The shirt dress is the perfect summer silhouette to slip on for a day at the office with no hassle. And the best thing about all of these dresses is that they can easily be worn to dinner with friends without looking like you've been pretending to type while secretly frequenting Facebook all day. Whether you choose to dress it up or down, it’s hard to make a wrong move.

Latico Leathers, JLO by Jennifer Lopez, Nine West

Here's some special summer notes:

  • Length. It is tempting to go a little higher in the hem for summer, but your skirts and dresses should be office-appropriate year-round. For the most part, this means no more than an inch or two (max) above the knee. 
  • Fabric. Structured fabrics are always chic, you can get away with a nice silk for summer. Avoid anything too clingy or synthetic (breathable is best). Fabric makes a huge difference and can make a modest dress bearable in hot weather.
  • Sleeves. Depending on your office, going sleeveless may be a year-round thing or a never thing. When in doubt, choose sleeves. To avoid having to take a jacket or cardi on and off all the time, try a cap sleeve or short sleeve. Three-quarter sleeve dresses in a light breathable fabric can be super-chic, too.
  • Double-sided tape. If you absolutely cannot bear to wear a full slip in the summer, make sure to double-stick tape between the buttons. If you choose to go slip-less completely (again, not recommended), I'd double-sided tape the whole way down.

Titanium, Pierre Hardy, Prada, Classiques Entier

  • Pattern and color. It's summer, you want to lighten up. Have some fun and bring in some lighter colors and basic patterns, but keep your loud prints and colors for the weekend.
  • Accessories. When wearing a more casual dress, accessories can take the look from one end of the spectrum to another. A structured bag and closed-toe shoes will ensure you don't look like you're on your way to a summer picnic.