Summer Business Casual for Women: Our Top Picks and Style Tips


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Dressing for the office can become a complex task when the weather warms up. The juggling act between staying cool and maintaining professionalism can be tricky. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on summer business casual for women. You’ll be looking great and staying comfortable with the right summer work outfits.

What is Business Casual?

Before we dive into the intricacies of summer business casual attire, it’s important to lay the foundation with a definition of business casual. Many workplaces have adopted this dress code as a balance between formal and casual wear. Business casual typically means dressing professionally without wearing a full suit or formal business attire.

As we transition into the warmer months, business casual takes on a slightly different interpretation. Summer business casual is all about combining the professionalism of business casual with the comfort and lightness needed for summer temperatures.

The Evolution of Business Casual Women’s Attire in Summer

Women’s business casual summer outfits have evolved greatly over the years. In the past, business attire was rather restrictive. Today, however, the term business casual encompasses a wide variety of outfits and styles.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Business Casual for Women

When it comes to nailing the summer business casual look, there are some key principles to remember.

Key Principles to Follow

  • Choose Light Fabrics: Warm weather calls for light and breathable fabrics. Look for lightweight materials like cotton, linen, or silk to stay cool.
  • Utilize Bright and Light Colors: Lighter colors reflect sunlight, helping you keep cool during the day. Feel free to embrace the vibrancy of summer with bright colors as well.
  • Versatility is Key: Your summer work outfits should be versatile. A silk blouse or a belted dress can be perfect for a business meeting and then transition seamlessly to a happy hour event.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid Overly Casual Pieces: Even in summer, it’s crucial to maintain a sense of professionalism. So, flip-flops, tank tops, and distressed denim should be left for the weekend.
  • Too Much Skin: It’s important to remember the office environment. Pieces like short shorts or very low-cut tops may not be appropriate, even when it’s hot outside.

Summer Business Casual Outfits: Style Inspiration and Picks

Adding a few key pieces to your wardrobe allows you to build up a great selection of summer work outfits in no time! Below are ten of our favorites from Amazon.

FeaturesTop Pick: PRETTYGARDEN Women's Summer Wrap Maxi Dress CasualRunner Up: GAP Women's Easy PantBest Value: Tommy Hilfiger Women's Short Sleeve Flutter Tee
Material97% Polyester, 3% Spandex55% Linen, 45% Viscose100% Cotton
Available SizesXS - XXLMultiple sizes availableXS - XXL
Special Design FeatureHidden belted waist for a comfortable fitDrawstring closureFluttered sleeves
Wash InstructionsNot mentionedMachine WashableMachine Washable
Color OptionsVariety of colors and prints3 colors available4 color choices
Product LengthMaxiNot mentionedNot mentioned
BrandPRETTYGARDENGAPTommy Hilfiger
Purchase LocationAmazonAmazonAmazon
Ideal UseBusiness casual outfitBusiness casual outfitBusiness casual outfit

PRETTYGARDEN Women’s Summer Wrap Maxi Dress Casual

summer business casual

The flowy fit and comfortable material make this wrap dress perfect for a business casual outfit. This particular style of dress is flattering on every body type, and it comes in a variety of colors and prints.

Features:

  • 97% Polyester, 3% Spandex
  • Available in sizes XS-XXL
  • Hidden belted waist for a comfortable fit
  • Maxi length

PRETTYGARDEN Women’s Summer Wrap Maxi Dress Casual

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GAP Women’s Easy Pant

summer business casual

It’s right there in the name – the Easy pants by GAP are stylish, comfortable, and simple to pair with a white shirt, printed top, or nice t shirt for a put-together summer business casual outfit.

Features:

  • 55% Linen, 45% Viscose
  • Drawstring closure
  • Machine Washable
  • 3 colors available
  • Multiple sizes available

GAP Women’s Easy Pant

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Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Short Sleeve Flutter Tee

summer business casual for women

An elevated t-shirt is a great staple for summer work outfits. This one by Tommy Hilfiger features pretty fluttered sleeves and comes in 4 colors.

Features:

  • 100% Cotton
  • 4 color choices
  • Machine Washable
  • Sizes XS – XXL

Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Short Sleeve Flutter Tee

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Amazon Essentials Women’s Classic 5-Pocket Denim Skirt

summer business casual

This white denim skirt by Amazon Essentials can easily go from a professional setting to a happy hour with friends. It’s 5 pocket style and modest length will ensure you look your best, as will its universally flattering cut.

Features:

  • 79% Cotton, 18% Polyester, 3% Elastane
  • Wide range of sizes
  • 5 colors
  • Pull On closure
  • Machine Washable

Amazon Essentials Women’s Classic 5-Pocket Denim Skirt

Buy on Amazon

Calvin Klein Women’s Loose Fitted Blouse

 

summer business casual for women

The loose fit and flattering style of this blouse will have you reaching for it time and time again. Available in multiple colors, style this CK blouse with jeans, a skirt, or pants for a timeless look.

Features:

  • Body : 60% Polyester, 35% Reprocessed Polyester, 5% Spandex; Sleeve : 50% Polyester, 50% Reprocessed Polyester
  • Hand Wash Only
  • 9 colors available
  • Long sleeved, mixed media
  • Sizes XS-XL

Calvin Klein Women’s Loose Fitted Blouse

Buy on Amazon

ZESICA Women’s Summer Casual Flutter Sleeve Tiered Midi Dress

summer business casual

You may not think of dresses as “casual” or even comfortable, but this one fits the bill. Made from soft and flowy rayon, this Zesica dress will keep you cool and comfy, while looking like you spend hours getting ready. Featuring a ruched top and tiered skirt, this dress flatters all shapes and sizes and comes in a multitude of colors.

Features:

  • 100% Rayon
  • Machine washable, hang to dry
  • Sizes XS-XXL
  • Pull-on closure
  • 31 color choices

ZESICA Women’s Summer Casual Flutter Sleeve Tiered Midi Dress

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Lands’ End Women’s Supima Cotton Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

summer business casual

Lands’ End polos are famous for being well-made and durable. Their Supima cotton material has extra soft fibers that resist wrinkles and last longer than regular cotton tops. This polo comes in several colors and prints and has a flattering fit that’ll keep you comfortable while looking sharp.

Features:

  • Supima interlocking cotton
  • Machine washable
  • Multiple colors and patterns
  • Multiple sizes available, including petite

Lands’ End Women’s Supima Cotton Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

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Vince Women’s Band Collar Blouse

summer business casual for women

Summer work style often includes a silk blouse. Long-sleeved but lightweight, a silk blouse like this one by Vince can elevate any summer work outfit and can seamlessly transition to a fancier look simply by adding accessories and the right shoes.

Features:

  • 100% Silk
  • Pull On closure
  • Hand wash/ Line dry or dry clean
  • Band collar
  • Button-through front.
  • Agoya buttons.
  • 3 colors available
  • Sizes XXS-XL

Vince Women’s Band Collar Blouse

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Amazon Essentials Women’s Pull-On Knit Midi Skirt

summer business casual

This mid-length skirt is a perfect addition to your summer workwear. It would look great with a nice t-shirt, but it can also easily replace dress pants with a blouse and a blazer. Its universally flattering cut will make it a personal go-to piece.

Features:

  • 95% Rayon, 5% Spandex
  • Imported
  • Elastic waist
  • Machine Washable
  • Hits at mid-calf
  • Wide range of sizes and colors/patterns

Amazon Essentials Women’s Pull-On Knit Midi Skirt

Buy on Amazon

GRACE KARIN Women’s Casual High-Waisted Pencil Pants

business casual pants

These ankle pants by Grace Karin are office appropriate but can easily be dressed up with heels or a denim jacket and flats. An elastic waist ensures all-day comfort, and the breathable polyester fabric will keep you cool and wrinkle-free.

Features:

  • 95% Polyester, 5% Elastane
  • Pull On closure
  • Huge range of colors and sizes
  • Machine washable

GRACE KARIN Women’s Casual High Waisted Pencil Pants

Buy on Amazon

 

Styling Tips for Summer Business Casual Outfits

Mix and Match Ideas

Creating a business casual wardrobe doesn’t have to be a difficult task. A few essential pieces can be mixed and matched to create a plethora of looks.

  • Business Casual Pants: Pair some light linen pants with a printed top for an easy and comfortable office look.
  • Floral Dress: A knee-length floral dress can be a summer business staple. It’s easy to throw on and can be dressed up with heeled sandals or made more casual with flat sandals.
  • White Jeans: White jeans are a summer classic and when styled correctly, they can definitely fit into the business casual dress code. Pair them with a silk blouse or a lightweight blazer for a chic summer work outfit.

Accessorizing Your Outfits

The right accessories can elevate your business casual outfits. A light scarf can add an element of sophistication to your outfit while protecting you from aggressive office air conditioning. A structured handbag or a sleek pair of sunglasses can add that extra touch of elegance to your look.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is considered business casual for women in summer?

In summertime, business casual for women often consists of lightweight blouses, summer dresses, skirts, linen or khaki pants, and classy sandals. Always remember to keep the attire office-appropriate.

How to transition from traditional business casual to summer business casual?

Transitioning from traditional business casual to summer business casual is all about adjusting to the weather while maintaining a professional appearance. Switch out heavier materials for lighter ones, and incorporate brighter colors.

What materials are best suited for summer business casual outfits?

Light and breathable fabrics are best for summer business outfits. Linen, cotton, silk, and light rayon are great choices as they allow for air flow and are comfortable to wear in warmer weather.

Can summer business casual attire include dresses?

Absolutely! Dresses can make for perfect summer business attire. Choose options that are knee-length or longer, and consider materials like cotton or linen. A belted dress can add some structure and professionalism.

What are some universally acceptable colors for summer business casual?

While darker colors like navy, black, and grey are universally accepted, summer business casual attire can certainly include lighter and brighter colors. Pastels and other light colors are often suitable for the office during the summer.

Ensuring Comfort and Style in Your Summer Business Casual Wardrobe

Comfort and personal style are two keys to a successful summer business casual wardrobe. By following the guidelines and tips shared in this article, you can build your own capsule of business casual outfits that will make you feel confident and comfortable all summer long. Whether you’re dressing for a casual Friday, an important business meeting, or a date night after work, you’ll be well-equipped to do it in style.

Remember, the most important aspect of any outfit is how it makes you feel. If you feel confident and comfortable, it will show, and that’s the best outfit anyone can wear in any season.

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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.