Beachy At The Office

Summer Corporate ensemble
Summery accessories lighten up Corporate Drag. Please see a link for all items at the end of post.

This is the time of year that I usually start to crank up my traditional grouse: based on what’s available on retailers’ racks, they seem to think that we ALL spend our summers cavorting at the beach, or a lakeside resort, or anything other than slogging into the office five (or more) days per week. But I think the message may be getting through. This year I’ve had better luck finding lightweight Business-esque clothing, including this linen blazer and some fun slouchy pants.

Even though my life doesn’t get noticeably more relaxed during summer months, sometimes the usual metal jewelry can feel just too heavy and hot to wear, or not quite right with lighter summer fabrics and styles. And even if I’m not spending my summer enjoying sand and surf, accessories that channel the beach or natural world are a fun way to capture that vibe even as I’m sitting under fluorescent lighting through a software development meeting.

Summer business casual ensemble

Materials such as wood, resin, horn, lucite and glass beads are all great options for summer jewelry.

You may be familiar with Tamera Beardsley though her lovely and inspiring blog, but don’t forget to check out her jewelry designs! I especially love her “Coastal Inspired” collection, and am coveting this set of four sea glass bracelets.

As an alternative to a hot metal watch, how about one made of cool, lightweight wood? Jord watches are available in several types of woods, styles and sizes. (Look for more about this brand here next week.)

“Corporate” – Necklace: Nest // Jacket: J.Crew // Tee: Eileen Fisher // Pants: J.Crew // Cuff: Halsbrook // Bag: Sophie Hulme // Shoes: Vince

“Casual” – Earrings: J.Jill // Watch: Jord “Fieldcrest” // Sea Glass Bracelets: Tamera Beardsley // Tassel Necklace: Halsbrook // Horn Stretch Cuff: Nest // Tee: J.Crew // Jacket: J.Crew // Shirt: J.Crew // Pants: J.Crew here and here // Bag: Sophie Hulme // Shoes: Vince and Kristin Cavallari


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  1. Susan I am not sure if I told you that my Eileen Fisher linen blazer arrived? I love it. It’s beautifully cut but unstructured, sits lightly on the body but gives a nice dress/business touch to a pair of casual pants. It’s too cold to wear it now but I look forward to the warmer months. Thanks for the tip!

    1. Rose, I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks for letting me know. I’ve been wearing mine multiple times per week here.

      1. Love your blog. Any recommendation for a hat to wear on the beach. Would like to look casual but classy

  2. I love the EF blazer, unlined but with some structure. Too often summer blazers are lined, so not really good for hot weather.

  3. That Sophei Hulme tote is gorgeous! In the sticky-steamy summer (our subway system is not ac’d) most women wear dresses or skirts with jackets, or skirt suits. Also, in winter we go into pants- so cold in Montréal- and long to take a break from them in summer. This season I have seen many business-worthy dresses, finally!

  4. Because I spent most of my working life teaching high school…I did not have to contend with hot July days and what to wear to work. Hence I always had Spring business wear in my closet…. but not summer. Part of the problem for me arose when we would get a very hot stretch in June, like a week, and I would literally have nothing to wear!
    Love all your choices. Particularly that gray suit and shoes. I am coveting that!

  5. While I appreciate that it is hard to find appropriate work wear when the shops seem to believe we are all at the beach, it would be nice to consider what those of us of a certain age ought to wear during the non work, non evening out hours. For those of your readers who are retired, or partially so, this may be the bulk of the wardrobe purchases, and trust me, dressing casually at ths time of our lives is just as hard to do appropriately as dressing for work…perhaps harder, as it is so ill defined. Something to think about.

  6. I trade scarves for necklaces, although it’s hard to synch them with the ID badge, lanyard and fobs that I also have to wear at work.

  7. What a chic summer round up my dear! Ever so excited for my Bliss sea glass bracelets to be among your summer style recommendations! Many thanks!


    1. PS … I sent you an email … it might have sent several times … my outlook account seems to be acting up :))

  8. What a great looking tote!
    Office dressing must be a challenge in the heat but you make it look so effortless. Tamera has some lovely gems on her site…very tempting indeed.

  9. Susan, I have a question regarding the 4 seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) typing. Do you/French woman follow if you are typed a Winter you should only wear bright colors? I think your Corporate dressing is classically beautiful.