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Summer office outfit ideas must meet the office dress-codes (typically at least short sleeves), but bridge the gap between AC cooled offices and the heat outside. Read to get inspired to dress your best comfortably and effortlessly chic.


  1. The Challenge of Summer Work Outfits over 40
  2. Change Your Outfit with Work Appropriate Timeless Accessories
    • Brooches, Necklaces, Shoes
    • Cover-Ups, Jewelry, and Shoes
    • Add Sleeves with a Halftee
  3. What to Look for in Work-Appropriate Summer Dresses
  4. Summer Heat Outfit Inspirations
    • Shirt Dress
    • Empire-Waist Dress
    • Fit-and-Flare Dresses
    • Full-Skirt Dress
  5. What Dresses Are Best at the Office in Summer


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The Challenge of Summer Work Outfits over 40

In summer, dressing for the office is challenging for every women when the dress-code asks for business casual style or even corporate style. A skirt suit or pantsuit in summer wool is just too warm in muggy weather, and even dry heat during the commute and lunch break. Linen or cotton suits are a wrinkle nightmare and hence not stylish. Dressing during the dog days is a hassle.

Wearing your great summer dresses always the same way and/or getting into a style rut is not only boring for you, but it might also give a wrong impression at work. You want to come across as creative by wearing great summer outfit inspirations.


Change Your Outfit with Work Appropriate Timeless Accessories

A solution for the summer work dressing challenges are dresses. A dress plus bag and pumps are instant style.]

Get rid of the old-fashioned assumption that a dress can be worn only one way. Achieve different looks by using different accessories and shoes. A well edited collection of accessories like belts, scarves, necklaces, watches, shoes, etc. is a pre-requisite to vary the look of one dress in four different outfits or even more depending on the size of your collection.

This means accessories are your secret  weapons!


Brooches, Necklaces, Shoes


over 50 years old fashion blogger in jumper and gingham shirt summer office look
Carhartt gingham shirt under eShakti jumper accessorized with brooch worn instead of a belt and Liz Claiborne open toe pumps, wooden watch c/o JORD.


over 50 years old style blogger in jumper and sandals casual work outfit
eShakti jumper styled with Michael Kors sandals, and black pearl necklace. Inside wear a cardigan to feel comfortable in the chilly AC office/to meet the dress code.


Cover-Ups, Jewelry, and Shoes

Look beyond wearing a dress only as a dress. On rainy, cool summer days think about how to wear a dress as a skirt or wear a dress as shirt. See the examples with an eShakti floral print dress below.


fashion blogger in floral print cotton dress, wood-frame sunglasses, cork plateau heels
Michael Kors cork plateau patent leather sandals, Coach shearling bag, metal belt, and Winkwood sunglasses


woman wearing a pink leather jacket and a floral print dress
Newport News pink leather jacket, Ivanka Trump pumps, and Jaeger tote


style book author showing a different look with the same dress
Worn as skirt under Sofie cardigan worn as top, Nicole sandals, and wooden watch c/o JORD


abstract floral print fit-and-flare summer dress with scuba jacket
T. Tahari scuba jacket as cover-up at the office and in the evening.



Add Sleeves with a Halftee

Banana Republic abstract print fit-and-flare dress with and without sleeves.

midlife blogger in a summer dress styled casually with sandals for the office
Very Fine Dance Sport strappy sandals, statement panther belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and Winkwood sunnies


mature woman in a Cami Confidential arm-coverage under a summer dress
Hermes collier de chien bangle, and camisole c/o Cami Confidential



What to Look for in Work-Appropriate Timeless Summer Dresses

The criteria of great office-appropriate dresses are that they

  • Fit you typical work dress code, for instance, business casual when you are in engineering,
  • Provide coverage at the typical problem zones of women in midlife like arms, love handles, wide hips, or sun damaged cleavage,
  • Have an ageless style, but modern vibe/twist (you don’t want to look conservative and Old Lady),
  • Are suitable for lunch with colleagues or clients outside,
  • Feel comfortable in an air conditioned office,
  • Are easy to style with other pieces to create several office outfits with the same dress (Tip: Sheath dresses permit multiple looks.),
  • Feature neutral colors that work with your fashion colors of your accessories,
  • Work in the winter to spring transition as well as the summer to fall transition with items from the cold season.

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.


Summer Heat Work Outfit Inspirations

Shirt Dress

Nicole in camouflage shirt dress with matching pumps, belt and halftee
Gap camouflage shirtdress, purple statement belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, amethyst cuff and bracelet, Miu Miu pointy-toe croc imprint pumps, and cropped top c/o Halftee


Empire-Waist Dress

Empire waist green print dress two ways.


Nicole of High Latitude Style in summer layering for work
Karina Dresses jumper, Hermes collier de chien Bangle, layering top c/o Halftee


mature woman in green dress, leather jacket, and bag
Statement necklace, Ray Ban sunnies, green saddle designer bag c/o Uno Alla Volta, and green motorcycle leather jacket c/o Leatherskin


Fit-and-Flare Dresses

Paisley and polka dot prints are eternal classics.  Go for an ageless fit-and-flare cut like in the summer work outfit ideas below.

mature woman in summer business casual work outfit with polka dot dress
Jaeger tote, statement necklace, and Anne Klein sling backs



Alaskan woman in business casual summer work look with dress and blazer
Notations Blazer (dyed), Gucci bamboo enamel suede belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Calvin Klein block heel pumps, and pantyhose


mature style blogger in summer work outfit inspiration
Styled with navy blue. Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Gloria Vanderbilt pumps, and halftee c/o Halftee


Leiza sandals casual summer outfit with fit-and-flare dress
Styled with brown. Musse & Cloud sandels, Star jean jacket, smoky quartz necklace, Gucci G-belt, Chanel bag, and wooden watch c/o Jord



Full-Skirt Dress

If you have to wear pantyhose, try black for an unexpected variation. See eShakti dress outfit idea below.

midlife woman in printed summer dress with leather jacket for a rainy day
Hinge quilted leather jacket, GNW tights, BCBG belt


printed summer layering outfit with dress and cardigan for the office
Isaac Mizrahi cardigan, GNW tights, Nicole sandals, and Prada bag



What Dresses Are Best at the Office in Summer?

Set criteria when to splurge or bargain. Best summer work dresses meet the following criteria

  • Wrinkle-resistant fabric
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Loose, but fitted cut (to avoid sticking when you sweat)
  • Breathable fabric
  • Sun-protective if you have to spend a lot of time outside (see sun safe business casual outfits for female engineers)
  • Meet the office dress code


Photos of me: G. Kramm

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