Summer Business Casual For Men: Style Tips and Top Picks


summer business casual for men

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As the temperature rises, so does the challenge of dressing appropriately for the office. The allure of the “summer business casual” style is obvious: it balances the need for professionalism with the comfort essential in warm weather. Let’s get into the business casual world and learn how to craft the perfect summer wardrobe!

Understanding Summer Business Casual

Defining Business Casual for Men

“Business casual” is often thrown around, but what does it mean? Business casual is a dress code that falls between formal business and casual wear. It’s a step down from wearing a full suit, but it’s certainly a notch above your favorite t-shirt and shorts combo.

Regarding “men’s summer business casual,” we’re looking at the same business casual dress code but with an added layer of complexity: hot weather. So, the challenge is to maintain a professional appearance without sacrificing comfort.

Key Elements of Men’s Summer Business Casual

Summer business casual attire consists of 3 main elements: fabric selection, color palette, and accessories:

  • Fabric: In the heat, breathability is key. Linen wrinkles easily, but it’s light and allows for good air circulation. Cotton, particularly seersucker, is another good choice. You could also opt for fabrics with moisture-wicking properties.
  • Color and Pattern: Stick to lighter colors that reflect heat better. Classic styles like light blue or pastel colors are always a good choice. Patterns like stripes or checks can add a bit of flair.
  • Accessories: These can complete a business casual outfit. Think woven belt, classic wristwatch, and lightweight jacket or blazer.

Essential Items for Men’s Summer Business Casual

Your summer business casual wardrobe should be versatile and easy to mix and match. Here are some essentials:

Polo Shirt: A well-fitted polo or golf shirt in a solid color is a summer staple. It’s more formal than a T-shirt but cooler than a long-sleeved button-down shirt.

Dress Pants or Chinos: Dark wash jeans are perfectly acceptable as business casual wear, but chinos are a better choice for the hotter months. They’re lighter and more breathable. Go for colors like khaki, navy, or grey.

Dress Shoes or Loafers: Boat shoes or loafers in brown or black can keep your feet cool while maintaining a professional image. Remember to wear socks that match the color of your shoes.

Button-Down Shirt: A long-sleeved button-down shirt is ideal on cooler days or for more formal events. Oxford shirts are a classic choice. Keep the sleeves rolled up for a more casual look.

Blazers or Sport Coats: An unstructured blazer or sport coat in a lightweight fabric like cotton or linen can be perfect when you need to dress up a bit. Stick to neutral or pastel colors.

Summer Business Casual: Our Top Picks from Amazon

Top Pick: Under Armour Men's Tech Golf PoloRunner Up: Haggar Men's Premium No Iron Classic Fit Khaki PantsBest Value: Amazon Essentials Men's Regular-Fit Quick-Dry Golf Shirt
Material100% polyester fabric61% cotton, 37% polyester, 2% spandex100% polyester
Advanced Fabric TechYes, efficient sweat wicking and rapid dryingNoYes, quick-dry fabric
DesignThree-button placket with a self-fabric collar, loose cut for freedom of movementFlat front design, off-seam front pockets, single welt back pocketsClassic cut, convenient button closure
Unique Features-No-iron nature, hidden expandable waistbandUPF 50 sun protection
Care InstructionsMachine washMachine washMachine wash
Size and Color OptionsStandard and tall sizes, various color optionsRegular and big & tall sizes, various color options including Dark Navy, Dark Gray, TobaccoWide range of colors and sizes

Under Armour Men’s Tech Golf Polo

summer business casual for men

 

Top Pick: Under Armour introduces its versatile Tech Golf Polo for men, a perfect combination of comfort, function, and style for your business casual summer wardrobe. This Polo is designed in the USA and comes in a lively assortment of color combinations that suit various styles.

Key Features:

  • Material: Constructed from 100% polyester fabric, it offers lightweight breathability for maximum comfort during those hot summer days.
  • Advanced Fabric Tech: Its unique texture feels soft to the touch and efficiently wicks away sweat and dries rapidly, keeping you cool and fresh.
  • Design: A sleek three-button placket with a self-fabric collar adds a touch of class, while the loose cut ensures ample freedom of movement for all-day comfort.
  • Care Instructions: Easy maintenance with machine wash compatibility.
  • Sizes: Available in both standard and tall sizes

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Haggar Men’s Premium No Iron Classic Fit Khaki Pants

summer business casual for men

Runner Up: Haggar’s Premium No Iron Khaki Pants redefine comfort and convenience, making them a summer wardrobe must-have. These classic fit pants, available in both regular and big & tall sizes, offer a blend of style, practicality, and a tailored fit perfect for the summer. You can wear these to the office or dinner, and you’ll always look great and put together.

Key Features:

  • Material: The pants are made from 61% cotton, 37% polyester, and 2% spandex. This composition ensures comfort, durability, and a hint of stretch for excellent mobility.
  • No Iron Needed: The standout feature of these pants is their no-iron nature. Wear them straight from the dryer without worrying about creases.
  • Hidden Expandable Waistband: With an expandable waistband that stretches up to 3″, these pants adapt to ensure all-day comfort and flexibility.
  • Classic Design: The pants have a flat front design with off-seam front pockets and single-welt back pockets, offering a timeless and sophisticated look.
  • Care Instructions: The pants can be machine washed for easy maintenance.
  • Color Variety: Available in a range of colors, including Dark Navy, Dark Gray, Tobacco, and more.

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Amazon Essentials Men’s Regular-Fit Quick-Dry Golf Shirt

business casual for men

Best Value: The Amazon Essentials Men’s Regular-Fit Quick-Dry Golf Shirt is a versatile wardrobe staple that prioritizes both comfort and style. Made from 100% polyester, this shirt is ideal for a variety of settings, from the golf course to a casual business meeting.

Key Features:

  • Material: The durable polyester fabric ensures a lightweight feel, which is key for summer comfort.
  • Quick-Dry Performance: The fabric is engineered to dry quickly, wicking away moisture to keep you dry throughout the day.
  • Sun Protection: The material also offers UPF 50 sun protection, providing an added layer of defense against harmful UV rays.
  • Design: This regular-fit polo features a classic cut and a convenient button closure, making it a reliable choice for any casual occasion.
  • Variety: This shirt is available in a wide spectrum of colors and sizes
  • Care: The shirt is machine-washable for easy care.

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Nautica Men’s Classic Fit Short Sleeve Dual Tipped Collar Polo Shirt

summer business casual for men

With its distinct design and high-quality fabric, the Nautica Men’s Classic Fit Polo Shirt provides a blend of comfort and style that’s perfect for summer wear.

Key Features:

  • Material: Crafted from 100% cotton, ensuring breathability and softness that promise ultimate comfort.
  • Design: The stand collar with a 3-button placket closure adds a refined touch to your look, while the dual-tipped collar design sets it apart from regular polo shirts.
  • Details: The shirt also features a ribbed collar and cuffs, along with a hem with slits for improved fit and ease of movement.
  • Care: For hassle-free maintenance, this polo shirt is machine washable.
  • Variety: Comes in a variety of colors and sizes

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Amazon Essentials Men’s Slim-Fit Flat-Front Chino Pant

summer business casual for men

Incorporating style, comfort, and practicality, the Amazon Essentials Men’s Slim-Fit Chino Pants are an ideal addition to your summer business casual wardrobe. Available in several stylish colors, these pants are perfect for business casual summer outfits, lending a polished finish to your look.

Key Features:

  • Material: Crafted from a blend of 60% cotton and 40% polyester, these pants are both comfortable and durable.
  • Design: They feature a flat-front design and button-through back welt pockets for a tailored look.
  • Wrinkle-Resistant: The wrinkle-resistant fabric keeps you looking sharp throughout the day, eliminating the need for ironing.
  • Slim Fit: The slim-fit cut of these chinos provides a modern and flattering silhouette.
  • Practical Details: The pants include a zipper closure and side pockets for convenience and functionality.
  • Care Instructions: These chinos can be easily cared for with a simple machine wash.
  • Color Variety: They’re available in a wide spectrum of colors, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your style.

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Dockers Men’s Classic Fit Easy Khaki Pants

summer business casual for men

Upgrade your summer business casual wear with the Dockers Men’s Classic Fit Easy Khaki Pants. Perfect for regular and big & tall sizes, these pants balance style, comfort, and ease of movement.

Key Features:

  • Material: Made of 64% cotton, 34% polyester, and 2% elastane, these pants ensure a soft touch, durability, and a slight stretch for enhanced comfort.
  • Design: They feature a relaxed fit through the seat and thigh, sit comfortably at the waist, and have a straight leg cut for a timeless, classic look.
  • Stretch for Performance: The material includes elastane for added stretch, improving mobility and ensuring the pants maintain their shape.
  • Convenient Features: The pants offer side hand pockets and button-through welt pockets at the back for practicality. The zip fly with a button closure ensures a secure fit.
  • Easy Care: These pants are machine washable and easy to maintain.
  • Color Variety: The pants, including Cloud and Dockers Navy, come in various colors, allowing you to pick your perfect match.

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vineyard vines Men’s Gingham Stretch Poplin Shirt

summer business casual for men

The Vineyard Vines Men’s Gingham Stretch Poplin Shirt is an ideal choice for your business casual summer attire with its flexible fit and appealing design.

Key Features:

  • Material: This shirt is crafted from 98% cotton and 2% spandex, providing a comfortable feel with the added benefit of a little stretch.
  • Design: It features a classic gingham pattern, which adds a timeless touch to your ensemble. Trimmed sleeves lend a clean look to this shirt.
  • Fit: The shirt has a slim fit through the chest, offering a tailored and flattering silhouette.
  • Versatility: You can wear this shirt untucked or tucked, giving you the flexibility to style it according to your preference.
  • Comfort: The addition of spandex in the material composition allows for comfortable movement and a great fit.
  • Care Instructions: This shirt is machine washable
  • Size and Color: It’s available in sizes XS-XL and several colors

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Carhartt Men’s Midweight Short-Sleeve Plaid Shirt

summer business casual for men

Carhartt’s Loose Fit Midweight Short-Sleeve Plaid Shirt combines functionality and style, making it a solid choice for your summer wardrobe.

Key Features:

  • Material: This shirt is made entirely from cotton ringspun chambray, ensuring both durability and comfort.
  • Design: The shirt features a button-down collar, shoulder pleats, and two chest pockets with mitered flaps and button closures. These design elements add functionality while maintaining a clean aesthetic.
  • Garment-Washed: The shirt has been garment-washed, resulting in a soft finish and reduced shrinkage, adding to the longevity of the product.
  • Comfort: The loose fit ensures ample comfort and ease of movement, perfect for summer wear.
  • Care Instructions: You can machine wash this shirt, making it simple to care for and maintain.
  • Size and Color: Available in several size and color options.

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Columbia Men’s Under Exposure Yarn Dye Short Sleeve Shirt

summer business casual

The Columbia Men’s Under Exposure Yarn Dye Short Sleeve Shirt blends comfort and style, becoming a go-to piece in your summer business casual collection.

Key Features:

  • Material: This shirt is 100% cotton, offering a natural and comfortable wear that gets better with age.
  • Design: Featuring a classic button-down style, this shirt is perfect for any casual business event.
  • Aesthetic: The shirt showcases contemporary plaid patterns and colors, ensuring you stay in style.
  • Comfort: The soft and durable fabric ensures the shirt only gets more comfortable with each wear.
  • Care Instructions: Easy to maintain, this shirt can be machine washed.
  • Size and Color: This shirt is available in various sizes and color options

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PJ Paul Jones Men’s Slim Fit Lightweight Linen Blazer

summer business casual for men
This summer, show off your sense of style with the PJ Paul Jones Men’s Slim Fit Lightweight Linen Jacket. Tailored to perfection, this sport coat serves as a staple piece for any business casual outfit.

Key Features:

  • Material: The jacket is composed of 70% Rayon and 30% Linen, ensuring a lightweight and breathable fit for all seasons.
  • Design: It features a classic two-button closure, a notch lapel collar, and long sleeves.
  • Pockets: The blazer comes equipped with two open patch pockets, one chest pocket, and one inner chest pocket.
  • Versatility: The linen blazer can be paired with either a T-shirt or dress shirt underneath and worn with chinos or jeans for a casual or dressy look.
  • Color Options: Available in various colors
  • Care Instructions: Dry clean

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Sperry Men’s Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe

summer business casual for men

Boat shoes are summer staples, and Sperry makes some of the best. Their original boat shoe blends traditional craftsmanship with modern comfort, perfect for a business casual dress code.

Key Features:

  • Material: The shoe is made of leather and textile, promising durability and long-lasting wear.
  • Sole: It features a synthetic sole that ensures grip and traction on various surfaces.
  • Design: This authentic original boat shoe includes a moccasin-stitched toe, rust-resistant eyelets, and a slotted collar. The heel measures approximately 0.75″.
  • Construction: The shoe is made with genuine hand-sewn Tru-Moc construction, designed for durable comfort.
  • Color Options: The shoe is available in a classic Sahara color.
  • Fit: Based on customer data, a size 9 should offer a perfect fit.
  • Care Instructions: Given its leather material, cleaning these shoes with a suitable leather cleaner or conditioner is best.

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Hey Dude Men’s Wally Braided Loafers

summer business casual for men

Hey Dude shoes are everywhere lately, and with good reason. These loafers are comfortable and fashionable, with enough available colors and patterns to suit every taste! They can go from the office to the park, almost anywhere between.

Key Features:

  • Material: The shoe features a breathable cotton fabric that ensures comfort and prevents sweating and odors.
  • Sole: It comes with a rubber sole designed for flexibility and stability.
  • Design: The shoe features a rounded toe design and elastic laces, allowing for a better fit and providing complete freedom of movement.
  • Weight: Each shoe weighs just 6 ounces or less, making them one of the lightest pairs of shoes around.
  • Comfort: The shoe is designed with a removable memory foam cushioned insole that provides maximum comfort and reduces sweating and odors.
  • Maintenance: These shoes are machine washable (cold), making them easy to clean and maintain.
  • Color Options: These loafers come in various colors

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Styling Tips for Summer Business Casual Outfits

Creating the perfect summer business outfit involves balancing formality with comfort. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Layer Lightly: Keep the underlying layers light if you’re wearing a blazer or sport coat. A cotton button-down shirt or polo shirt should suffice.
  • Play with Colors and Patterns: Summer is a great time to experiment. Try pairing a pastel shirt with darker dress slacks or chinos. Stripes, checks, or even subtle floral patterns can add an element of fun.
  • Mind the Details: Pay attention to the little things – wear a brown belt with brown shoes, or pair a blue shirt with a blue blazer. These small details can elevate your business casual look.

Dressing for Success: Real-Life Examples of Summer Business Casual

To illustrate how these elements come together, let’s look at two successful businessmen known for their summer business casual style.

First, think about Mark Zuckerberg, the king of casual Fridays. He’s known for his signature jeans and t-shirt combo, but when he dresses up, he often opts for a classic polo shirt and dark wash jeans paired with casual shoes.

Next, consider Richard Branson. He favors light, breathable fabrics in his shirts and often pairs them with straight-fit chinos. He’s rarely seen without his trademark loafer shoes, showing that a business casual look can still carry a sense of authority.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the difference between business casual and smart casual in summer?

Smart casual is slightly more formal than business casual. For instance, smart casual might require a blazer, while business casual might allow for a polo shirt without a jacket.

Can you wear shorts in a business casual environment during summer?

This depends on your office dress code. While shorts aren’t typically considered business casual wear, some offices with more relaxed dress codes might allow it.

How to choose the right footwear for a summer business casual look?

Choose lightweight, breathable shoes like loafers or boat shoes. They should be clean and in good condition. Flip flops and sandals are usually not suitable for a business casual dress code.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when dressing business casual in summer?

Common mistakes include wearing clothes that are too casual (like Hawaiian shirts or shorts), choosing heavy fabrics, or forgetting about dress codes in favor of comfort. Remember, even if it’s Casual Friday, you still need to look professional.

Is it appropriate to wear a tie with a business casual outfit in summer?

In most business casual dress codes, a tie is not required. However, a lightweight, knit tie can add a formal touch to your outfit if necessary.

Making Summer Business Casual Work for You

Embracing the business casual style offers benefits beyond staying cool in summer. It provides an opportunity to show some personality while maintaining professionalism. Don’t be afraid to add personal touches like a favorite watch or a unique pair of shoes.

Remember, the business casual dress code’s goal is to ensure all office workers are on the same page regarding work attire. So, while there’s room for individuality, don’t stray too far on the casual side. Always remember that you’re dressing for work, not a backyard barbecue.

Takeaways: Stylishly Navigating the Summer in Business Casual

This guide to business casual for men in summer should equip you with all you need to know to maintain a professional and comfortable look in the warmer months. Whether it’s choosing the right fabric or color, picking out the perfect polo shirt or dress pants, or navigating the ins and outs of casual Fridays, you are now ready to face the summer in style!

Remember, the heat of the season doesn’t have to compromise your business casual style. Instead, it can enhance it, opening up a world of options that perfectly balance comfort and professionalism. Now, go out there and conquer the summer, one business casual outfit at a time!

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Small Business Editor Liane Lonergan is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and a member of the team for 2 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications and is a former English teacher. She has written news articles and essays throughout her collegiate and professional careers.