Work Appropriate Attire for a Seattle Summer

Jun. 7, 2017 How to get Hired


Summer is fast approaching. At the end of May, we even spotted some temperatures sneaking up into the low 80s! Combine warmer temperatures with a city that is full of on-foot and public transit commuters, and everywhere you turn there’s a sea of shorts, sleeveless shirts, and flip flops. While these outfits are perfectly acceptable for a day exploring the city, or hitting Alki Beach, they are not exactly work appropriate attire. We’ve got a few ideas on keeping cool during your typical Seattle Summer without breaking office dress code guidelines.

Dressing Up Maxi & Sun Dresses

Maxi and sun dresses are hailed by many as comfortable and easy. You throw it on along with a pair of sandals or wedges, and you head right out the door… but for work? While you certainly could leave it, you should add polish to it – maybe by throwing on a blazer (more on that later) and a statement necklace. You can take your look from “I overslept and had to run to catch my bus” to “this outfit is comfortable, fashionable and professional.”

Our Senior Operations Coordinator, Cory, in Summer-Friendly Work AttireThink Linen, Cotton, & Khakis

Popular styles taking workplaces by storm are short-sleeve seersucker button-downs and lightweight, linen-cotton blends paired with wrinkle-free, tailored pairs of khakis (or chinos). Of course, before trying something new, always take cues from your environment. The last thing you’d want to do is show up in linen and chinos if your office is full of suits.

In our example, our Senior Operations Coordinator, Cory, pairs a lightweight printed button-down with his khakis for a day at the Parker office!

Err on the Side of Caution: Skip Seersucker & Golf Shorts

Some organizations have looser dress codes – around here, it’s mostly startups or those in the tech industry –  but you should always run on the assumption that shorts are not office attire. Though seersucker and golf shorts come across as slightly more refined, they’re still not work appropriate attire*.

*Exceptions include company picnics and golf tournaments.

Save Your Baseball Caps for Safeco

Wearing a hat on the way to your office is up to you, but make sure you take it off when you enter the building. All year-round, it’s hats-off around the office – and summertime is no exception. Worried about hat hair? Keep a comb and a little styling pomade in your office drawer to give yourself a quick style fix.

Keep a Piece or Two at the Office

Whether in the company coat closet or on the back of your chair, it’s a great idea to keep a polished blazer or cardigan at the office. That way, if it’s 80 degrees and climbing, you can keep your commute comfortable with a sleeveless blouse, just throwing on a blazer or sweater over it when you’re on the clock.

Do you have an empty drawer or room under your desk? If you’re walking to work – whether from your home or bus stop – it might be smart to keep a pair of neutral, professional shoes at work. When you get into the office, trade out your walking shoes for your go-to pair of loafers, heels, or flats. Pro-Tip: Consider investing in odor-eliminating spray or sneaker balls to store in shoes between wears. Better safe than smelly!

As always, if you’re not sure about something, just ask!

The people who know the company dress code best are the people that work there! If you ever have a question about what is or isn’t work appropriate attire , ask your coworkers, your manager, or your HR team. Here’s to a happy – and cool – summer!