Summer work wear trends

Caroline Cassidy

Wake up your 9-5 style with our pick of the best workwear looks for spring/summer. Whether you're looking for casual or formal looks, we've found the best dresses, blazers, skirts, shorts and trends to turn heads...

Female model wearing Austin Reed jacket
Female model wearing Austin Reed jacket

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Say hello to polka dots
If you're looking to update your office wardrobe but want something that will last for more than one season, a polka dot pencil skirt or shift dress is just the thing. The polka dot is a print that will never go out of style, so makes a great investment piece.

Try Oasis for a cute blue and white polka dot pencil skirt with skinny black patent belt, £45, or shift dress with bright red patent belt, £65. Smarten them up with a fitted navy jacket or turn heads and team with a pair of bright red heels.

Power up with pastels
Pale colours aren't always the easiest to wear in the office, but layer up this season's soft and chalky pastels with structured silhouettes and you can make a real style statement. A pastel tailored jacket over a structured slim dress will keep you looking pretty - but still promotion material. Try Zara for a pale jersey blazer with relaxed rouched sleeves, £49.99.

Nude hues
Nude hues, along with pastels are big news on the high street for spring/summer 2012. Invest in a nude-hued dress if only because it's so easy to accessorise. Team with a black blazer and heel for a more formal look, or add a pop of colour with bright heels or pumps for a more casual office. If you're not ready to go for a full on nude hue, try Next's Ginger Flannel Dress with black edging, £45.

Skater skirts
For an office-appropriate look that's high in the style stakes, try a sweet skater skirt with a smart shirt. Make a statement and go for a bold colour with Top Shop's green pleated flippy skirt, £30, or team with bright accessories and work a smart colour-blocking style.

Office shorts
Don't think you can get away with wearing shorts to the summer in office? Think again. Tailored shorts are still on trend and tartan and pinstripe can work in even formal settings. Try Miss Selfridge for bow-tied tailored shorts, £32, or River Island for black smart shorts with white pocket trim detail, £25.

On trend power dressing
For formal office wear that's on-trend, try Austin Reed's new women's office wear range. Pictured above is their Natural Sharkskin Jacket, £249, or check out their Urban River range for a metropolitan take on the ever popular nautical trend with key pieces in traditional red, white and navy with architectural block stripes.