The Only Guide to Men’s Business Casual Summer Attire You Need

March 1, 2024

It’s pretty hard to feel motivated to dress well when it’s 90 degrees out. If you’re sweating just thinking about putting on your usual business casual outfits, this article is for you.

At Next Level Wardrobe, we help men build a wardrobe that they can wear year-round. We help them find those essential summer pieces that are as cool as they are professional.

Ready to upgrade your men’s summer business casual outfits? Scroll on for our top tips on surviving the hotter months in style. 

What Is Men’s Business Casual?

Ramit Sethi in Business Casual

NLW Client, Ramit Sethi

Men’s business casual strikes a balance between formal work attire and weekend casual wear. It’s not about wearing suits to the office daily or needing a jacket all the time. 

Just like your female colleagues might opt for slacks and blouses rather than pantsuits or dresses paired with heels.

Depending on where you work, you may even have “casual Fridays” where jeans make an appearance. 

However, if you are seeing coworkers in suits, you’re probably in a formal business attire environment. If you regularly see your peers in jeans, T-shirts, sneakers, or sandals, then your office has a casual dress code.

4 Essential Men’s Business Casual Summer Pieces

4 Essential Men’s Business Casual Summer Pieces

So what should a man in a business casual setting wear during the summer? Here are NLW’s four must-haves:

1. Short-Sleeve Polos.
The collar keeps this comfortable knit feeling more formal than a T-shirt.

2. Light-Colored Pants.
Lighter colors read as more casual and geared towards summer.

3. Lightweight Layers.
Breathable, lightweight layers add variety to your outfits and keep you comfortable if your office loves to crank up the AC.

4. Casual Summer Shoes.
Shoes are a subtle way to take an outfit from formal to casual or vice versa. White sneakers or loafers are a must for summer business casual.

What Colors To Wear for Summer Business Casual

Matthew Hussey in Men's Business Casual

NLW Client, Matthew Hussey

During winter, folks gravitate towards darker colors like black. But as soon as the weather warms up and the skies begin to clear and brighten, so does our wardrobe’s color palette. 

Summer is the time to embrace lighter colors and even experiment with fun accent hues. 

If you’re wondering what colors guys should wear during the summer, we vote on light shades of core colors (think beige, gray, cream, and baby blue). These tones keep your wardrobe looking classy and versatile. They go with everything, and they’ll never look too trendy or out of style.

Business Casual Summer Outfit Ideas for Men

2 Ways to Wear Polos for Men

You’ve got your summer business casual essentials nailed down and you know what colors to reach for. Now, it’s time to put it all together.

Here are four great business casual summer outfit ideas for men that’ll inspire you to up your fashion game.

1. The Daily Driver

Men's Business Casual Workday Go-To

Everyone needs that workday go-to that never lets them down. It should combine comfort and style with breathable fabrics and easy layers.

Our go-to for guys during the summer is a simple, soft Tee paired with chinos or other business casual pants. We recommend going for light colors to keep up with the warm weather color palette. Then, to keep this ensemble from feeling too casual, we recommend popping on a jacket.

We like a shirt or chore jacket like the olive-toned one above.

Lastly, tie the whole look together with a pair of brown shoes. For summer, brown shoes feel much more approachable and appropriate than black shoes. They don’t feel as serious or dressed up, which better fits the overall vibe of this outfit.

2. The Meeting Maverick

Men's Business Casual For Meetings

Need to dress up for an important event or meeting? Summer-ify your usual suit jacket and trousers.

Pick out a blazer made of natural fibers like cotton or linen. They’re more breathable and lightweight so you won’t feel like you’re burning up.

(Again, don’t forget your color palette. In the same way, brown shoes read as more casual and summer-friendly, as does a navy suit instead of a black suit.)

Then, pair that blazer with a matching pair of pants and a button-down. 

Tie the whole look together with a pair of sneakers. This power casual look is put together yet comfortable and relaxed.

3. The Interview Ensemble

Men's Business Casual For Interviews

An interview is THE opportunity to make the right first impression. Show that you’re serious about the potential position by wearing a blazer or suit jacket.

But instead of going for the predictable black blazer, go with a seasonal cream option. 

Want to stand out in your interviewer’s memory? Make your outfit a monochrome moment. 

Pop your blazer over a cream-colored, white, or beige polo. Add on matching pants. Then, show your style savvy by tucking in your polo and adding on a brown belt and matching loafers.

This look is all things sophisticated and cool without trying too hard.

4. The Traveler

Men's business casual outfit for traveling

Last but not least, most guys need a business casual summer outfit that can handle a commute.

If you’re going to be hopping on the subway or pounding the pavement, you need an action-ready work look. It’s got to keep you cool and sweat-free without looking like you’re wearing workout clothes.

For that, turn to trust tech fabrics. These synthetic blends have performance qualities like moisture-wicking and stretch. While these qualities used to be reserved for athletic wear, you can now find them in “workleisure” or “commuter” styles. 

Partner a tech trouser with a polo or T-shirt. Swap out your usual winter jacket or blazer for a breezy driving jacket and slip on a pair of low-profile trainers. 

Step Up Your Summer Business Casual Attire with NLW

Now you’re ready to be on the move and make moves at the same time.

No matter what season you’re in, Next Level Wardrobe can help you upgrade your style for good. Apply for our men’s styling services to work with our team of experts. We’ll clean out your closet, find your personal style, and simplify getting dressed in the morning.

About the Author - Cassandra Sethi
About the Author - Cassandra Sethi

Personal Stylist & Image Consultant

Cassandra Sethi is a Personal Stylist and Founder of Next Level Wardrobe, a luxury Personal Styling and Shopping Service that helps successful professionals of all ages and sizes. After working in the fashion industry for over 25 years, she used her expert knowledge to create a proprietary styling system called ‘The Next Level Wardrobe Style System' which guarantees clients more outfits with less items in their closet. NLW has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Tamron Hall Show, NY Mag, Huffington Post and more.

*Disclosure: Next Level Wardrobe only recommends products that we’d suggest to our clients or personally wear ourselves. All opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Next Level Wardrobe may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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Cassandra Sethi

is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. She is the Founder of Next Level Wardrobe and 'The NLW Style System' that guarantees clients more outfits with less items.

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