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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Vince Slim Silk Blouse – BOSS Banora Abstract Floral Silk Blouse – Karen Millen Viscose Crepe Chain Cowl Neck Woven Top – COS 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.
VICI Collection Linen Blend Blazer – J.Crew Going-Out Stretch Twill Blazer – Karen Millen Premium Satin Stripe Belted Db Jacket – Karen Millen Ponte Zip Through Collared Jersey Jacket
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.
Ted Baker London Kelsyat Wide Leg Trousers – Karen Millen Cotton Sateen Wide Leg Shorts – Karen Millen Graphic Contour Bandage Knit Pencil Skirt – Karen 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.
Karen Kane Cascade Faux Wrap Dress – St. John Collection Abstract Geo Print Silk Dress – Karen Millen Color Blocked Zip Detail Ponte Midi Dress – Karen Millen Soft Tailored Flannel Halter Shirt Dress
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 Flat – Sam Edelman Wanda Pointed Toe Flat – Clarks Linvale Jerica Pump – Steve 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.
BOSTANTEN Leather Laptop Tote – COACH – COACH Tabby Soft Leather Shoulder Bag – Deepa Gurnani Meadow Bib Necklace – AllSaints Astraeus Square Silk Scarf – Tory Burch Kira Stackable Huggie Hoop Earrings – Karine 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.
shop the work outfits for summer below:
- Classy business outfits – a complete work capsule wardrobe for the professional woman over 40
- The Best Laptop Bags For Women To Stylishly Carry All Your Work Essentials
- 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!
Feature image by Nikki @midlifechic
Want to get more articles from 40+style in your inbox, subscribe here.
You can also connect with 40+style on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
Support 40+style by using the links in our articles to shop. As an associate for Amazon and many other brands, we receive a small commission (at no cost to you) on qualifying purchases which enables us to keep creating amazing free content for you. Thanks!
Oh nice, that you have included me with this work outfit. The funny thing is that I am retired haha. But I still have dressy clothes and I love to wear them, work or no work.
Many of the outfits you were would be very good for work too!
I’m lucky that I’ve always worked in offices where you can express yourself in clothes, very few rules. Suits casual, arty, smart, glamorous – all styles.
hi there, thanks for the lovely article on work clothes and some gorgeous shoes. I have really sore feet with bunions and neuromas which means I can’t wear anything tight or too hard on the sole. I’ve tried a few different brands of what i call “granny shoes” but they don’t always suit and they are expensive.
I would love if you did a similar article and included more “sensible”, confortable ‘granny shoes” or alternatives that I may not know about – I’m in Australia
Good suggestion. We do have articles where we talk about comfortable shoes also. There is one on arch supports shoes https://40plusstyle.com/arch-support-shoes/ and one for shoes to wear if you have bunions, https://40plusstyle.com/the-best-shoes-to-wear-when-you-have-bunions/.