Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go! Well for some of us anyhow. In fact, many women are still getting reacclimated to their commute and settling back into their offices after many months of working from home. But whether you’ve returned to an office, you work from home like I do or you’re retired, I think you may enjoy seeing how many modern summer work outfits I’ve put together here. Initially this post was going to be 5 Modern Summer Work Outfits, but, alas, it grew! I just couldn’t stop myself!
I frequently get requests for updated work outfits. But I work from a home office, so I don’t have a lot of office attire in my wardrobe. Or so I thought. But once I starting mixing and matching the separates I do have in my closet, I was surprised to discover that I do, indeed, have an ample work wardrobe. I bet you do, too.
So today I’m simply showing you how I pulled a month’s worth of summer work outfits straight from my own closet. In fact, these are pieces I really wear, month in and month out. Several of them are year-round staples and others have become fast favorites this summer. I wear these pieces to church and the occasional trade event, but you could absolutely wear all of these to most professional work environments.
Modern Summer Work Outfits for Women 50+
I created the outfits with just four pairs of pants. Certainly I could have used a skirt, but I don’t have one in my closet (well, one came in just after I took these photos!). I encourage you to think about what you have in your closet that you could swap in for these wardrobe essentials. And if you recognize a hole in your own wardrobe, I’ve got good news. A lot of this is still available, and some of what I’m showing is deeply discounted right now.
I’ve had my Nic+Zoe Wonderstretch straight leg pants for almost four years now and they’re still available. That tells you how versatile and timeless these particular black slacks are. I wear a size 8 and I think they fit true to size. They’re also available in petites. Well worth the investment when you consider cost per wear.
Work Wardrobe Tip: A pair of classic black pants is a must in a work wardrobe. Nothing else is quite as versatile or slimming. Invest in pants that have a classic cut that works for your body shape and proportions. And select pants that will stand up to repeated wear. I was these in the machine and hang to dry.
You’ll be seeing my Veronica Beard scuba jacket throughout these outfits, too. Remember, I created these outfits with the items in my personal wardrobe. I invested in this Veronica Beard scuba jacket a couple of years ago and haven’t regretted it one bit. Like my Nic+Zoe Wonderstretch straight leg pants, I wear it frequently throughout the year. And I love zipping in and out the few dickeys I own. The Veronica Beard scuba jacket rarely if ever goes on sale, but I purchased it at Nordstrom on a double points day, so that softened the blow. It runs true to size and fits like a glove.
When you add those two pieces to my organic linen & cotton crewneck boxy top you’ve got a pretty pricey outfit. But that’s the beauty of investing in good quality pieces in timeless neutrals: they can mix and match effortlessly for truly timeless, classic looks.
In the photos above I just swapped in a leopard print v-neck blouse and then a bright pink double v-neck sweater. I purchased the leopard print v-neck blouse last year. It’s making its second appearance in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year, so it’s not available right now. But you can add it to your Nordstrom Wish List for purchase during the sale.
Likewise, the double v-neck sweater on the right is part of Talbots’ Red Hanger Sale. It’s 20% off plus you get another 40% off that price. I think this is a great little sweater for creating classy work outfits.
Here’s the look with the leopard print v-neck blouse again, this time broken down a little. Notice I left the shirt untucked. I think you can do that with these slimming black slacks, especially with the black blazer over it. So this little v-neck blouse is so perfect for most every body shape and proportions.
Work Wardrobe Tip: Classic pumps or flats in a neutral close to your skin tone are a must for the work wardrobe. They’ll elongate your leg and create the most flattering looks, but they’re also just versatile, going with absolutely everything. Everywhere I’m showing pumps, you could swap in your flats.
I created a lot of looks with my straight leg pants in black. But one of my favorite ways to style these classics is as a column of black. Here I’m simply wearing a black t-shirt, but you could opt for a black tank or sweater. Then top it with almost anything in a different shade.
My bossy beige leather pumps were gifted to me by Ally so I could share them with my readers. I have to tell you honestly, these are THE most comfortable pumps I’ve ever put on. You’re going to see me wearing my Karl Lagerfeld Royal Pumps some, too. I bought those in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale last year, and they are good pumps, too, especially for the price you can get them for in the NSale. But if you’re a working woman and wearing pumps frequently and for long spells, these Ally pumps are the way to go.
Don’t be surprised if they feel just a bit tight at first. But they stretch nicely to fit your foot like a glove in less than an hour of wear. So supple and the perfect height.
Work Wardrobe Tip: Make sure you also have some versatile, classic but modern jewelry at the ready. I like a pared back look for the office. But you can still wear interesting jewelry that adds light and interest without distracting. I think this Kendra Scott tassel bolo necklace is a great piece because it can be worn several different ways. And these marble drop earrings by Rachelyn look so modern and classy, but still interesting and different.
Above I’m wearing the black slacks with a white t-shirt (or here) and two different blazers. Let’s talk a bit about making our work outfits more modern. One of the easiest ways you can add a more contemporary flair to your workwear is simply to opt for solid t-shirts where once you would have chosen a blouse. T-shirts under blazers are all the rage right now, and have been for a while. Truly, it creates such a pared back, streamlined and no-fuss look. I love it. What about you?
Work Wardrobe Tip: If you want to add modern t-shirts to your work wardrobe, look for some with a bit more heft or thickness. And don’t be afraid to sample several different necklines for a variety of looks.
You saw the Banana Republic easy seersucker blazer above with the black slacks with a white t-shirt, but now I’ve swapped out the black slacks for the coordinating easy seersucker slim pants. This combo would be quite acceptable for many work environments, but even if you don’t think it would be best for day-to-day at your office, it might work for a casual Friday or for business travel.
Notice I also swapped in my black patent leather loafers (similar option). These are super comfortable and so on trend. But of course they’re definitely polished enough for the office, too. I can’t recommend my Paul Green loafers highly enough, especially for the working woman who is on her feet a lot. They are an absolutely joy to wear.
And above I just swapped back in the organic linen & cotton crewneck boxy top. You could create a similar look with any sweater weight summer you have in your wardrobe.
Work Wardrobe Tip: To create an interesting and varied variety of outfits, have different types of tops in your closet, including t-shirts, sweaters, button up shirts and blouses. Select them in colors that mix and mingle with your base pieces well.
Before we move on to different pants, let’s look at how I paired the black slacks with the black tee for a couple of monochromatic looks.
You could certainly wear black pumps or flats with the outfit on the left, too. But I just really like the bookending effect of the camel blazer and the camel colored pumps. Those are the Karl Lagerfeld Royal Pumps (part of Nordstrom Anniversary Sale).
If you’re worried that these outfits with the black slacks are looking a little heavy, here are some distinctly summery looks with them. Both the cotton and linen blend cardigan and the linen blazer, paired with the white tee, definitely create uniquely modern summer work outfits.
But now let’s see some looks I created with lighter colored pants.
I just noticed that I completely forgot to add any jewelry to either of the above outfits. Ha! But I think there is enough going on with the belt and the interesting style choices that it’s not even missed so much. Just goes to show you that adding interesting details in your outfit really goes a long ways toward adding style.
I think the above linen crop pants are perfect for work during the summer months. They give a nod to summer with the linen fabric, but the structured silhouette keeps things professional and pulled together.
Work Wardrobe Tip: Don’t be afraid to wear linen to work. Just keep it elevated and professional. A linen blazer or structured linen pants or skirt will work beautifully.
And of course you can really lighten things up by going white on top.
I opted for a crewneck t-shirt above, first just to show a different neckline, but also to show a t-shirt with a bit more heft. My other tees are thinner than this one from L.L.Bean. And I do think if I were really wearing these outfits with tees to an office, I would want tees with more thickness. They just look a little dressier. But L.L.Bean has the same tee in a v-neck and in a 3/4 length sleeve with v-neck.
Moving on to looks with my Talbots Hampshire Ankle Pants, here is another outfit with that crewneck t-shirt. Doesn’t this just look so sharp, so contemporary?
These Hampshire Ankle Pants are extremely versatile, too. I’m wearing them in the curvy fit, which is almost sold out. But I love the trim silhouette of these pants. I especially love them paired with the black tee and belt.
And below I’m wearing them with that leopard print v-neck blouse and my white linen blazer, another distinctly summer look. Notice I showed it both with the shell tucked in and left out. It really works either way.
Well there ya go! I think I did all of that with
- three black/white tees
- two sweater tops
- one open cardigan
- one blouse
- four pairs of pants
- four blazers
And I’m sure we could mix and match some more. The keys are having pieces in neutrals that work well together, having the shoes that make the outfits appear completed and polished, wearing minimal but impactful jewelry, belting when appropriate and keeping your color palette cohesive.
I hope that gave you a little summer work outfit inspiration. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Ladies, thank you so much for all your entries into the Blessed and Dressed Nordstrom Gift Card Give Away. I enjoyed teaming up with Suzy at Empty Nest Blessed so much. She is such a smart woman and absolutely delightful. If you didn’t catch last week’s giveaway with her, be sure to go check out her blog anyhow. If you’re an empty nester, you need to be following her. I do!
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This I know, nothing is impossible for God. If you are staring at a giant in your path and wondering how you are going to get past it, I can assure you that nothing is too difficult for your God. There is no hurt He cannot heal, no heart He cannot change, no chains He cannot break, no sin He cannot wash away. Not only can He do the impossible, He can do the unthinkable, the unimaginable. You do not need to give Him a game plan. He has already laid out the perfect one.
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21 thoughts on “Modern Summer Work Outfits”
One thing I noticed in all the outfits is how Slimming they all would make us look (as they do on you Kay).
All look very classic and comfortable. Love the beige slacks with black belt.
Yea! I noticed that too. ? Maybe I need to wear these more often!??
Thank you Kay! I have so many of these items in my closet and you gave me so many ideas of how to mix and match. I’ll be all set when our office re-opens in the fall! BTW – Nic & Zoe pants — I have them in 5 colors – they are the best pants ever.
?? to the Nic+Zoe pants. Absolutely! I’m so glad the post inspires you. ?
Thanks Kay. I to have so many of these items In my closet already. I have the black Nick and Zoe pants and I love them
Also have them in white. I have the Hampshire linen pants, this Leopard blouse, and although I don’t have this blazer, I have other black blazers that would work. I also have the white linen blazer. Goes to show you, these classic pieces look so put together and slimming. I cannot1 do anything to boxy because I’m petite.
Love the BFMD! God can do anything.
Yay! I had a feeling many of you had these pieces. Sometimes we just need to be reminded what all we can do with those closet staples. I especially liked adding the belts and tees to these. Thanks for sharing.
I head back to the office later this month! Thanks this was a great inspiration to getting back into office clothes. Pinning so I can revisit!
Wonderful! I love it when you ladies pin these to Pinterest. That’s by far the biggest place where people find my blog. ??
Thank you for this. I’m starting a new job in 2 days and your outfits are perfect.
This is very helpful as I will be getting a job soon and will probably need to wear this type of clothing. You’ve made it easy–with a minmal amount of pieces to get a number of outfits. Thank you!
Wonderful! Thanks so much for letting me know Rachel. I’m glad this was help. ?
Columns are my secret go to when I’m in a hurry or need to look really pulled together. Inside or out columns alway work. I love the way you have expanded on this theory for me.
I love the three neutrals together and the animal print top is just great looking here. You can teach an old dog new tricks. LOL
Oh Kay you absolutely made my day! If you were here I would have thrown my arms around you ? most if not all the outfits you showed are replicas or near replicas of my work wear prior to retiring including the chunkier loafers (different brand). It made me feel somehow validated. I worked in a professional environment and were required to adhere to professional dress code. My colleagues would always remark that I must have 3 closets to contain all my clothes! Lol but if you have the basics and add to them you can have a very
nice wardrobe. The devotion and scripture really hit home for me ?Thank You. Have a wonderful and productive day my friend ❤ – Norah
Ahh, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. It was fun to put together. I guess that is why I got a little carried away and created so many looks. Thanks for letting me know. ?
This is a work wear post I have wanted you to create for a while. Love, love, love these outfits. You look fabulous. The keys seem to be a blazer and nude pumps. I’ve got the blazers but have been looking for the pumps – hard to find in a wide.
Hi Karen, Check the Ally website. I know they’re pricey, but they do indeed offer wide and even extra wide shoes. They’re coming out with a lower heel in their regular pumps and block heel pumps, too. It will be out August 9.
Hi, Kay: I tried on the Hampshire ankle pants at Talbot’s and the fit was wonderful. I am hesitating on purchasing them. The polyester content of the fabric is very high. I am concerned about pilling after the pants are washed. What is your experience with washing them, do they pill, do they seem durable?
Also, I want to give a shout out to Lands End for their pima cotton v-neck T-shirt. The fabric is lovely, not super stretchy, the sleeves are a perfect length, not too tight or too loose. Best of all, the fit, for me, was perfect. I struggle to find t-shirts that fit my large bust but that are not too loose for my more slender hips. I was able to buy a Medium which fit my large bust but was not too loose in the hips or over all.
Hi Martha. I’m glad you’ve found some good things for you. I’ll have to check that tee out. I have not washed my Hampshire pants frequently but have washed a couple of times. I don’t have any problems with pilling at all. I think Talbots generally does a good job with their fabrication.
Suiting really, totally “suits” you!! This is an absolutely wonderful selection of flattering, timeless outfits. If anyone was looking to create a versatile mixable capsule work wardrobe, this is it. You show limited variety in accessories and only 3 different shoes, yet they’re perfectly selected to enhance the look. Really, what more would one need? And swapping the black for navy would be equally lovely.
Absolutely! Navy is very on trend right now too. As is grey. Thanks so much for sharing Karalane. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. ?
Lovely looks Kay. I especially like the pointy shoes with the outfits. Very classy.