The Summer Dress You Should Never Wear to Work

Dressing for the office when it’s really hot outside is always a challenge, as you question what is and isn’t appropriate for the workplace. A little while back, we turned our co-founder Hillary Kerr’s unparalleled advice into a story on the number one bra “rule” that should be applied while dressing for the office. “I’ve always felt that if an outfit requires a ‘stunt bra’—meaning strapless, one-shoulder, or whatever—it probably isn’t the best choice for the office. It’s a boring rule of thumb, but I think it’s important to err on the side of professionalism versus the ultimate expression of your personal style—at least when you’re at work,” says Kerr.

We know what you’re thinking—what about the off-the-shoulder trend? Here at Who What Wear, wearing off-the-shoulder anything is a huge no. While we all clearly love to wear the fun summer style on the weekends, according to Kerr’s go-to bra rule, it simply is not appropriate for the office. Sadly (and obviously), that means no off-the-shoulder dresses, which are basically the most popular dress style of the summer—we know! But don’t stress out too much, because we’ve rounded up the best summer dresses that are 100% work-appropriate. In our book, that means midi length, shoulder coverage, and no plunging necklines. Ready to shop?

Go on to see and shop dresses that are appropriate for the office during the summer.

The piping on this dress makes a world of a difference. 
Want to wear that slip dress to the office? Just layer a button-down underneath and you’re good to go. 
The T-shirt–and–white boots combination is extremely fashion girl–approved. 
As long as the straps aren’t spaghetti, you’re in the clear. 
See? Work dresses can be fun too. 
Of course Anna Wintour has the office-appropriate look down pat. 
Wear this dress to the work and on the weekend. Maybe with some fresh sneakers? 
Feel like cheating the system a bit? Shoulder cutouts can often be fine for the office as long as the part on top of your shoulders offers enough coverage.
You can’t go wrong with a classic wrap dress.
Sneakers and silk always make our heart skip a beat.
This color is everything. 
If any dress is worth the splurge, it’s this one. 
Cocktails after work? This dress is your answer. 
Brighten your day in this cobalt-blue color.
Guaranteed, this dress will never go out of style. 
This is the perfect work-to-weekend dress. 
The belt and simple slides make this all-black look so elevated. 
Talk about a dreamy dress. 
Have you ever seen a more summery dress in your life? 
Feeling bold? Opt for a modern dress in a light poplin material. 
I own this dress and can promise you it’s even cuter in person.
The black midi dress you’ll wear on repeat.  Next up, shop 10 leggings I always get compliments on. 

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