Oh, summer in the city. We spend all spring longing for the warmth, but once the temps shoot into the upper stratosphere—and you know they will—our work wardrobe is suddenly put to a major test, in search of that elusive balance between breezy cool and polished professional. Here’s the recipe for sartorial success: Start with a lightweight, sleeveless style in a classic silhouette such as a tailored sheath, an easy shift, or a ladylike fit-and-flare. Add a bright hue, a punchy pattern, or a pinch of detailing, like lace or a printed trim. Pair with a sophisticated heel and dress it up with some substantial baubles. Done!
To get you started, try one of these 15 frocks—perfectly airy for the commute, perfectly appropriate for the office, and most under $200.