We’ve all been told at one point or another to dress “business casual.” But what does that mean? Does it tend to be more business or lean towards a casual vibe?

If you aren’t clear on what items of clothing are included in the dress code, you’re most likely at a loss as to what to wear. But, we can help! 

When it comes to dressing business casual, men have more options than you might think. Ready for some inspiration for your summertime business casual ensembles? Read on. 

business casual men summer

What is Business Casual Attire for Men?

First, let’s address the obvious: what is business casual for men

  • No tie
  • Jacket optional 
  • No sweats, T-shirts, shorts, or hoodies 
  • Loafers or casual dress shoes
  • If you choose jeans, make sure they’re dark and paired with a nice button-down shirt 
  • Shirts can be long or short-sleeved (polos, knit tops, or button-downs)

Business casual occasions include going into the office, taking meetings (in person or virtual), giving presentations, going out to eat, attending school events, or going to family gatherings. Sometimes, attending a job interview requires business casual attire. However, it’s best to do your research about the company’s dress code before the interview. 

In general, a dress code depends upon the host, company, and activity. If you’re invited somewhere, the invitation might note the dress code. When in doubt, just ask. In most scenarios, showing up a little too fancy or a bit too casual won’t get you thrown out of the event. The important thing is showing up with a respectful, confident attitude. So don’t worry about following this dress code to a T, and have some fun with your wardrobe!

4 Ideas for Business Casual Men: Summer Edition

When it comes to summertime business casual outfits, men need clothes that are not only stylish but appropriate for the weather. Here are four business casual outfit ideas that are perfect for summertime temperatures and events.

1. Colorful Casual Fridays

Whether you want to stand out at your first internship, or you want to spice things up at the job you’ve had for years, consider wearing some colorful summertime men's shirts! Incorporating color is especially fun on Casual Fridays. 

Let the bright sunshine inspire bright colors in your wardrobe. Add some fun pops of color, like a patterned short-sleeved button-down shirt, into your ensemble. Pair with dark wash jeans and loafers. No need to button your shirt up all the way to the top for business casual. When in doubt, wear socks, but for some business casual looks, it’s totally okay to skip the socks. 

Note: If it’s a business formal workplace normally, Casual Fridays are an invitation to dress business casual. If it’s a business casual workplace normally, Casual Fridays call for jeans and a T-shirt. If you have any questions, talk to your coworkers beforehand. If the vibe is very casual, give our men's cargo pants a try!

2. Fresh for Wedding Season

Summer: it’s the season for weddings, engagement parties, and bachelor parties. These affairs vary in terms of dress code. Outdoor weddings are typically more casual, and it’s safe to assume business casual dress for men is acceptable. Of course, when in doubt, ask, or consult the invitation. Unless you’re in the wedding party, there’s no need to coordinate colors, but the invitation will make it clear if there is a theme to follow. 

Wear fashionable men's pants with a button-down shirt, either long or short-sleeved. When it comes to jackets, you have options. Patterned seersucker is a preppy summertime look. Otherwise, go for a blue, beige, gray, or light-colored, lightweight blazer or sports coat. These joyful celebrations are a great opportunity to break out a colorful pocket square. A polished dark brown lace-up dress shoe and a watch will complete the look. 

Bonus tip: If you’re throwing the bachelor party, you may need a backpack to store surprises in for the groom! 

3. Breathable to Beat the Heat

Summertime casual attire for men needs to keep you comfortable, even in the blistering heat. Whether you’re mingling at a cocktail hour, sitting with the sun beating down on you, or graduating with a robe and stole over your outfit, staying cool is key. . 

Light colors are your friend; black, brown, and navy will absorb heat. Avoid pit stains by wearing light, breathable fabric like cotton, khakis, or linen. Denim might hold in the heat too much. A short-sleeved polo with khakis will get the job done in business casual settings. If it’s an outdoor affair, don’t forget sunglasses!

4. Functional for a Summer Business Trip

If you’re going on a business trip this summer, you need business casual pants that are comfortable enough to last all day. Our men's travel pants are designed especially to go straight from the plane or car to a business dinner or meeting – no outfit change required. Wear belted with a button-down shirt tucked in. If you wish, change from comfy travel sneakers into casual dress shoes when the time comes. (The briefcase and shoes don’t have to match!) When traveling in the summer, it may be smart to wear some men's cargo shorts for extra storage.

Business Casual Men: Summer Options at UNIONBAY
Have a summertime event that you want to look sharp for? At UNIONBAY, it’s easy to find business casual attire for men that is cool and comfortable. Shop our men’s collections today.