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Probably one of the most difficult challenges every girl will have to face in her lifetime is dressing appropriately and stylishly for work. But what happens when your hot/cold ratio doesn’t exactly measure up in the office? In other words, it could either be scorching or blistering cold outside. Yet, the office or building you work in hasn’t gotten the memo, opting to keep the temperature on a permanent freeze regardless of what’s going on outside. If a quick glance at the thermostat proves the heat is on, but your hands, body and feet beg to differ, then you’re one of many who has to deal with working in a cold office environment and not knowing how to dress for it.

Yep, we poor 9-to-5ers have a horrible cold conundrum to deal with, as we’re forced to take residence in a cubicle all day, shivering as we type. Not fortunate enough to sit near a window, where the occasional burst of sun could tide you over? Or perhaps you don’t work for a company that allows personal heaters in the office. Well, style-conscious professionals you’re in luck. I have the perfect office appropriate outfit ideas that will help you fend off the cold without abandoning your personal style. Ready to work it?

Skirt + blouse + cardigan

The quintessential office wear staple is a skirt and blouse. But to stylishly protect yourself from the chill in the air, throw on an unbuttoned cardigan or slightly cropped jacket over your blouse. You can easily remove it and proudly show off your outfit underneath if you get too hot. Most importantly, your co-workers won’t give you the crazy stare for keeping a sweater on all day.

The ideal solution for your cold office dilemma is pencil skirts—knee-length or high-waisted—and full circle skirts. Depending on the season, you’ll want to stick with skirts and cardigans in lightweight and bright fabrics during the summer and wool fabrics and more subdued colors in the winter. You can always wear tights underneath your skirt to shield your legs from the cold inside. Not into skirts? Black slacks or trousers with a dress shirt can be complemented by a cardigan or blazer in your favorite color. It’s classic and timeless and not to mention it’ll cover you in all the places that matter when it’s chilly.


If you don’t work in a corporate environment and your office isn’t too stuffy,  you can absolute get away with wearing a leather jacket during any season. Nothing screams edgy yet professional like a feminine button-down shirt paired with slim dark trouser pants and a fitted leather jacket. The key is finding a jacket that’s almost tailored like a blazer without the heavy metal accents such as zippers, studs, etc.

Chunky scarf

Find a scarf that you can easily wear with lightweight jackets and cardigans. For those of you who have dress down day at work, scarves can liven up the boring sweater and jeans combination while protecting you from the AC’s blasts of cold air.

Oversized sweater + boots + tights/leggings

During winter, this is my go-to outfit for the office because of the endless possibilities in styling. If you work in a creative environment, try an oversized sweater paired with an evening skirt. It’s less glam and more casual, but you’ll still make a good impression nonetheless. Not only will you feel warm in a sweater, tall boots and tights underneath, but you’ll also look chic when the temperature outside starts to match the temperature inside the office.

It can be tricky dressing for both the weather and the office you work in. But you don’t have to resort to leaving a big, bulky jacket on all day or, worse, bringing a blanket from home to cover up with. Whether you’re sitting at a desk, attending a meeting or giving a big presentation at work, you can dress warmly enough for the office by integrating more lightweight layers into your outfits that you can easily remove if you get too hot or add on if you get too cold. So just because your company’s HVAC system is making you suffer (and trust me I feel your pain), it doesn’t mean your 9-to-5 wardrobe has to.

What are your tips for surviving a cold office while maintaining your own sense of style?