Dressing for summer can be pretty easy if you’re on holiday, but what about when you’re at work? With many offices and workplaces lacking efficient air conditioning, when the temperatures start to rise it means that a lot of your usual office wear is unsuitable, with heavy fabrics and closely tailored items being the first things to put to one side.

The most obvious choice is the summer work dress. With clean lines and structured shapes, the classic pencil skirt is always a good choice, as is an oversized shirt dress with bold prints that radiate a positive attitude. Combine these with simple flats or sandals and you’ve got yourself a summer work outfit that’s both stylish and practical as well as being a pleasure to wear in a hot and busy office.

However, if you’re not a fan of summer dress, there are some really good alternatives. Shorts have become more and more popular over the past few years and they don’t look like they’ll be going away any time soon. Simple but sophisticated, combined with a crisp white t-shirt and brogues, loafers or canvas sneakers and you’ve got the makings of a mix and match summer wardrobe.

If you don’t want to get your legs out, that’s when it’s time to bring out the jumpsuit. Versatile, comfortable and airy, they’re great for hot summer days when you need to wear something light. They’re easy to throw-on and should be an essential in any summer wardrobe.

Just as important as what you wear is what it is made of. As one of the most common natural fibres, cotton is always a good choice that lets your body breathe and helps keep you cool. The same goes for linen. A lightweight linen business suit is both stylish and practical. Silk is worth considering too, as this natural fibre is simply so cool and soft to touch, a simple silk cami can be a great thing to wear in the office when the heat starts to rise. Don’t be too quick to write off man made fibres though, as fabrics like rayon make a fantastic alternative to cotton, and are cool and light to wear, helping to ease a busy and hot day at the office.

The last thing to consider is colour. As soon as we see the first signs of summer, some women see this as the green light to shock the office with an array of loud floral print dresses in an array of hideous colours. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with a nice bit of floral print, just because it’s summer it doesn’t mean you have to wear bright colours. Pastels can be very effective in a range of styles but we think that white is the ultimate summer colour. A crisp white t-shirt combined with neat black shorts is simple, stylish, elegant and sophisticated, and the perfect office outfit to wear in the summer. With white the colour that reflects the most heat, as well as looking cool, you’ll feel it too.