Work Style

The Best Summer Suits for Women: Staying Cool and Professional

by Kristin Tice Studeman


The best summer suits for women don’t sacrifice comfort for professional style. And this season, there are several excellent options when it comes to suiting, so you won’t be left to sweat through another steamy summer in a stiff, hot suit. (The options are so chic, in fact, that women who don’t even need to wear a suit to the office are opting for suits for both day and night.) Read on for the new rules of summer suiting.

1. Mix It Up with Breezy Suit Sets

Who says the best summer suits for women are limited to the classic trousers-plus-blazer formula? Step outside the usual with a shorts-suit set, skirt-suit set, or a dress-suit set. All of these are so much breezier than long pants and a long-sleeve jacket, and they offer a certain freshness. Keep the look business-formal by pairing the suit with an elegant floral blouse (in silk, satin, or a lightweight cotton) or a simple shell tank.

Avoid fabrics that might feel more appropriate for an off-duty look, like linen or a relaxed-fit cotton T-shirt without much structure, to keep the outfit looking polished and elevated. (You might think no one will see it because you have a jacket on, but you may want to take the jacket off or even swap out one of the suit pieces for something else later in the day.) If you opt for a dress-suit, stick to a shift dress and cropped blazer rather than a flowing maxi dress to keep it office-professional.

White jacket

2. Inject Some Color into Your Wardrobe

Remember, you don’t have to wear all black or a dark-colored suit to show that you mean business. Feel free to lighten things up a bit (if your office dress code allows it, of course). The best summer suits for women are a little more fun and playful. Try out a light pink, white, or light gray suit (preferably in a fabric with some stretch) this season for something a little cooler. Literally.

Light pink suit

3. Wide-Leg Pants Are Your New Best Friend

If you want to stick to a pantsuit, go for a pant silhouette that’s a bit wider and looser than a fitted pant. Wide-leg trousers, culottes, and flare pants are having a moment right now, so if you want to add a little edge into a classic suit, opt for one of these breezy pant styles this summer.

4. Shoes and Accessories Matter

No matter what suit alternative you go with, make sure to keep your accessories and shoes sophisticated and polished like you would with a traditional pantsuit. For example, if you wear a shorts-suit, flat sandals might seem like a good idea at first to pair with shorts, but you might think otherwise when you arrive at the office. Instead, try a strappy heeled sandal or a pointed-toe pump.

Short suit

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