Business Casual Summer Tips: The Definitive Guide to Be Stylish at Work

Striking the balance between professional and stylish can be difficult, especially during the summer months. Even if you do not work in an office, you will need to know how to adhere to a business casual dress code. After all, dressing for success is always a smart move. Business casual invites can be a little bit confusing. Mixing business attire with casual attire almost feels a little bit like an oxymoron. However, choosing business casual clothing does not have to be difficult, even in the summer. A casual outfit doesn’t always have to include a polo shirt or dress pants, and these looks aren’t just for casual Friday.
I know that not many of us are going into the office right now but you’re probably still dressing for work some days. Especially for Zoom or other video calls. I share how to look professional on Zoom here. Please let me know in the comments if you’re job is requiring you go back in the office!
Below I’m going over some simple tips to help you put together a stylish business casual summer outfit that is sure to turn heads and keep you feeling cool and comfortable! Keep scrolling for some business casual outfit ideas as well!

Spring Office Outfits, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of wearing a blazer with a snake print shell and white cropped jeans, with pink snake print heels and clutch from White House Black Market in Sequoia National Park

Business Casual Summer Tops

  • When choosing a summer business casual top, you can’t go wrong with lightweight materials. If your office (or home office) has air conditioning, you can still get away with wearing a more classic cotton top. Just because it is the summer, does not mean you have to go sleeveless. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics, such as polyester, linen, and silk. This will ensure your top is professional, without being overly stifling.
  • Light colors and simple patterns tend to work really well during the summer months. We normally associate more professional attire with darker colors, but this does not have to be the case. A dress shirt with a solid light color, or a simple floral pattern, can look super feminine but sophisticated and professional.
  • Remember to choose tops that do not hug the skin too tightly! You want to stay cool and avoid tops that will generate and retain body heat. Plus, anything too tight may not look very professional.

Business casual outfit idea, culottes, fashion over 40

Business Casual Pants for Summer

  • You have plenty of options when it comes to business casual summer pants. Naturally, you will want pants that have more breathability during the summer months. Rather than choosing a slim fit, opt for pants that are cropped, wide-leg, or straight fit.
  • When selecting pants for the office, just about any pair of smart trousers in a neutral shade, like black, tan, or a navy blue, will look chic!
  • When shopping for business casual attire, choose versatile pants that you can mix and match throughout your wardrobe.
  • If you still want a flattering slim fit pant, but worry it will be too warm in the summer, you might want to choose a cut off style.
  • For an easy office look, pair your pants with a tucked in power blouse, or trendy tank and blazer. You will be sure to turn heads at the office…in a good way!

Wardrobe Basics, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of sharing wardrobe basics from Ann Taylor wearing a black pencil skirt with sailir buttons, a white ruffle neck blouse, classic black blazer, black tights, and black pumps all from Ann Taylor in Telluride, Colorado

Business Casual Skirts for the Summer

  • Adding a few chic skirts to your closet will make it much easier to nail down the business casual look during the summer months. Not only are they stylish and versatile, they allow you to create a professional look that keeps your legs cool and comfortable.
  • Pencil skirts are almost always office-appropriate. They are modest enough to fit any professional dress code, but allow you to expose some leg. Pencil skirts and A-line styles are timeless pieces and a must-have for every professional or business casual closet. If you’re going into an office, I recommend your skirt going all the way to the knee or lower, nothing above the knee.
  • I love skirts and personally find they are so underrated! You can never go wrong with a full-length slim-fit skirt in the office, especially during those hotter summer months.
  • If you do choose a pencil skirt for your summer office wear, they can be so much fun if you choose bright, summery colors. You can take these out of the office if you want a more professional look at a summer brunch or after-work function.
  • Pair your skirt with a cute floral print blouse, or solid tank and lightweight blazer.

Spring Office Dress, fashion blogger Erin Busbee of wearing a navy pinstripe dress from Asos with black Jimmy Choo pumps in Telluride, Colorado, talking about dresses for the office

Business Casual Dresses for the Summer

  • If you choose an appropriate style, a dress can add plenty of sophistication and chicness to your business casual wardrobe. This is an easy way to show your personality with dresses that have more interesting design details too!
  • Dresses create a cute and comfortable look, especially during the summer months. Keep a few points in mind when choosing a summer dress for a business casual look….
  • Stick to high neckline and lengths below the knee. A sleeve also keeps things a little bit more professional.

Business casual outfit idea, power suit, dress, fashion over 40

Business Casual Outfit Ideas

Below you’ll find some quick and simple business casual outfit combinations to beat the heat during the summer months…

#1 | Shirt Dress + Slingback Shoes

A simple shirtdress can be worn with a nice pair of slingback shoes to create an effortless outfit that is still professional enough for just about any office environment. If your office blasts the air conditioning, you can always cover up with a cutaway blazer! With a fun shirt dress outfit, you will be able to easily transition from the office to anything you may have going on after work!

#2 | Cropped Jumpsuit + Blazer

A cropped jumpsuit will allow you to beat the heat while looking chic and stylish in the office. Jumpsuits are super easy but still have that business casual appearance. To up the professionalism, pair a solid colored cropped jumpsuit with a simple blazer.

#3 | Colorful Print Dress + Heels

Liven up your office with a colorful print dress. Not only will it put you in the summer mood, but it will also help keep you cool throughout the day. Keep it professional by choosing a simple pattern and pairing it with a pair of office-friendly heels. Remember, smaller scale prints are best!

#4 | Sleeveless Blouse + Cropped Dress Pants

A cute sleeveless blouse will help keep you cool throughout the day, while a nice cropped dress pant will keep the outfit business casual.

#5 | Wide Leg Trousers + Loose Fitting Long Sleeve Blouse

Wide leg trousers and a loose-fitting blouse will keep you cool throughout the day, without feeling like you are showing too much skin.

#6 |  Pencil Skirt + Blouse

A pencil skirt is classic summer office attire! They look good with just about any top, but you cannot go wrong with a cute blouse in a summer-friendly solid color.

#7 | Sleeveless Dress + Jacket

A nice sleeveless dress can still be office appropriate if you pair it with a light jacket or cardigan. Choose light pastel colors to really make this work outfit summer-friendly.

#8 | Bold Print Short Sleeve Blouse + Pants

You can stay cool and make quite a statement at the office by pairing a bold printed blouse with a simple skirt or pants.

#9 | Blazer Dress + Flats

The blazer dress takes iconic office attire and gives it a summery update. All you need to complete this outfit is a nice pair of flats or heels.

#10 | Button Up Shirt + Wide Leg Trousers

Wide leg trousers allow you to wear full-length pants, without having to worry that they will trap in too much heat. All you need is a simple button-up shirt to make this summer office outfit work!

#11 | Belted Jacket + Pencil Skirt

Belted jackets always look professional! Adapt this classic piece of work attire for the summer by wearing it over a pencil skirt.

#12 | Button-Down Top + White Pants

Never underestimate the power of a classic button-down shirt. You can easily tuck one into a pair of white pants to create an office-friendly outfit that will never go out of style. You can always roll up the sleeves if you get too hot!

#13 | Long Sleeve Blouse + Midi Skirt

If you match a longer sleeved blouse with a light-colored midi skirt, you can create a super cute summer work outfit. Choose a lighter colored skirt to really make this outfit scream summer!

#14 | Knee Length Dress + Blazer

Choose a solid color dress that hits around the knee and pair it with a sleek blazer. This will give you a super trendy look that give you confidence while you are at work!

#15 | Blazer With Rolled Sleeves + Skirt

You can create an outfit that has all the professionalism of a blazer, but still has a casual look just by rolling the sleeves. Wear it with a skirt made from light materials to really make sure you can beat the heat all summer long.

#16 | Solid Color Sundress + Strapped Shoes

Depending on your office environment, you might be able to get away with a more casual sundress look. Sundresses tend to be modest enough that they remain professional, while still giving you a cute summer vibe.

#17 | Blazer + Dark Wash Jeans + Heels

This trendy outfit blends casual with professional in a really unique and confident way. You will kill casual Fridays!

#18 | Cropped Pastel Colored Pantsuit + Flats

Give this iconic business look a summer twist by choosing a cropped version in a summer pastel shade! Nobody says the pantsuit has to be boring. By rolling up the sleeves and choosing cropped pants, you will stay cool and confident throughout the workday! If you love pastels like I do, make sure you check out the Pastels Shop.

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How To Manifest Anything, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of Busbee Style wearing an orange and blue Staud Ina dress with white sunglasses walking around in Telluride, Colorado
Erin Busbee
After a decade in TV news, a desire to help women "look pretty" sparked a career pivot. I started my own wardrobe consulting business, styling "real" women for many years. In 2014, I changed direction again, using my TV background and styling expertise to launch this website and my YouTube channel. We are now a community of nearly 700,000 dynamic, vibrant, amazing women over 40... who know that age isn't something you need to hide from. For us, life is just getting started!!
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