

I was just in Sydney for Australian Fashion Week and found myself wearing military-inspired cargo pants the way I would normally wear denim. They're super comfortable, and I prettied them up with a pair of leopard heels and a sleeveless top. They’re good for long travels, as they don’t wrinkle and can be dressed up or down.

The Big Bag

Photo:

Image Courtesy of Moda Operandi

Yes, it may be a trend seen on the runways, but more importantly, it’s very practical! The big bag serves as one of summer’s most useful essentials. Bottega Veneta’s oversize tote is the idyllic carryall that can double as a weekend tote and beach bag. Maybe just don’t put it directly in the sand!