Cardigans in the summer are a necessary evil. I do love cardigans. They finish a look, can add professionalism to an outfit, can cover arms, and can keep you warm when it’s freezing indoors in the summer. The benefits of summer cardigans are well established. My issue with summer cardigans is that it’s not a matter of wanting to wear them but having to. Tops and dresses with sleeves are scant, workplaces and places like stores and theaters are chilled to unbelievably low temperatures that cause us to live in temperature extremes.

If you’re heading to work or still working at home, summer work cardigans come in handy. For work, they stave off hypothermia, cover arms, and create a professional look, for telecommuting, they can be quickly popped on to make that more casual outfits look more polished for things like Zoom meetings. I have put five looks together with summer work cardigans that you won’t just want to keep on the back of your chair as an afterthought. Be sure to check out some additional styles at the end of this post.


This cute colorblocked 100% linen summer work cardigan from Boden looks great with white jeans and a navy top and can also be styled for work with tailored pants or over a dress. I styled it with this navy sheath from BOSS and finished the look with navy and mint rectangle drop earrings from Ann Taylor and mint slingback flats from Pertegaz.

Outfit #2

I love Eileen Fisher’s cardigans for their ease of wear. This linen/cotton style is a perfect finishing piece both casually and professionally. I styled it with khaki-colored techno cotton pants from Akris Punto, a sleeveless buttondown from BOSS Hugo Boss, and finished the look with orange loafers from Vince Camuto and a mixed ring long necklace from Gas Bijoux.

Outfit #3

This look, that I styled with a cotton cardigan from Theory, is a mid-casual look for working from home or a more casual workplace. I styled the cardigan with a pair wide-leg drawstring pants from Apiece Apart and a washable silk tee from Quince. I finished the outfit with block heel sandals from Clarks and drop earrings from Lafayette 148.

Outfit #4

This two-piece look from M.M Lafleur (link to pants, link to top) is great on its own for work but for when the AC is full blast, I added this cotton cardigan from Everlane. To finish the outfit, I added these beige pumps from Coach and a grey resin necklace from Banana Republic.

Outfit #5

This last cardigan from Nic + Zoe is very popular with clients and even more popular when they realize the style has a button wrap so it can not only be worn as a cardigan but as a wrap sweater with something underneath. They do a fall style and a spring style and always offer the cardigan in basic neutrals, fashion colors for the season, along with a few fun prints. This printed style has been by a few clients this year. I styled it with a matching muted mint tank from Nic + Zoe, navy Kobi Halperin ankle pants, red flats from M.M. Lafleur, and simple silver hoop earrings.

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