A perfect summer look from the H&M Summer '14 Campaign. Photo courtesy H&M.
Staying motivated for work can be hard work in and of itself. But in the summer? Fuhgeddaboudit. I mean, seriously, with the sun shining and docks, beaches and patios constantly calling your name, is it any wonder that we want hit the snooze button a few more times than normal?
While we can't promise that a good work wardrobe will make that epic team meeting any shorter, we can promise that you'll be the best-dressed beauty in that boardroom. Simply check out our working girl edit below to look like a boss all summer long. See? Your work here is done. You can go home now (just tell them Sarah said you were needed elsewhere...)
Working Girl Essential: A Textured LBD
How to Work It: This dress means business - if business means kicking butt in the boardroom and killing the competition at post-dinner drinks. You might already own a black dress but this frock wins top marks for being grown-up yet edgy and modern all at once. Depending on your height (this girl's a model, let's keep that in mind), and depending on the level of formality of your employer, adjust your skirt length accordingly when looking for the perfect LBD (a few inches above the knee is okay with most employers but no higher).
OUR PICK: Eyelet Fit and Flare Dress, $89.95, GAP
Working Girl Essential: Printed Pumps
How to Work It: Oh yes, you know you want these. Doesn't it just make every other pair of shoes in your closet seem so plain? We agree, especially when you've got a neutral 9-to-5 wardrobe just begging for an update. Next Monday won't seem nearly so tough. Sorry? What's that? It's a long weekend? Ahhh...even better...
OUR PICK: Floral Pumps, $80, ALDO
Working Girl Essential: Gold Jewellery
How to Work It: Earrings, a watch, a gorgeous cuff or fine necklace all somehow look more boss-like when done up in gold. You already knew you had the Midas touch - this will just help others recognize that, too.
OUR PICK: Gold Hoops, $10, ALDO Accessories
Working Girl Essential: A Summer Weight White Shirt
How to Work It: A good white shirt is a must for every working woman but the hot days of summer require a lighter approach. We love this burnout dotted version of the classic white shirt, perfect for pairing up with your pencil skirts and fitted trousers. Be sure to wear a nude or white tank underneath and a statement necklace over top.
Working Girl Essential: A Midi Skirt
How to Work It: Super short minis are never appropriate at the office unless you're looking for a super serious sit-down with HR. Luckily, the midi skirt is one of the season's hottest trends and looks especially amazing in this gorgeous blue. Pair it with a white shirt (see above), pastel cardigan or short-sleeved blouse.
Working Girl Essential: A Cozy Layer
How to Work It: From sweltering smog to A/C that inspires rousing renditions of Let It Go, a pretty layer is a work week essential. We love the pretty nordic teal of this Elsa-worthy cardigan, perfect for wearing with black, white, tan or navy (read: the building blocks of every woman's work wardrobe).
Working Girl Essential: A Chambray Blazer
How to Work It: A heavy suit can feel so stuffy for the laissez-faire days of summer. Still, a blazer keeps you looking polished when you're at your day job. We love this classic chambray blazer for layering over your pencil skirts, trousers and dresses. Plus, you can rock this blazer on the weekend, too, to make the absolute most of your hard-earned paycheque.
OUR PICK: Classic Linen Blazer, $98, GAP
Working Girl Essential: A Flowy Sleeveless Blouse
How to Work It: When faced with a heatwave, you never want to let them see you sweat. The solution? A sleeveless blouse, of course, perfect for wearing under your cardigans and blazers. We love them in pretty pastels with interesting details, like the cool zippers on this baberoom (I mean, boardroom) beauty.
The Working Girl Essential: Sleek Trousers
How to Work It: Navy trousers not in your closet? Well, get thee to GAP, we say. These pants are just perfect, with their subtle piping detail and sleek, straight fit - more modern than a bootcut and far more flattering than the skinny.
OUR PICK: True Straight Piped Pants, $69.95, GAP
The Working Girl Essential: A Statement Necklace
How to Work It: It can be tough to stay motivated when school's out for summer. Sometimes, all it takes is a cheap and cheerful piece to help you get up when you've exhausted your snooze button. We pick this statement necklace, guaranteed to draw 'oohs' and 'where'd-you-get-thats' from your admiring co-workers.
The Working Girl Essential: Killer Heels
How to Work It: Step away from the practical footwear for a moment and train your eyes on these promotion-getters. No one (we repeat, no one) will want to mess with you, or your brilliant ideas, when you've got these killers on your feet. That glass ceiling doesn't stand a chance...
The Working Girl Essential: A Jumpsuit
How to Work It: You might think a jumpsuit's not for you, but the latest crop of jumpsuits look great on almost anybody and will help you change things up from your boring old pantsuit. Simply add a great belt, sleek pumps, and a blazer over top if your office doesn't permit exposed arms.
The Working Girl Essential: A Great Carry-All
How to Work It: A sleek carry-all will keep your laptop, iPad, smartphone and flask...(sorry, did I just say that out loud?) neatly concealed while you head from meeting to meeting. One thing's for sure - this is one investment you'll be very glad you made. Did I just hear someone say 'promotion'?