10 Summer Business Casual Women’s Outfits To Recreate ASAP

May 31, 2024

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What does business casual for women actually look like during the summer?

As soon as the weather starts warming up, the clothes start shedding. But how do you walk the line between comfortable and cool, yet office-appropriate?

Working with light fabrics, smart layering, and fresh silhouettes is a great place to start for the perfect summer work outfit.

Here are 10 summer business casual outfits for women that’ll keep you looking polished all season long.

1. A Day-To-Night Dress

Product by Gabriela Hearst, shop here.

A business casual dress is a huge win for so many of our female clients. Why? Because they are what we call a “one and done” outfit.

No stressing about coordinating separates or building outfits out of multiple pieces. All you have to do is throw on one piece and you’re ready to go.

We especially love business casual dresses like this pink shift option from Gabriela Hearst for the summertime. 

For one thing, summer is the time to prioritize comfort and breathability. A dress in a flowy silhouette is much more ventilating than pants. 

For another, our calendars tend to be more packed with different events with different dress codes in the summer.

If you have a dress you can easily wear at the office, for dinner with friends, or on a weekend trip to the beach, your life becomes much simpler. 

Say goodbye to decision fatigue and stressful mornings.

2. A Blazer And Denim Duo

A pair of business casual jeans and a blazer is a year-round go-to. From winter to summer, denim and a blazer always look put together.

These two pieces suit business casual, power casual, and casual dress codes. 

So how do you make your choice of denim and blazers feel more tailored to the season?

One way is through your color palette.

NLW Founder, Cassandra

  • Color
    Try opting for lighter colors like a blazer in white or navy instead of black or brown. The same with your jeans, you can stick to a tried-and-true dark wash, but a well-made, pair of white denim screams summer.
  • Material
    Instead of a polyester or thick wool blazer, go for linen or cotton. These fabrics are much lighter and more breathable. 

3. Game, Sets, Match

NLW Founder, Cassandra sporting her matching set that she bought in Japan.

Want to maintain a capsule summer wardrobe that still feels updated and modern without feeling too “trendy”? 

Cordinating tops and bottoms are super easy to outfit, and can be worn for any dress code.

The idea here is to find separates (or pre-coordinated sets) in the same color and complementary style. 

That way, you have a pair of business casual pants and shirts for the summer that you know go together.

Like the other outfits that we love on this list, matching separates go with any dress code, including events outside of work.

Coordinate tops and bottoms, super easy to outfit, and wear for any dress code. Just switch up your accessories, hair, and/or makeup to transition from casual to formal and vice versa. 

4. Job-Ready Jumpsuits

Product by Rivet Utility + Net Sustain, shop here.

Love the idea of a one-and-done women’s business casual outfit for summer but want to try something besides dresses? Jumpsuits are worth jumping into.

They give you the comfort and silhouette of pants with the no-brainer feel of a dress.

Jumpsuits also have a way of feeling modern, cool, and effortless. If you’ve been searching for a way to bring that vibe to your wardrobe, try something like this utility-style jumpsuit pictured above.

You can lean into the casual feel by wearing your hair down or adding open-toed shoes. Or, make this piece business-friendly with a heel and a low bun.

And yes, we know what some of you are thinking. “Jumpsuits are cute, but they’re such a hassle to take on and off in the restroom” 

We hear this from clients all the time. But remember: no one is going to see that. All they’ll see is you looking effortlessly sophisticated in your new jumpsuit afterward.

5. Embrace The Bold

Product by Tolu Coker, shop here.

One of the best things about women’s business casual dressing in the summer is the room for experimentation and fun.

Summer is your opportunity to incorporate bright or bold colors and patterns into your daily looks.

You can wear an electrifying monochromatic look like the cobalt tunic top and pant ensemble above.

Or add a temperature-raising splash of color like these red pants. 

The key to wearing accent pieces like these and still looking stylish and timeless? Make sure you have great basics to tie your look together.

When we work with clients, we introduce them to our NLW Style System

That way, they have a closet full of versatile, high-quality, well-fitting pieces that they can wear with all core (or neutral) colors, as well as with pops of color and print.

6. The New Power Pantsuits 

Product by Zimmermann, shop here.

We mentioned this briefly earlier, but we cannot overstate the importance of summer fabrics when it comes to summer workwear.

That’s why we see a linen pantsuit as a must for any professional woman.

Something like this bone-colored option from Zimmermann is lightweight, airy, breathable, and versatile.

The color is easy to mix and match with a business casual shirt in just about any color. And, it’ll keep you much cooler than your usual all-black suiting options.

Worried about wrinkles? Don’t sweat it. Part of the beauty of linen is its texture. But if you want to avoid extra lines and folds, opt for a linen-synthetic blend instead.

(We recommend this to anyone who travels a lot and needs easy-to-pack clothing as well.)

7. A Daily Driver Dress

Product by Gabriela Hearst, shop here.

There’s not just one kind of business casual dress for summer.

Whether your office has a casual dress code or you’re looking for something sophisticated yet comfy for the weekends, a carefree frock is a must.

Something like this belted a-line from Gabriela Hearst is a prime example.

It’s made out of a light, summer fiber that reads as more casual than the first dress we recommended.

But, the cut is conservative enough to fit in at most workplaces. 

Dresses like these can be worn with sandals and beachy totes, or with ballet flats and cardigans. (Remember, layers and the right summer shoes can completely transform a look.)

8. A Summer-Worthy Skirts

Product by Max Mara, shop here.

As much as we love business casual pants during the summer, skirts are having a moment.

Much like dresses, the flowy, breathable silhouette is perfect for hot or humid weather.

We personally love styles like this bias-cut midi from Max Mara. Going for a style at the knee or lower looks professional without sacrificing comfort.

We also love the silky-satin natural fabric choice. The texture adds visual interest to your outfit while also feeling cool against skin.

If you’re new to wearing skirts, start out with a simple style in a neutral color like white or black. That way, it’ll be easier to mix and match with the rest of your wardrobe.

9. Golden Hour Touches

Product by Ralph Lauren, shop here.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new “power move” is wearing sequined metallic pieces with traditional workwear.

Instead of blending in, women are opting to shine this summer with sparkling blazers, skirts, trousers, and more. And since summer fashion tends to be more playful anyway, this is the perfect time to try out this trend.

If you’ve been looking to stand out and show off your personality at the office, “Sparkle Fridays” might be for you.

Product by Aeyde, shop here.

So how do you nail this craze without looking like a disco ball?

By pairing your accent metallic or sequined pieces back to core colors and basics. Doing this creates balance and saves your ensemble from being overpowering.

Try styling a blazer over a shimmering tank like the Ralph Lauren style above and white trousers. Or if you’re not ready to go that big, dip your toes into the metallic waters with silver or gold flats.

10. Bright and White Outfits

An all-white ensemble feels fresh and put together and makes for a great summer business casual outfit for women. It’s sophisticated and classic while having a strong point of view. And (as we mentioned earlier) white will keep you much cooler than dark wintery hues.

The best casual summer work outfits require little to no thinking for styling an outfit. Go for rigid denim with a straight or slightly flared leg — no see-through white pants here!

Pair with a lightweight poplin or linen white shirt and neutral accessories.

This look can take you straight from the office to happy hour with friends. An all-white look looks chic on any body type or shape.

Your next step– Take the ‘Find Your Style Quiz’

Now that you have some good product recommendations for summer- do you actually need to buy them?

Your next step is to figure out your style and take our find your style quiz. In just 5 simple questions, you’ll figure out what your style direction is, what items to invest in and you’ll even get a clear step-by step roadmap for how to bring it to life.

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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