Business Appropriate Capsule Wardrobe: Summer

Summers are unbearably hot in Texas. The combination of heat and humidity makes the state feel like an oven. Oftentimes, I find myself heating up from within and sweating all over the place. You know what makes things worse? Dressing up for work. *insert crying emoji here*

During the summer, I don’t like anything to touch me. The looser the clothes, the better. For the longest time, I thought work appropriate clothes were wool slacks and stiff button-ups. You can imagine my misery as I commute and attempt to concentrate in heavy, rigid fabrics.

I searched high and low for business appropriate capsule wardrobes but I find that most fashion bloggers blog full time (and have no concept of a real 9 to 5) or overthink their outfits (I become exhausted looking at all their accessories). My end game is to clear my head of unnecessary decisions so I have room for new hobbies. While I appreciate the thought that fashion bloggers put into their outfits, I cannot apply it to my minimalist style.

I currently work at a large consulting firm in downtown Dallas. The official dress code is Business Smart – a few levels above business casual, but just under business formal. Meaning: above khakis and polos, but below full suit. If you think that is a broad range, you are correct. Most company dress codes are too general and up for interpretation – which makes figuring out the right balance really difficult.

After a year of trial and error, I have gathered a summer business attire capsule wardrobe.

Following the 10 x 10 format, I’ve selected 10 articles of clothing to mix and match into 10 separate outfits. For my purpose, shoes and accessories are not included, mainly because I do not have enough business appropriate options for each season to matter.

  1. Cream blouse – Extra loose and breezy to help cool you off in the summer months while covering you up from the harsh sun.

  2. Dark Chambray top – Chambray is right on the line between acceptable and unacceptable. I find that darker shades and more structured shape gives a more professional appearance.

  3. Light pink V – thin, breathable fabric that drapes well.

  4. Gray tank – A very basic piece that is great to layer over.

  5. Cream blazer – The key is finding such a thin blazer, it is basically a collared cardigan.

  6. Black circle dress – Plain, solid dress in a thin fabric.

  7. Khaki skirt – Pencil skirts are an instant level booster. You can pair it with a tee and still look put together.

  8. Black skirt – Airy and simple, with a flirty flare.

  9. Navy cotton pants – I stick with slim cuts and breathable fabric so I don’t feel too restricted.

  10. Dotted salmon skirt – breezy summer friendly skirt.

I am really excited about this series because I think it will help a lot of people. I recognize that it’s all neutrals – frankly, that is the color scheme that works best with most people and accepted by all companies.

The first outfit will be shown next week!

Sincerely, Tania