No one wants to don a suit in the sweltering summer. But you may think your sun dress is not appropriate for the office. Think again. With the right accessories, you can wear a sun dress to work without getting sent home to change. Once the 9 to 5 is over, you can chuck off your accessories and be cool, comfortable and cute as all sun dresses should be. You can wear a sun dress to work with a few simple steps.

Things You'll Need

Choose an appropriate length. Just because a sun dress is light and airy doesn’t mean it has to be chopped off at the high thigh. Pick a length of dress that you know is cool for the office. You can always wear tights underneath a very short sun dress, but that kind of defeats the sun dress’s purpose.

Pick an office-friendly pattern. Large, neon orange flowers or over the top frills won’t cut it. Pick a darker hue with a more professional pattern, such as small flowers, a chic solid or a tribal print.

Select work shoes. This does not mean industrial, steel toed boots—unless, of course, you work in a welding shop. This means shoes that are subtle and work-friendly, such as a cute pair of Mary Janes, clogs or other shoes you would normally wear to the office. Don’t wear stiletto heels or strappy sandals that make your sun dress look more like play.

Add your accessories with care. Heavier jewelry will help to make the sun dress more oriented for the office. You can wear your usual watch, a necklace or other jewelry that is not garish. Steer clear of gaudy, weekend baubles that will look tawdry in an office environment.

Don a jacket or cute cardigan. Since most offices are air conditioned to what often feels like 30 degrees, you will want to bring a cropped suit jacket or dashing cardigan to wear over the dress. This also takes care of dresses that have very thin straps or open backs, both of which are usually frowned upon at the office. Don’t just throw on any covering, however, make it a fresh linen or a thin knit sweater and make sure it matches the dress. You should not look like you are borrowing your boyfriend’s jacket.


  • You can also wear a half-buttoned blouse or other shirt over the sun dress to tone down the sun dress aspect. This way it will look like a skirt with a bit of the top peeking out from the front. Try it with a very tailored shirt, as contrasts are always fun.

  • Only wear the sun dress with open toed shoes if you normally would wear open toed shoes to the office.

  • Adding sun dresses to your work garb increases your wardrobe options substantially.