Just because the summer months are here, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have to work – unless you’re taking a very long vacation! But how do you stay cool and professional while it’s hot outside? Take a look at the work outfits for summer below that are office suitable while also being warm weather appropriate.

Some thoughts on the best work outfits for summer

Obviously this is going to differ depending on what you do and where you do it from. Maybe you work from home so you can wear shorts and a tank top even when working. But, presuming you have to go into the office or look more professional at least for some of the time, what should you wear in the summer months?

While most offices have become more casual in recent years, you still want to maintain a certain professionalism while not overheating.

Wear breathable fabrics

Work outfits for summer - Fonda in a satin shirt | 40plusstyle.com

Think about fabrics that look professional but allow your skin to breathe. Silk, and cotton for example. You probably want to avoid full linen as it has vacation wear connotations and wrinkles easily but a linen blend could work.

Fonda @savvysouthernchic above chooses a classic work outfit with a satin shirt.

Check out this silk top (another option here) that you can wear with this similar pencil skirt, pumps, handbag and earrings.

COS Contrast Silk Panel Shirt | 40plusstyle.com

COS Contrast Silk Panel Shirt

You can wear your summer dress

You don’t have to put your vacation dresses to the back of the closet. You can always smarten up your summer dress with a classic blazer. Or, if that’s too hot, a sleeveless blazer.

Karen Millen Geo Chiffon Halter Drama Woven Maxi | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Millen Geo Chiffon Halter Drama Woven Maxi


Summer work outfits - Diane wear an all-neutral outfit | 40plusstyle.com

It’s likely you’ll be between temperatures during your working day. Maybe your commute is warm and your office is cold because of the air conditioning. Maybe the air conditioning temperature changes from hour to hour. Take a layer with you that you can easily slide onto the back of your chair.

Diane @fashiononthe4thfloor above (read her style interview here) looks great in a mix of neutrals.

Steal her look with this similar top, blazer, pants, flats and necklace.

Karen Millen Compact Stretch Button Blazer | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Millen Compact Stretch Button Blazer

Choose loose fitting options

Wide leg pants, for example, are on-trend and won’t stick to you. While wearing an outfit which is all baggy can give a casual vibe, you can always have one element of your look that is looser-fitting.

Think about your shoes

Summer office outfits - Nora in a pink shirt and jeans | 40plusstyle.com

You can often easily up the formality of your outfit without changing much else, simply by changing your shoes. Change your sneakers for a pair of heels or pointed loafers and you’ll already create a more professional look.

Nora @jacketsociety above (read her style interview here) wears her heels with her jeans.

Get her look with this similar shirt, pants, pumps, handbag, belt, earrings and sunglasses.

Clarks Linvale Jerica Pump | 40plusstyle.com

Clarks Linvale Jerica Pump

Don’t think you can’t wear shorts

If you choose a longer length trouser style short, you can easily wear to the office, particularly if you team with a pair of heels and a smart shirt. You can add a blazer if it’s not too warm.

Karen Millen Cotton Sateen Wide Leg Shorts | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Millen Cotton Sateen Wide Leg Shorts

Work outfits for summer – creating the capsule wardrobe

Now, let’s look at some summer work outfits you could put together.

Summer tops for the office

Work outfits for summer to keep you stylish and cool | 40plusstyle.com

Nikki @midlifechic above chooses a navy and red outfit and matches her lipstick to her accessories.

Check out this similar blouse, pants, pumps, handbag and earrings.

Look for loose-fitting blouses that you can tuck in, tops with wider necklines and classic white shirts that will go with everything.

Work tops for summer | 40plusstyle.com

Vince Slim Silk BlouseBOSS Banora Abstract Floral Silk BlouseKaren Millen Viscose Crepe Chain Cowl Neck Woven TopCOS Roll Neck Tunic Top

Jackets and cover ups

Depending on where you are working, you may want a blazer or jacket to look more professional and stay warm.

Work jackets for summer | 40plusstyle.com

VICI Collection Linen Blend BlazerJ.Crew Going-Out Stretch Twill BlazerKaren Millen Premium Satin Stripe Belted Db JacketKaren Millen Ponte Zip Through Collared Jersey Jacket


Greetje in a blazer and dress pants | 40plusstyle.com

Greetje @no_fear_of_fashion above (read her style interview here) chooses a pair of brown pants and a classic blazer.

Recreate her outfit with this similar blazer, pants, pumps and handbag.

Pants and skirts for work | 40plusstyle.com

Ted Baker London Kelsyat Wide Leg TrousersKaren Millen Cotton Sateen Wide Leg ShortsKaren Millen Graphic Contour Bandage Knit Pencil SkirtKaren Millen Colorblock Soft Midi Skirt


You can choose any style of dress and make it look more or less formal depending on your shoe and jacket choice.

Dresses to wear to work | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Kane Cascade Faux Wrap DressSt. John Collection Abstract Geo Print Silk DressKaren Millen Color Blocked Zip Detail Ponte Midi DressKaren Millen Soft Tailored Flannel Halter Shirt Dress


Shoes for summer at work | 40plusstyle.com

While it may be that wearing flat sandals are too casual for your office, you can still stay cool and comfortable by looking out for flat shoes and heeled sandals like Sheree @shesheshow above who opts for a low option.

You can get her look with this similar blouse (another option here), pants, pumps and earrings.

Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet FlatSam Edelman Wanda Pointed Toe FlatClarks Linvale Jerica PumpSteve Madden Irenee Heeled Sandal


Just as with your shoes, your accessories can make a big difference to the look of your outfit. Choosing structured bags, a lightweight scarf and statement jewelry can elevate your work look.

Accessories for work | 40plusstyle.com

BOSTANTEN Leather Laptop ToteCOACHCOACH Tabby Soft Leather Shoulder BagDeepa Gurnani Meadow Bib NecklaceAllSaints Astraeus Square Silk ScarfTory Burch Kira Stackable Huggie Hoop EarringsKarine Sultan Drop Earrings

Your summer work outfits capsule

Below are the summer work outfits together in one capsule. You can mix and match the clothes to create different work looks for the season.

You can, for example, wear the striped blazer with the white pants to create an all-neutral outfit. Wear the red jacket with the pink and red skirt, the black and white blouse tucked into your shorts or wear any of the tops with your favorite jeans for casual Fridays.

Work outfits for summer | 40plusstyle.com

shop the work outfits for summer below:

Continue reading:

  1. Classy business outfits – a complete work capsule wardrobe for the professional woman over 40
  2. The Best Laptop Bags For Women To Stylishly Carry All Your Work Essentials
  3. Work From Home Clothes That Are Comfortable AND Professional To Get You In The Right Frame Of Mind

like this article on STYLISH AND COOL Work outfits for summer? share it on pinterest!

Work outfits for summer to keep you stylish and cool | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Nikki @midlifechic


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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