16 Ways to Wear Summer Suits without Breaking a Sweat
Whether you're at the office or far, far from it.
There’s just something about wearing a suit that makes everything look — and feel — polished and put together. Gone are the days of ill-fitting, itchy materials worn only to an office or business event and relegated to the back of the closet for all other occasions. Today's suiting is colorful, chic, and actually enjoyable to wear.
But what about in the summer, when temperatures can hit over 80 degrees and the humidity just won't quit? Well, there’s a suit for those times, too. Whether you choose to mix and match suiting separates, swear by summer-friendly fabrics, or are open to experimentation, there are several ways to wear suits in the summer without breaking a sweat. Well, you might sweat a little, but it won’t be because of your outfit.
Keep reading for 16 easy, fun, and unexpected options for styling suits in the summer. And, if you ever feel like you’ve reached your boiling point, feel free to ditch the jacket altogether—just don’t forget the sunscreen!
Related:The 23 Best Blazers That Will Instantly Elevate Any Outfit in 2023
Not to state the obvious, but in our book suits with shorts are always an option between May and September. We recommend reaching for Bermuda-length bottoms for more formal environments and prefer brightly colored suits with shorter shorts and longer blazers for a stylish day of fun in the sun.
SHOP SIMILAR: Banana Republic Bermuda shorts ($95)
With a Graphic Tee
When the sun starts shining sporadically in the spring, the graphic tees have their moment. And, while your favorite band tee may look great with jean shorts, it also exudes a casual-cool vibe when worn with a summer suit. Play with patterns or stick to neutral colors; this outfit is all business in the back, but a surprise party in the front.
SHOP SIMILAR: H&M T-shirt ($15)
Related:9 White Jean Summer Outfits for Every Occasion
With a Matching Set
If the phrase “summer suiting” conjures up images of a blazer, trousers, and a button-down, it’s time to think out of the box. Try throwing a lightweight suit jacket over your favorite matching set (a knee-length or midi skirt and sleeveless top work best), and you’re good to go. Bonus points for color-coordinated accessories.
SHOP SIMILAR: Revolve Stela skirt set ($94)
With a Tank Top
If you normally wear a silky shell top, why not skip the sweat marks and swap the traditional top for a cotton tank? Just remember to accessorize accordingly to keep the outfit looking elevated. We recommend a skinny belt, a pendant necklace, sunglasses, and a cute hat.
SHOP SIMILAR: Reformation Tasha tank ($38)
In Breezy Linen
When a summer occasion calls for business casual attire, we automatically reach for a lightweight linen suit. Stick to long blazers and loose-fitting trousers to allow the breeze to permeate the fabric and help keep you cool.
SHOP SIMILAR: Abercrombie linen blend blazer ($120)
Today’s oversized suits are not the bulky, shoulder pad styles that dominated the ‘80s. Reach for a matching blazer and pants in a bright color and pair them with a classic white button-down. Try adding a baseball cap and sporty shades for a more casual look, or keep it sleek and chic with oversize shades, strappy sandals, and a mini bag.
SHOP SIMILAR: H&M jacket ($40)
With a Sports Bra
Provided it offers enough coverage and support, a simple sports bra can be substituted for a blouse or shirt on the hottest of hot summer days. Keep the rest of the suiting relatively formal — we love the contrast of serious pinstripes and the athleticwear shown above — and switch between stilettos and sneakers for a sporty take on the trend.
SHOP SIMILAR: Paco Rabanne sports bra ($140)
While we’re not suggesting that anyone actually wear a matching set of cotton PJs out and about, we must admit we don't hate the look. Instead, choose suits made of a luxe-feeling fabric with smart tailoring details or unique designs. It might feel like sleepwear but works even better as a summer street-style look. Just don’t leave the house wearing slippers.
SHOP SIMILAR: Vince drapey blazer ($417)
Related:How to Wear a Satin Pajama Set Outside the House
In Hot Pink
If you can’t beat the heat, then at least give it a run for the money. Hot pink suits are widely available in an array of pieces, fabrics, and fits. Opt for a tailored jacket and straight-leg pants for a vibrant but totally appropriate look, then throw on a pair of matching shades and metallic pumps to complete the fiery ‘fit.
SHOP SIMILAR: Good American blazer ($165)
With Rolled-Up Sleeves
Achieving this look is easy, but not always obvious. If you know you’ll want to roll up your sleeves at some point during the day, choose a looser-fitting or oversized blazer instead of a super-tailored or cropped style. Matching breezy trousers and a basic white tee make this outfit ideal for an agenda that calls for walking in and out of icy-cold air conditioning.
SHOP SIMILAR: Aritzia Wilfred blazer ($228)
In a Summery Shade
If suiting is your signature style, then you probably have a slew of black, navy, and tan blazers on hand. But dare we suggest spicing up your summer with a bit of color? Instead of the same old, try reaching for a structured suit in an unexpected shade like lavender, aqua, or buttercup yellow. Plus, many colorful summer suits come in more lightweight fabrics like linen, so you’ll look and feel extra cool.
SHOP SIMILAR: Mango linen blazer ($140)
With a Short-Sleeve Jacket
Sleeveless blazers can be easier to find, but a chic short-sleeved jacket is hard to beat. Stick to a typical suit color like black or navy, and dress the look up or down with accessories. Gold jewelry and snakeskin boots are an unexpectedly chic combo.
SHOP SIMILAR: Shona Joy tailored blazer ($295)
With a Tube Top
Let the sun shine on your shoulders (slathered in SPF, of course), by swapping a tube top in for the standard button-down shirt. Keep the jacket on inside or drape it over your shoulders and enjoy the summer breeze. Bonus points for accessorizing with a statement necklace.
SHOP SIMILAR: Out from Under tube top ($20)
Think wearing suits with flip-flops is a faux pas? Think again. A slightly-elevated sandal with thick straps looks seasonally appropriate when paired with a neutral-colored suit. At the very least, try throwing your heels in a handbag and testing the outfit out on your commute. Your feet will thank you.
SHOP SIMILAR: The Row sandals ($990)
Just the Vest
A three-piece suit might feel a little stuffy for the summer, but who says you have to wear every piece at once? Forgo the blazer and let the vest be the star of this look. Try a cropped style with high-rise pants, or keep it casual with low-rise trousers and sneakers. It’s buttoned up, but not boring.
SHOP SIMILAR: J.Crew twill vest ($188)
With a Sleeveless Jacket
A long, sleeveless suit jacket might just be our favorite summer suiting option. Wear a simple tank and keep it buttoned, and feels so effortless. Leave it open, worn with matching shorts or a skirt, and it becomes even more versatile. Pair it with sneakers for a sporty look, or try strappy sandals and a clutch for a night out.
SHOP SIMILAR: Zara long vest ($70)
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