“You look so colourful today”, said a colleague friend pointing to my coral silk shirt peeking out from under the black suit. It didn’t quite sound like a compliment. Then he looked down to his grey outfit and smiled: “Professional!”. He was clearly joking and he has been a good friend, but I remembered that conversation and felt hesitant every time I put on anything brighter than grey or blue to the office.

Last week I went to Canary Wharf to meet a friend for lunch. It was a nice sunny day and I couldn’t help noticing all the dark dresses and buttoned-up shirts. Yes, my friend was joking, but can it be that we really have that unconscious fear to look unprofessional if we add a bit of summer brightness and femininity to our office outfit? Especially, if we work in a male dominated environment.

I believe that feeling stylish, beautiful and yes, feminine, is an important factor for many women for feeling confident and empowered. Isn’t that sense of confidence essential if we’ve got a whole day of important meetings ahead?

I created these 5 professional summer outfit ideas to help to bring a bit more brightness and summer warmth to your day in the office. They can easily be worn with a jacket if you want to go more formal for an important meeting or become a lovely outfit for an evening dinner or date. It’s summer after all, and life doesn’t end in the office.

Nude and Red – a pastel outfit brightened up by accessories

This pastel outfit brings a feeling of lightness and thoughts of a warm summer breeze featuring a wrap skirt that goes just below the knees and a tie sleeve top that is a nice summer alternative to a buttoned-up shirt. Adding a bit more brightness with hints of red in accessories and a bit of artistic touch with Musical Composition silk scarf, and you’re ready to start your day in the office and finish it in theatre or on a vernissage.

Aithne - Nude and Red - Professional Summer Outfit featuring Musical Composition Scarf

Karen Millen Tie Sleeve TopKaren Millen Wrap SkirtPierre Hardy Suede sandalsGucci Sylvie chain-embellished embossed leather toteToolally - HRH Blush PinkAithne Silk Scarf - Musical Composition

Classic Navy and White with a little bit of Purple

Having a more formal day? Let’s go for a classic navy and blue and brighten it up a bit with purple accessories and bigger earrings. The pleated front trousers are just above the ankles so it works really nice to show off the tie up fastenings of the shoes. The Universe theme of the Vibrations of Blue scarf together with a purple bag adds a finishing chic touch to this professional summer outfit.
Aithne - Blue White and Purple - Professional Summer Outfit featuring Vibrations of Blue Scarf

Jaeger - Double Layer Wrap Back TopJaeger Pleated Front TrousersL.K.Bennett leather shoesBling Jewelry tear drop earringsAithne Vibrations of Blue ScarfLouis Vuitton Bag

Red and Black – adding a feeling of summer with a jumpsuit and red accessories

Ever thought of wearing a jumpsuit to office? Let’s say this one is for casual Friday and yes, the accessories make the outfit here. The jumpsuit goes to the middle of the ankle so the gorgeous sandals are not covered.  Bright red with hints of golden yellow is the theme for the accessories, and I was even able to find a matching laptop bag so that you can sneak out for a bit and work from a nearby park. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
Aithne - Black Red and Yellow - Professional Summer Outfit featuring Vibrations of Carmine Scarf

Karen Millen - Wide Leg JumpsuitPrada Colourblock SandalsTory Burch BraceletArt Deco Coral Onyx EaringsKate Spade Laptop BagAithne - Vibrations of Carmine Scarf

White and Bright Blue – classic and beautiful as the summer sky

This colour palette is more associated with a holiday on a Greek Island rather than with professional style, but why not bring that feeling of summer to the office. After all, the days when you can dress like this are so rare in the UK. Classic and classy, this outfit is simple enough for the day in the office and stylish enough for a date in the evening. And you can always add the white or blue jacket if it gets colder, or wear the beautiful Vibrations of Ultramarine scarf as a wrap to cover your shoulders.
Aithne - White and Blue - Professional Summer Outfit featuring Vibrations of Ultramarine Scarf

White Reiss DressKaren Millen Suede Stripe sandalLongchamp leather shoulder bagFred Meyers Diamond jewelryAithne Vibrations of Ultramarine Silk Scarf

Lilac and Lavender – bringing a summer garden to the office

Lavender fields and lilac gardens, can anything be more beautiful than that? I am a bit purple crazy, so this classic outfit is a tender and feminine tribute to everything purple bringing the feeling of a summer garden to the office.
Aithne - Lilac and Lavender - Purple Professional Summer Outfit featuring Vibrations of Blue Scarf

Alberto Biani Lilac DressSalvatore Ferragamo Purple ShoesAlberta Ferretti HandbagSaks Fifth Avenue Teardrop EaringsAithne - Vibrations of Blue Silk Scarf

What do you think about the idea of adding some colour to your professional summer look? Would you wear one of these outfits to the office? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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