Let’s be real — when sunshine and balmy temps are in the forecast, heading to your nine-to-five is even harder than it was back when snow and sleet covered the ground, because you have one thing on the brain: the beach. And while you’ll have to wait until the weekend rolls around to bust out that sick new swimsuit (unless you have a wear-anywhere one-piece on hand) and hit the sand, you don’t have to forgo all your favorite summer trends for the sake of HR. Say what? That’s right — what was once an office no-no (think: that ah-mazing crop top and slinky slip dress) is now the foundation for a boardroom-ready outfit that would do your Insta proud. Below, we’re showing you how a bit of careful styling can instantly transform these 12 “risqué” pieces into #girlboss-approved getups that’ll earn you some serious style cred at the water cooler.
1. Zara Printed Poplin Top ($40): A little bit bandeau, a little bit bralette, this tropical top was made for al fresco soirees and waterfront fiestas. Paired with swishy midi skirts and high-waisted trousers, it’s the key to endless winning #OOTDs. Sassy red lipstick and boho baubles are non-negotiable.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Midriff-baring tops aren’t exactly embraced with open arms at the office, so playing down their look-at-me edge is key. Pop this bad boy over a short-sleeve button-down (bonus points for pattern play) or a bright tee, then team it with modern suiting separates — think culottes with major cool-girl factor — and block-heeled mules for an on-the-clock getup that is serious #goals.
2. ASOS Crochet Sundress in Midi Length ($62): From music festivals to movie nights under the stars, this red-hot dress will never steer you wrong. The free-wheelin’ vibes are exactly what carefree summer days call for, while the throw-on-and-go styling feels right in line with your lazy-girl style sensibilities.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Good news — this crocheted number is partially lined, so all you have to worry about is transitioning the top. For a ladylike look that’s ready to seize the day, layer it over a sleeveless frill-neck blouse that’s as pretty as it is HR-approved, then play it cool with statement platform steppers. It’s that easy.
3. Free People My Kind of Woman Jumpsuit ($128): “Oh, this old thing?” you’ll say as you saunter into the room. Pastel stripes and an OMG-worthy plunging neckline strike the perfect balance of sweet and sultry, making this streamlined jumpsuit one you’ll reach for again and again. Birthdays, barbecues and laid-back summer weddings — this bombshell does it all.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Worn on its own, this jumpsuit is a surefire way to get sent home. Eliminate the inevitable costume change by teaming it up with an eyelet tee or chambray blouse. Round out the outfit with some knotted leather wedge sandals and a sleek pendant necklace for an effortless look that’s sure to impress.
4. C/meo Collective Charged Up Dress ($200): Fit for a dancing queen, this mini shift dress was made for after-hours excursions and breakin’ it down on the dance floor. The clean lines and geometric metal trinkets are what minimalist dreams are made of, and would look straight-up stunning styled alongside crossover slingbacks and a no-fuss topknot.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Make a mini dress feel fit for the office by layering it over a pair of cropped trousers or tucking it into a flowy midi skirt. For an extra sophisticated feel, throw a skinny scarf and on-trend slippers in a shade of siren red into the mix.
5. Sam Edelman Gere Tassel Sandal ($130): What else is there to say but pom-pom game strong? When you’re looking to inject a bit of It-girl appeal into everyday basics, these are the shoes you want on standby. The funky embellishments and bright colors deliver every time.
How to Make Them Work Appropriate: Ok, so pom-poms aren’t exactly scandalous, but they don’t scream #girlboss either. For an office-approved edge, dress ’em up with suiting separates or a pleated skirt and crisp button-down blouse for a high-low mix that nails it every time.
6. Mango Flowy Strap Top ($50): With ’90s fever running rampant, it’s no wonder halter tops have achieved must-have status this season. Skip the tie versions of the timeless style, opting instead for racerback-inspired interpretations with a more grown-up vibe. Then proceed to style with everything from high-waisted shorts to jacquard pencil skirts.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Halters get a resounding “Hell no!” from HR, but that doesn’t mean they’re totally off the table. Look to a sleeveless blazer or a printed kimono to transition the piece from forbidden goods to a major fashion win.
7. Reformation Lily Dress ($128): Is there anything better than a trend that allows you to rock your comfiest duds on the daily — and in public no less? Just as cozy as your favorite pair of sweats, the slip dress combines grunge glamour and lazy-girl chic into one insanely versatile style. Chokers and leather jackets are strongly encouraged.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Slip a slip dress over a sleeveless roll neck top or striped tee, then elevate the look with dazzling drop earrings and on-trend lace-up sandals for instant polish. Pass on the classic blazer or trench for your morning commute and drape a bomber jacket over your shoulders instead.
8. & Other Stories Embroidery Swimsuit ($85): The one-piece reigns supreme for summer 2016, so best add one to your lineup STAT. Whether you’re dreaming of dramatic cutouts or plan to keep it real with ’70s-style crochet, there’s a suit to suit every style.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Consider a one-piece your new signature move where office-to-island-oasis dressing is concerned. Team it with pencil skirts and sleeveless blazers to take on your to-do list, then head straight to the pool the second you step off the plane.
9. Nasty Gal Look Right Through Crochet Coverup ($68): Fact: A killer swimsuit calls for an equally as show-stopping coverup. This fringe-flecked number is festival goddess-approved, and a surefire way to keep all eyes on you as you strut your stuff in the sand.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Even your craziest pieces can be converted into a classy nine-to-five look. Case in point: This shockingly see-through coverup. Showing this much skin on the job is grounds for a write-up (not to mention a slew of eye rolls), but it’s nothing a bit of clever layering can’t fix. Slide it over a bright slip dress or a cami and cropped flares combo, then strut your stuff at your nine-to-five with confidence.
10. Express Medallion Floral Pintucked Bib Cold Shoulder Shirt ($40): Consider the cold-shoulder top the ultimate compromise between off-the-shoulder stunners and classic everyday tees. For barbecues and lazy afternoons boppin’ around town, pair ’em with boyfriend jeans, metallic Birkenstocks and a Jane Birkin-approved straw bag.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Unlike its off-the-shoulder counterpart, cold shoulder shirts have on-the-clock approval built right in. For a boho-infused boardroom ensemble, style it with flowy wide-leg bottoms and strappy clogs. For a bit of glitz, DO add an arm party complete with mismatched gold bangles.
11. One by PH5 Yasu Denim Dress ($260): Every summer capsule wardrobe needs one — that twirl-worthy dress you can rely on to get you through dinner dates, GNOs and everything else on that jam-packed agenda in style. Consider this chambray number it. With its timeless A-line silhouette and playful cutouts, it more than lives up to your haute standards, especially when there are strappy sandals and a glitzy box clutch involved.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Strapless necklines and cutouts are recipes for disaster when it comes to work-week dressing. Keep the boss at bay by layering a wrap top over the bodice and dressing things up with a statement-making collar necklace. Another idea? Channel your inner Man Repeller and pop it on top of a bright silk blouse or button-down.
12. Lucca Couture Tie-Front Tee ($49): Don’t even think about letting summer go by without adding at least one crop top to your rotation. The shortened-up style practically screams SUMMER and instantly injects a flirtatious feel to everything from skinny jeans to button-front skirts.
How to Make It Work Appropriate: Slip this top by the boss by layering it over a strappy maxi dress or teaming it with an elegant jumpsuit. You’ll be wondering why you didn’t think of it sooner.
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