16 Summer Work Wardrobe Essentials (Photos)

Our official guide to staying cool and lookin’ classy at the office.

Exciting as it may be, professional life can get kind of, um, sticky come summertime in Washington. Be it by Metro, by car, or by foot, your commute always leaves you sweaty, and the dark-colored suits you sported all winter attract heat like the paparazzi to a Kardashian. Your makeup runs, your winter jewelry is too clunky, but your summer clothes just don’t seem substantial enough to sport in front of your higher-ups. Can there, pray tell, be a middle ground for gals who want to breathe a bit but can’t stand the thought of looking unpolished? Yes, yes there can. Loosen up the silhouette, pick lightweight (and light-colored) fabrics, and opt for airy bags and baubles, and no one will be questioning your ambitions. From an über-affordable coral suit to the perfect perforated leather tote, here are the 16 pieces every professional girl needs in her 9-to-5 wardrobe this summer.

Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.