Susan Miller

·Master of Fine Arts in Jewelry Design, Pratt Institute, 2012

·Bachelor of Arts in Gemology, University of California, Los Angeles, May 2005

·Editor-in-Chief, White Victoria (2018 - present)

·Write and research feature articles and profiles for print and online publication

·Contributing Writer, Modern Jeweler and Ornament

·Write and publish freelance articles for IGS and WSJ Magazine

·Jewelry Appraiser (2012 - 2020)

Welcome to the summer season – a time of sunshine, beaches, and heat that makes it difficult to dress professionally. As the mercury rises, so do the challenges of dressing professionally while staying cool and comfortable.

Business Attire for Women

Whether getting ready for an important job interview, working in a professional office environment, or attending an industry event with colleagues and clients, nothing is more essential for making the right impression than your appearance. 

As a fashion stylist, I know that professional business attire for women in the summer should be a harmonious blend of sophistication and comfort. It’s about making smart choices, such as opting for lightweight fabrics, clever layering, and staying true to your style, all while respecting the dress code and expectations of your workplace. 

Business Attire for Women

The importance of dressing professionally in the workplace cannot be overstated. Your attire reflects your personal brand and communicates your level of dedication, competence, and professionalism to your colleagues, superiors, and clients. 

So how do you create stylish yet appropriate business attire combinations suitable for summer conditions? 

In this guide, I’ll provide tips on fashion do’s and don’ts, including ideas on lightweight fabrics to keep you cool and chic accessories to finish your look.

Fabric Choices for Professional Business Attire in the Summer

Business Attire for Women

To remain fashionable yet professional in the summer months, it is critical to choose fabrics wisely. During hot days, favor materials that provide breathability and comfort while maintaining their structure for long-lasting wear.

Let’s delve into the world of summer fabrics and learn how to make smart choices for your professional business wardrobe.

Popular Summer Fabrics for Business Attire

Business Attire for Women

Summer is the optimal time to switch up your winter style and upgrade your business attire. However, it’s possible to remain cool while still looking professional with fabrics that are suited for warmer temperatures - here are a few of this summer’s most popular options:


Business Attire for Women

In warm weather, cotton’s airy and lightweight fabric is perfect for comfort. Its versatility gives you endless options for any look - from blouses to cover-ups or dressy ensembles. Plus, it’s simple maintenance as it won’t wrinkle quickly!


Business Attire for Women

Linen is a fantastic option for summer work clothes due to its lightweight, unique texture and look. It’s ideal for creating chic outfits with multiple layers that remain professional while keeping you cool. What more could you ask of your wardrobe this season?


Business Attire for Women

For the ultimate luxury, nothing beats silk. This exquisite fabric adds an air of sophistication to any ensemble. It is lightweight enough for hot summer days in the office. Its soft feel and wrinkle-resistant qualities make it comfortable all day without much care. Silk truly elevates your look!


Business Attire for Women

Polyester is a synthetic fabric that offers many benefits for summer work attire. It’s lightweight, durable, wrinkle-resistant, and easy to care for - all important qualities when choosing to clothe for the office in hot weather! Plus, polyester comes in many colors and patterns, so you can find something that matches your style.

What Else Should Be Considered?

Business Attire for Women

When shopping for summer staples, comfort and functionality should be your primary focus. Lightweight, airy, absorbent materials will keep you feeling comfortable and composed all day. 

These fabrics wick away moisture from your skin, enabling you to retain a polished look even in the sweltering heat!

Still, when considering the breathability, durability, and comfort of fabrics for your summer business attire, weighing the pros and cons of each material is essential. 

Natural fibers like cotton and linen may offer superior breathability, but they might wrinkle more easily than synthetic blends. 

Ultimately, the perfect fabric choice will depend on your personal preferences, comfort requirements, and the specific demands of your workplace.

Dresses for Professional Business Attire in the Summer

Business Attire for Women

Business professional dresses are a category of clothing that women can wear in formal or semi-formal workplace settings. These dresses adhere to high professionalism and sophistication while maintaining a polished and stylish appearance. 

Such dresses should fall at or just below the knee, have boat neck, crew neck, or modest V-necklines, be made from appropriate fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, or a blend of materials, and be in solid, neutral or muted colors. 

So, let’s discuss styles of dresses appropriate for the workplace in the summer!

Styles of Dresses Appropriate for the Workplace in the Summer

Business Attire for Women

Finding the ideal outfit for work during the summer months can be a tricky business. It requires an equilibrium between style, comfort, and professionalism to ensure you look your best without compromising these three elements. 

To assist in this search, here are some amazing dress styles that will ensure you look both chic and appropriate for the workplace:

  • Sheath dress: A classic sheath dress is a timeless and versatile option for the workplace. It features a fitted silhouette that skims the body and falls at or just below the knee. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics and subtle colors or patterns for a summer-appropriate look.
  • A-line dress: An A-line dress is another workplace staple, with its fitted bodice and gently flared skirt. This style is flattering on most body types and can be found in various summer-friendly fabrics and colors.
  • Wrap dress: The wrap dress is a stylish and comfortable choice for summer workwear. Its flattering V-neckline and adjustable waist tie create a tailored yet feminine look. Choose a knee-length wrap dress in a lightweight fabric to stay cool and professional in the summer heat.
Business Attire for Women
  • Shirt dress: A shirt dress combines a button-up shirt’s structure with a dress’s comfort. It typically features a collar, buttons down the front, and a belted waist. Look for shirt dresses in breathable fabrics like cotton or linen, and opt for solid colors or subtle patterns.
  • Midi dress: Midi dresses, with their hemlines falling between the knee and mid-calf, are a trendy and workplace-appropriate option. Choose a midi dress with a modest neckline and sleeves in lightweight fabrics and neutral colors for a professional summer look.
  • Fit-and-flare dress: This style is fitted at the waist and flares out in a full, A-line skirt. The fit-and-flare dress is flattering and feminine while maintaining a professional appearance. Opt for knee-length styles in breathable fabrics and muted colors.

Accessories to Enhance Your Dress Look 

Business Attire for Women

If you want to add some personal touch to your summer workwear, accessories are a perfect way. Here are some accessories to enhance your workplace dress look during the warmer months:


Opt for understated and elegant jewelry that complements your outfit without being overly flashy. Classic pieces like pearl stud earrings, delicate necklaces, and thin bracelets are ideal. 


A well-chosen belt accentuates your waist and adds a polished touch to your outfit. Look for slim, neutral-colored belts that coordinate with your dress, or choose a belt with a subtle pattern to add visual interest.


Business Attire for Women

Lightweight scarves can be a versatile addition to your summer wardrobe. They can be draped over your shoulders or tied around your neck for added style and professionalism. Choose scarves in neutral colors, soft pastels, or subtle patterns to complement your attire.


A structured handbag or tote in a neutral color is a practical and stylish choice for the workplace. Instead, opt for a medium-sized bag that can hold all your essentials without looking too bulky or casual.


Comfortable and professional footwear is essential for the summer months. Look for closed-toe pumps or flats in neutral colors like black, navy, or nude. 

If your workplace allows open-toed shoes, consider peep-toe pumps or heeled sandals, ensuring they maintain a polished appearance.

Skirts and Blouses for Professional Business Attire in the Summer

Business Attire for Women

Regarding professional business attire in the summer, skirts and blouses are classic choices. Here is a detailed look at the appropriate skirts and blouses for the workplace.


Business Attire for Women

With these chic skirt styles, maintain a polished, work-ready ensemble even when the summer heat is high! Perfect for keeping you cool and stylish all season long, here are some of our favorite skirts to flaunt in the office:

Pencil skirt

Business Attire for Women

A pencil skirt is a classic and versatile option for workplace attire. It features a fitted silhouette that skims the body and falls at or just below the knee. 

Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or a blend. Choose solid, neutral colors or subtle patterns for a summer-appropriate look. 

A-Line skirt

Business Attire for Women

The A-line skirt is another workplace staple, featuring a fitted waist and a gently flared silhouette that complements most body types. 

Look for knee-length A-line skirts in summer-friendly fabrics like cotton, linen, or rayon, and opt for neutral colors or soft pastels to maintain a professional appearance.

Midi Skirt

Business Attire for Women

Midi skirts, with their hemlines falling between the knee and mid-calf, are a stylish and workplace-appropriate option for summer. 

Choose a midi skirt with a modest and professional silhouette, such as a straight or slightly flared cut, in lightweight fabrics and understated colors or patterns.

Pleated skirt

Business Attire for Women

A pleated skirt can add a touch of femininity and elegance to your summer work wardrobe. Opt for knee-length or midi pleated skirts in lightweight, breathable fabrics like chiffon, georgette, or cotton blends. 

Stick to solid colors or subtle patterns. Pair the skirt with a simple blouse or button-up shirt for a balanced and professional look.


Business Attire for Women

Blouses are an essential part of any summer work wardrobe. Here are some great blouse styles to consider for a professional look:

  • Lightweight button-up shirts are ideal for creating a polished and classic look. Look for cotton or linen in neutral colors like white, beige, or pastels.
  • A ruffled blouse is perfect for achieving a subtle feminine flair while looking office-appropriate. Choose lightweight fabrics like chiffon in solid colors or with subtle prints.
  • A tie-neck blouse will add a hint of sophistication to any outfit. Look for lighter materials such as silk, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different bold prints or bright colors to add a touch of personality.
  • Cropped tops can be dressed up if you pair them with the right pieces. Look for lightweight materials such as cotton, and avoid tight-fitting pieces that may appear too casual.

No matter what style you choose, make sure it’s comfortable to stay cool throughout the day without compromising professionalism!

Shoes and Accessories for Professional Business Attire in the Summer

Business Attire for Women

Summer is the perfect time to update your professional business wardrobe with stylish shoes and accessories. Choosing the right shoes and accessories can make all the difference whether you’re attending a conference or just want to look sharp for work.


Business Attire for Women

Shoes are an essential part of any summer work wardrobe. Here are some great shoe styles to consider for a professional look:

  • Slip-on sneakers are a great option for professional business attire in the summer. Look for versions made out of leather or suede that match well with your outfit.
  • Loafers, Oxfords, flats, and pumps can also be used to create a polished look. Choose neutral colors like black, navy, or grey for a timeless look.
  • Low heels or monk straps are other classic styles perfect for creating a professional look. Instead, opt for more subtle designs and materials such as leather or suede to maintain a polished aesthetic.
  • High heels should be avoided when dressing professionally in the summertime since they can cause discomfort due to sweating and heat exhaustion throughout the day.

Always keep comfort in mind when choosing what shoes to wear - you want to make sure you can stay on your feet all day long without sacrificing style!


Business Attire for Women

Accessories can be used to take a professional look to the next level in the summertime. Here are some great pieces to consider and tips on how to style them to create a polished look:

Pearls are a timeless choice that can be worn with any outfit and will never go out of style. In addition, they come in many different shapes and sizes, so you can find something that fits your personal style.

Scarves and pocket squares are another great way to add an extra touch of professionalism. Opt for light fabrics made of materials like silk or cotton, so you stay cool during summer.

When styling jewelry for professional business attire in the summer, it’s important to remember less is more. Stick to one statement piece, such as a necklace or bracelet, instead of wearing multiple pieces simultaneously. 

It will help keep your look polished and put together without being too over-the-top. Keep metal tones similar so the accessories don’t clash - gold goes well with gold, silver with silver, and so on!

Hair and Makeup

Business Attire for Women

If you’re looking to finish off your professional business look with the perfect hairstyle and makeup, here are some tips to keep in mind:


Business Attire for Women

Hair should always be kept neat and tidy when dressing professionally in the summer. Here are some style tips to consider:

  • Opt for sleek styles such as a bun, ponytail, or low braid to keep hair out of your face and avoid sweating during the hot summer months.
  • Avoid using too much product, as it can cause your hair to look greasy or weighed down throughout the day. Instead, use a lightweight styling cream or spray for added shine and hold without getting overly sticky.
  • If you have long hair, you can still create professional looks with loose waves or curls - just make sure to take extra care in using heat protectants and curling products,  so your hair stays healthy.


Business Attire for Women

Regarding makeup, less is more when creating a professional look in the summertime. These points will help you achieve a polished look with minimal effort:

  • Choose light but long-lasting formulas like BB creams or tinted moisturizers instead of heavy foundations that can cause sweat and shine throughout the day. 
  • Stick to natural colors like browns, taupes, and pinks for eyeshadows, and use waterproof mascara, so it doesn’t smudge in the heat. A simple nude lip or a bright pink blush adds just enough color without being too bold.
  • Finally, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day to maintain a professional appearance despite sweating due to high temperatures outdoors. 
  • Keeping cool cloth on hand can also help regulate body temperature if needed during long days outside or in an office setting with limited air conditioning options.

By following these tips, you can create a professional look while also staying comfortable and cool during the hot summer months. 


Business Attire for Women

Dressing stylishly and professionally for the workplace during the summer months doesn’t have to be daunting. 

You can maintain a polished and sophisticated appearance while staying comfortable in the heat with the right fabric choices, dress styles, and accessories. 

Remember, your attire reflects your personal brand and professionalism, so choosing outfits that strike a balance between style, comfort, and workplace expectations is essential.

So, don’t be afraid to express your style when creating a professional business look for the summer months!