What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (2023)

What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (1)

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BUSINESS CASUAL FOR WOMEN ATTIRE GUIDE

Trying to decipher what is business casual for women can be a little difficult in today’s work environment. A business casual dress code can vary depending on the company you work for, the work you do on a day-to-day basis, and the city you’re based in. As you know a business casual dress code is different depending on which cities, states, and parts of the world you’re in. Because dressing appropriately can often make or break a career, it’s wise to follow a few simple rules when it comes to business casual for women.

I’ll provide you with some essential points and tips to keep in mind, for everyday business casual wear, special events, casual work outfits, and business travel. For further style advice on business casual, I’ve listed at the end of this guide what not to wear when it comes to business casual for women.

If you’re looking for a variety of ideas and inspiration make sure to check out 20 Business Casual Outfits for Women, this guide explains the business casual essentials you need and how to put them together to create stylish outfits.

So let’s get started!

WHAT IS BUSINESS CASUAL FOR WOMEN?

The easiest way to think of business casual is a hybrid of business professional and casual wear. Business casual is not wearing a full-on suit, but a strapless sundress with flip-flops is not appropriate. It’s more about mixing elements of more formal business attire, like a blazer, suit skirt, or pants in neutral colors with more casual pieces like a patterned shell top or leopard print flats.

For the majority of companies, business casual is a daily requirement. So understanding how to put together stylish work outfits is essential if you don’t work from home.

It’s wise to have the majority of your main business clothing in neutral colors: black, gray, navy, brown, beige, and white. Starting with essential pieces in neutral colors and then adding pops of color not only allow you to bring some life and personality to your office outfits but you will also get a lot of use from your essential pieces. You could wear a pair of gray trousers two to three times a week and swap the top and accessories. If you get a pair of bright printed pants, you would only get away with wearing them once in a while as they would be very memorable.

What to Look for In Business Casual Attire

One of the most challenging aspects of dressing for work is finding the right business casual pieces. Shopping for business casual clothing is half of the challenge, then you have to put those items together into stylish and comfortable outfits for work.

In the following sections, I’ll share a few shopping tips when you’re looking to add business casual pants, tops, sweaters, blazers, jackets, dresses, and shoes to your wardrobe. These pieces will help you put together casual work outfits that you’ll feel confident in.

WOMEN’S BUSINESS CASUAL PANTS

Pants are an obvious choice and the first option for most business attire. Make sure that they fit you well, are wrinkle-free, and are without frayed hems or ripped seams. I like wool, cotton (including corduroy), linen and gabardine, and you can also add in polyester, which is easy to care for. There is also a nice selection of colored denim available these days, make sure the color is pure with no fading, and it’s good to have a bit of stretch in them to make them more comfortable for sitting for long periods.

Basic neutrals work best, as you can pair them with a lot of colored tops, but you can opt for colored pants in a dark muted color like burgundy or forest green. You can also try pinstripes or a small plaid. Mid- or high-rise both work, and the hems can be cuffed or uncuffed. I like wide-legged trousers, but you can also go with a straight leg, boot cut, or ankle-length.

You can also change up the style of your business casual pants during the seasons. During the fall and winter look for thicker fabrics in dark colors and patterns more synonymous with the season.

In the spring and summer look for lighter pants in fabric and color. You also have a lot more options during this time of year. Depending on your style you could even wear wide-leg cropped pants in white or blush.

SHOPPING FOR BUSINESS CASUAL PANTS

When shopping for business casual pants, I usually look for trousers with a medium waistband and no loops for a belt. A wider waistband is supportive and keeps your tummy tucked. Also, if your tummy is a problem area, avoid low- or high-rise styles as it can make it appear more pronounced. If you don’t have a problem area around your stomach, you can opt for a thinner waistband.

If you have full hips and thighs, look for minimizing darks and structured fabrics, like tropical wool, which downplay curves. Stretch makes them even more forgiving. Straight or wide legs are best. But if you want a slim cut, skip the super-pegged legs and choose a pair with a little width at the hem to offset hips. It’s best to avoid pants with pleats and watch out for pants with vertical pockets that lie along the side seams. The vertical pockets can stick out and make your hips look wider than they are.

If you have a larger behind, wearing a belt with your trousers can bring more emphasis to your posterior. The unnecessary emphasis is one reason I look for pants without belt loops.

What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (3)

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Business Casual Blouses and Tops

To add a pop of color or pattern to an outfit, think blouses and tops. There are a lot of choices out there in pretty colors that will complement your skin tone, eyes, and hair color. Pastels, jewel tones, plaids, muted florals, and prints (paisley, geometric, polka dot, ikat) are all acceptable.

In colder months, stick with long or ¾ sleeves; for spring and summer, short or cap sleeves work well, and you can even wear a wide-strapped tank. In the warmer months look for light blouses with cap sleeves, sleeveless, and shell tops in silk, light cotton, or other light fabrics for your business attire.

Keep your neckline somewhat modest with a collared, boat neck, square neck, or turtleneck. If you go with a scoop or V-neck, make sure that cleavage is not on display. Keep your shirt tucked in or, if worn out, make sure it covers your waistband by several inches. And it should go without saying that you must wear a bra, and a tank or camisole if your blouse is at all sheer.

SHOPPING FOR BUSINESS Blouses and Tops

Shirts and tops are a category where you have almost unlimited options. It’s easy to get carried away because of the variety and affordable options. You’ll invest more money in pants and blazers as those are the work essentials that you’ll wear over and over through the years. But with tops, you don’t need to invest so much in them as you’ll most likely want to add a few new business casual blouses every year.

In summer and spring look for shirts in bright colors and fun prints. Like polka dots, florals, lace, windowpane, stripes, leaf prints, and mixed prints. If you light colors on the lighter side, opt for blush, pale yellow, pink, baby blue, light gray, or cream. If you love brights, look for tops in pink, green, yellow, orange, red, and bright blue.

I know it can get cold in the office so even if you wear a sleeveless silk top you might want to layer with a blazer. In the business casual outfit below I paired a green silk polka dot top with a striped blazer. The two colors look great together and added neck detail on the shirt adds to the dimension and looks great against the straight-cut blazer. This is the variety and fun you can have with business casual

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What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (5)

Business Casual Sweaters

You can also wear sweaters in a variety of ways, either as a top or over a shirt if you want to layer, with pants or a skirt, or over a dress. The fit of the sweater is essential here, so try to stay away from anything too baggy or ill-fitted. Fine-gauge knits work best; bulky sweaters not so much.

Your basic business casual cardigan is a staple in business casual attire, and it can be a simple waist-length cardigan or a longer boyfriend one. Your sweater can have buttons, no buttons, or a draped front collar. With longer cardigans, you can even use a skinny belt to add some definition and a different look to an outfit.

My favorite types of sweaters to wear to the office is thin, v-neck, long sleeve sweaters, like the pink one I’m wearing below. I love business casual sweaters because you can layer a button-down shirt underneath and pop out the collar over the sweater like in the outfit example below. The bright pink sweater is a high contrast between the striped collard shirt and black bottoms.

Another business casual sweater that I believe is essential is the simple long black cardigan. You can see in the outfit below I paired it with the pink v-neck sweater, this is an excellent option for fall and the colder months. You can layer a business casual cardigan over a variety of outfits, and it’s also very comfortable.

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What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (6)

What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (7)

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What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (9)

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Business Casual Jackets or Blazers

Jackets or blazers are more of a requirement during colder months for warmth going to and from home, not necessarily to wear in the office since this is business casual attire. But don’t think that means you can throw on that denim jacket and get away with it. You still need your outerwear to be professional-looking. (You never know when you might need to go to lunch with the boss or a client!)

To get the most bang for your buck, stick with neutral colors; black, charcoal, brown, and navy work best. If you want something a bit different, try a jewel tone, small pinstripe, or herringbone pattern, very classic. The fit is a big issue with jackets and blazers. Nix the boxy blazer and stick to something that nips in at the waist. Make sure that the jacket doesn’t pull or gape when buttoned. As an alternative to a blazer, you can try a wool moto jacket.

I love to layer blazers over all my business casual outfits because you never know how cold an office or location will be. So instead of being cold, you are prepared and also look stylish. In the outfit below I cuffed my blazer sleeve to soften the look and show off the cute striped lining. In the business casual outfit below I layered the blazer over a forest green dress. Added a skinny belt to the dress to create some definition and added a pretty silk neck scarf to brighten up your business attire and also soften the outfit.

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What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (10)

What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (11)

Business Casual Skirts or Dresses

While pants might be your go-to business casual attire, don’t forget about skirts and dresses for casual work outfits. The blouses that you wear with your pants will most likely pair well with a skirt. Try a pencil, A-line, or pleated skirt in a solid color or a pinstripe or herringbone pattern. If the skirt has a slit, make sure it is a modest one and appropriate when sitting. Try a variety of colors and prints to see which style you like best. Ann Taylor always has so many nice options to choose from.

Dresses are a natural choice for business casual attire. It’s one item on and off you go to work. With dresses, you don’t have to worry about what pants match which top or vice versa. They also work well with business casual cardigans and blazers when the weather is chillier. Necklines and sleeves should follow the rules noted above for blouses. Hemlines for both skirts and dresses can range from a few inches above the knee to just below the knee. Minis, high-low, and asymmetrical hemlines are best left in the closet during the week.

To accessorize a simple dress think about adding a silk scarf in a pretty print and color. If you need styling ideas on wearing a scarf with various outfits check out, .

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5 Business Casual Dress Shopping Tips

1. Business Dress Length

The length of a dress or skirt should not be so short that you feel uncomfortable. Look for a skirt length that ends right above the knee or, if you are tall, a mid-thigh length. This length will make it easy to get up and down out of chairs and appropriately cover you if you are walking upstairs or on an escalator.

2. Business casual Necklines

Necklines of both dresses and blouses need to be somewhat modest and not show too much—if any—cleavage. Leave the plunging V-necks and halters at home. Try a happy medium, wearing a modest v-neck, round or scoop neck, boat neck, square, keyhole, or collared style. And also consider your body shape. If you have a larger chest avoid, high necklines, boat necks, or keyholes, and opt for a v-neck or scoop neck. If you have a smaller chest, you can get away with wearing a boat neck and necklines such as the dress I’m wearing.

3. Sleeves for business casual

Usually, offices are on the cold side, so for dresses opt for longer sleeves. You can go full-length with a cuff or try a three-quarter-length sleeve, which is said to be the most flattering. A three-quarter sleeve ends between your wrist and your elbow.

The lower the sleeve is on your forearm; the thinner your arm will appear. So a three-quarter sleeve length has many positives. It’s office-appropriate, it’s the most flattering, it hides your arms if you’re self-conscious about them, and you won’t be as cold. Layer with a cardigan or jacket like I did in this outfit if your office is on the colder side and you can easily remove the layer as needed.

4. Clothing Fit

The fit of your dress is probably paramount. Fit = Appropriateness. Too tight is certainly frowned upon and looks unprofessional, while at the other end of the spectrum, baggy and ill-fitting clothes won’t do your figure any justice and tend to look sloppy. Look for dresses that are loose but accentuate the waist. You want the dress to be figure-flattering, but not just figure-focused. A-line, shift, sheath, and classic wrap dresses are all good choices.

5. Color or Print

Your style will help dictate the color or print of your garment. When it comes to solid-colored dresses, you’ll want to wear colors that look best with your skin tone. Of course, you can also go with basic black or navy which will make everyone look nice, but dare to try a color like burgundy, midnight blue, red, or forest green. In addition to wearing colors that look good with your skin tone look for colors that go with the seasons.

And don’t be afraid of prints. Florals, pinstripe, windowpane, plaid, or houndstooth prints are all great.

What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (13)

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Business Casual Shoes

When it comes to shoes, you’ve got a lot of great options. Flats, wedges, heels, boots, and certain sandals can be worn with your business casual outfits. Flats are a comfortable option, worn primarily with pants. Try a loafer or driving moc, round or pointed toe ballerina style, or even an oxford.

Heels are more typical in a work environment, but keep them around 4 inches or less, to be both appropriate and more comfortable. You can slip your feet into pumps, slingbacks, T-straps, peep-toe, or wedged heels. And if you are going to be walking around a lot or on your feet for most of the day either opt for flats or a very thick block heel. Skinny heels will get you tired quicker.

Color is excellent for both flats and heels, as is a subtle animal print. During the colder months, pull on a pair of booties or knee-high boots, either flat, heeled, or with a wedge. Boots should be leather (or vegan alternative) and in a neutral color without over-embellishment (multiple buckles, say). While nylons and stockings are not required with your shoes, they certainly can be worn, as can tights and socks with boots.

You can also opt for heeled sandals, rather than close-toed shoes. As with general casual shoes, the height should be around 4 inches or lower and can include a wedge. Try to avoid dressier sandals that have embellishments, lots of straps, or look like they belong at a club. And, sadly, flat sandals are really not appropriate for most business casual work environments.

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When I go shopping for professional gear there are a few things I keep in mind.

Purchase Business Casual Neutrals

If I’m shopping for super essentials like; trousers, blazers, pencils skirts, etc, I almost always buy neutral colors – especially if the business casual attire is on the pricier end of the spectrum like $100+ I purchase them in colors like gray, navy, black, and white. The main reason to buy clothing in neutrals is to get the most use out of the item of course! If I’m spending more than $100 on an item, I want it to last, and I want to wear it over and over again. And for these types of business casual attire I know I’m going to keep them for a long time, so it’s worth the investment.

For less expensive items, like cute tops or a fun pair of pants that are on sale, ahead and get printed, bright, and fun colors to bring some vibrancy to my office attire. It’s important to note where your money is going. Don’t spend a ton of money on a printed top you’ll only wear a couple of times a year. Save that money for the perfect pair of trousers.

Get Essentials on Sale

Always buy items on sale! Departments stores and specialty stores like Ann Taylor, LOFT, and JCrew, always have sales going on! Like all the time. There is no need to buy something at full price to create stylish work outfits. If you find an item you like, save it on Pinterest or on your account to come back to it over the weekend. Sales usually happen on the weekends or holidays. When shopping online use tools like Honey or RetailMeNot to find coupon codes! If you’re at the store ask an associate when the next sale will be and if they offer a price adjustment period. Many retailers now give you a price adjustment if the price is lowered within a certain amount of days of the original purchase. Make sure to check out their website’s FAQ section for specifics.

Have Your Shopping List Ready

Know what you’re looking for before you go shopping! Always shop with intention, unless you’re shopping for fun and just browsing to see what you like. Have a list of items you need. This is the reason for the essential list. It’s important to know what you want before you shop online or at a store. When you go in without a purpose you wander around the store, try some things on, and then end up buying something that goes with nothing in your closet.

Consider the big picture. Before you purchase any item consider how it will add to your wardrobe. What do you already own that you can wear with? Does it match your wardrobe? Don’t buy a single piece you’re not sure what to pair with.

Consider Summer Outfits for Work

Summer presents some challenges for women when choosing business casual outfits. The heat or humidity in many locations warrants wearing as little as possible, which isn’t appropriate for the office. Instead, wear clothing made from breathable material (cotton, silk, linen) and lighter in color.

If pants are your average daily attire, go for lightweight cotton or linen in white, cream, or beige. Pair your pants with a wide-strapped tank in a pretty color or wear a slightly sheer blouse with a camisole that will help to wick away the moisture.

Better yet, switch to skirts and dresses. Both of these items allow air to circulate below the knee and, yes, up the skirt. Wear skirts and dresses that have some movement, rather than a pencil skirt that hugs the body. Pair skirts with tops that have short or cap sleeves or that wide-strap tank or semi-sheer blouse with a camisole, so you stay fresh throughout the day.

WHAT TO WEAR TO A BUSINESS CONFERENCE

When you find out you’re headed to a business conference, there are a few things that come to mind!

“Yay, I get to travel! I hope I have time to sightsee.”

“Hmmm, what should I wear to the conference?”

The location of the conference, the weather, and the industry that you’re in will determine the type of outfits you should wear to a business conference.

Let’s use the conference I went to as an example. I live in California, and the conference was in Boston. The conference was week-long and lasted all day. Industry business owners and professionals from all over the world were attending this conference, so I knew I was going to be meeting a lot of people. The conference was in September, so I knew it wasn’t going to be too hot or too cold.

From these points, I realized that business casual and layering was the best way to go. It allowed me to be comfortable for a packed day of events.

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You might need to add in a more traditional business suit or a fancier dress for an evening event. So be sure to check the schedule and plan for the unexpected. I’d rather pack a fancy dress than have to run out at the last minute to find one, or risk being embarrassed by wearing a business casual outfit to a fancy client dinner.

So here’s what I packed for that conference.

WHAT I PACKED FOR A 5-DAY BUSINESS CONFERENCE

Having to pack for a conference entails not only clothing but a computer, business cards, handouts, etc., all of which take up room in a suitcase or carry-on. So when it came time to pack for this conference, I knew I didn’t want to pack a lot of clothes. I tried to take items that I would be able to mix and match to create a variety of outfits.

So to create five different business casual outfits for this conference these are the items I took with me:

  • Black Trousers
  • Tan Trousers
  • Black Cardigan
  • Black Flats
  • Navy Heels
  • Large Tote
  • Dress
  • Polka Dot Top
  • Navy Blouse
  • Burgundy Blouse

These ten pieces made up the week of outfits I needed. It might not seem like a lot of clothes, but the key is finding pieces that you can mix and match.

I opted for darker hues as it was almost the fall season, and they are easier to mix and match. A lot of the items I packed were neutrals, so to add some personality I added a fun polka dot top and a patterned dress. You could also add in scarves or jewelry which can change up a look.

The outfit I’m wearing in this post is the complete outfit I wore at the conference. Check out How to Dress Professionally, Feel Confident and Look Stylish to view the first business casual outfit.

WHAT IS NOT Business Casual for Women?

While the business casual dress code for women isn’t written in stone, there are some hard and fast rules on what not to wear.

Here is what you should avoid when the dress code for women is business casual. Remember you want to keep it classy.

  • jeans or denim
  • low-rise pants
  • capri pants
  • shorts or skorts
  • sweatpants or yoga pants
  • overalls
  • leather pants or skirts
  • short/mini skirts or dresses
  • body-con dresses
  • ankle- or full-length dresses
  • tops or dresses with a plunging neckline
  • tops or dresses with skinny straps
  • crop tops/halters/razorback/strapless
  • flat summer sandals or flip flops
  • baggy clothes
  • super tight clothes
  • sundresses
  • sequins
  • neon
  • bra showing
  • clogs/stilettos/high-platform shoes
  • Nothing that looks like you’re hanging out with friends, going to a picnic, going to a party/club, or going on a date.

This “what not to wear” is not a comprehensive list, but it does give some key points on what you should not wear.

10 Style Tips for Business Casual Outfits

  • 1. Sleeveless tops should extend to the edges of your shoulders. No spaghetti straps.
  • 2. Your neckline should never be lower than 4 inches below your collarbone.
  • 3. Make sure all items are pressed and as wrinkle-free as possible.
  • 4. Don’t go overboard with print mixing. A subtle stripe and floral/leopard are on point.
  • 5. If you wear a slightly sheer top, make sure to top it with a blazer. Wear a camisole underneath to be extra safe.
  • 6. The safest hemline is at the knee. Never go shorter than a few inches above the knee.
  • 7. If you want to wear a bold piece like printed pants, balance it with minimalistic items, like a crisp white blouse.
  • 8. Add pops of color or even pops of print!
  • 9. Nail down some confidence-boosting pieces, like a suit, well-fitted blazer, pencil or A-line skirt, and a silk blouse.
  • 10 If you’re going to wear jeans do dark wash or black.

I hope this post has helped you in figuring out what is business casual and how women can dress appropriately and Stylish at the office!

If you have any other questions about business casual attire, just leave me a comment!

Stay Stylish,
-V

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FAQs

What is considered business casual for woman? ›

Common business casual clothing for women can include a collared or non-collared blouse, dress or skirt (at or below the knee), slacks, high heels, dress boots, flats, and modest jewelry and accessories.

What is considered business casual 2022? ›

While there's no one definition, it's generally accepted that business casual is a relaxed version of formal business wear. For men, that means doing away with ties and swapping suits for slacks, button-downs, and blazers. While for women, knee-length skirts, dresses, smart slacks, and blouses are great choices.

What defines business casual? ›

Business casual is typically defined as no jeans, no shorts, no short dresses or skirts for women, optional ties for men, and a rotation of button-downs or blouses.

What should a woman wear to a casual business meeting? ›

As the most casual degree of attire appropriate at a business meeting or function, business casual attire for women is classy but less strict than formal attire. It can include nice pants like khaki or wool pants, an appropriate skirt, a business blouse without a vest or jacket and attractive leather shoes.

Can I wear jeans for business casual? ›

Jeans are usually considered business casual, with some exceptions. Business casual jeans should be clean and in good condition, free of any tears, fading or fraying. Avoid bright-colored jeans or styles that have flashy details, in favor of classic styles that you can pair with accessories or layers as needed.

Can you wear leggings as business casual? ›

In general, business casual attire is clothing that is more relaxed than what you would wear to a job interview but still looks professional. Leggings can definitely be worn as part of a business casual outfit, especially with current trends like stirrup leggings and split hem leggings.

Are jeans business casual 2022? ›

Jeans can be business casual if they are a dark wash such as dark blue or black. Also, stick to a classic trouser or straight leg cut. A dress shirt and/or a blazer can elevate the overall look when wearing jeans.

How do you determine business casual style? ›

Business casual means you don't have to wear a full suit and tie. This dress code usually includes a collared shirt (button-up or polo shirt) or sweater on top, and dress pants, khakis, chinos, or a pencil skirt on the bottom.

Can I wear sneakers for business casual? ›

The typical lace-up sneaker can be a great fit for a business casual workplace. As lace-up sneakers have a more casual look than a slip-on, a neutral color and leather material will help provide a clean look suitable for the office.

What are some examples of business casual? ›

Business casual includes trousers, pencil skirts, slacks, khakis, blouses, button-down shirts, polos, sweaters and sports coats. Accessories may include simple jewelry, belts or ties. Business casual shoes include loafers, lifestyle sneakers (with leather or canvas), mules, flats, Oxfords, boots and heels.

Can jeans be business casual for a woman? ›

Jeans can be worn for a business casual look, but they are a little trickier to get right. The key is to pick something slim-fitting and in a dark wash, and you will need to dress them up with a smarter top or blazer. Avoid anything distressed, with holes or slashes in it, and choose a straight hemline.

Can you wear t-shirt for business casual? ›

If you're going to wear this look, make sure you don't take the blazer off -- if you do, you're really just wearing a T-shirt. That's definitely more casual. Also, try to at least wear a nice T-shirt under the blazer.

What is smart casual for ladies? ›

So, first up, what is smart casual? The term is basically about balancing your look with high-low pieces, which means you might wear something laid-back like jeans, but dress them up with smarter pieces like a shirt and blazer or heels.

Can I wear a dress for business casual? ›

So, are dresses business casual? Dresses are considered business casual when they are styled appropriately for an office environment, e.g. of a simple colour or pattern, knee length and of a conservative fit. Avoid short or revealing dresses, dresses intended for evening wear or dresses of a t-shirt material.

What is the difference between business casual and smart casual? ›

Smart casual is a less formal extension to business casual. While business casual is used for the office, smart casual is for everything outside of it. You can wear a plain, toned-down t-shirt for smart casual, any shirt that has a print of some sort is more of a casual look, not smart casual.

What shoes should I wear for business casual? ›

In a business casual office, athletic shoes and sneakers, loafers, clogs, leather boat shoes, and dress heels or flats are acceptable and may be worn with or without tights or stockings as the weather dictates. Avoid wearing flip-flops, sandals, slippers, open-toed shoes, or eye-catching, blingy footwear to the office.

Is a blue jean jacket business casual? ›

There's nothing risque or explicitly controversial about a denim jacket, which lends itself well to most business casual dress codes. Popular amongst educators looking to add layers or retail associates wanting to add comfort to their ensemble, denim jackets are a great way to stylize a business casual outfit.

Can a sweater be business casual? ›

Sweaters will absolutely work for a business casual wardrobe. You may wonder—are sweaters business casual? We answer with a resounding yes! In a business landscape that is increasingly going suit-optional, the sweater is stepping up to take the suit jacket's place.

Is it OK to wear leggings under a dress? ›

No matter what, wearing leggings under a dress is a casual look and should not be applied to a non-casual event. Finally, use care when mixing colors and patterns. Although it is a casual look, it's still best to save the livelier patterns for the dress or skirt and keep the leggings simple.

How do I look professional in leggings? ›

8 Ways to Make Leggings Professional for Work
  1. Choose a great top. Because leggings are tight to your legs, balance your upper half with a great loose-fitting shirt. ...
  2. Go for a dress. ...
  3. Wear a jacket. ...
  4. Walk the walk. ...
  5. Choose your leggings wisely. ...
  6. Make material matter. ...
  7. Accessorize. ...
  8. Put in the effort.
15 Feb 2022

Are jeggings considered business casual? ›

Wear a blouse and blazer with jeggings for a business-casual vibe. Wearing jeggings to work might seem a little unorthodox, but you can totally make it work with the right top! Put on a nice blouse or tunic and top it off with a long blazer for a dressed up, professional look.

Do you have to wear a jacket for business casual? ›

Blazer: A blazer isn't required for business casual, but if you like wearing them, it's a nice touch.

Is business casual still a thing? ›

Today, though, the term “business casual” is nearly obsolete for describing the clothing of a workforce that includes many who work from home in yoga pants, put on a clean T-shirt for a Skype meeting, and don't always go into the office.

Is short sleeve business casual? ›

Short-sleeved button-up shirts are certainly appropriate for business casual attire. The fabulous thing about this shirt style is that it can be worn for a multitude of occasions.

How do I make business casual clothes? ›

This will change how you dress for business casual (and ... - YouTube

Is a sweater over a dress business casual? ›

For business casual, no tie is necessary. A sweater vest over a dress shirt or a blazer is also acceptable.

How should I dress for a business casual interview? ›

Business casual

Most simply put, this dress code means business clothing without a mandatory tie or jacket. For women, business casual interview attire is a sharp button-up shirt or a conservative blouse paired with trousers or a skirt. You could also wear a tailored dress.

Is a cardigan business casual? ›

You might be surprised to see this one here, but cardigans are casual sweaters. Although they look good when paired with dress shirts or dress slacks, they are not meant for professional settings.

Can you wear sandals for business casual? ›

The best way to begin to understand the elusive phrase business casual is to understand what it is not. Business casual is definitely not sandals and a t-shirt. Business casual is not a plunging neckline, bare midriff, or outfits with words or pictures that could possibly be perceived as offensive.

Are white trainers business casual? ›

Whether you work in a creative space or need something smart casual for dress-down Friday, an impeccable pair of white trainers strike the perfect note. Best of all, they provide the perfect bridge between boardroom, after-work drinks and an evening out on the town.

Is a polo shirt business casual? ›

Not only are polo shirts considered business casual by many workplaces, but they also provide an option for your wardrobe that is simultaneously comfortable and easy to style. With the right pairings and accessories, you can wear polo shirts to the office throughout the year.

What are smart casual clothes? ›

What Is Smart Casual Attire? Smart casual attire is a dress code that combines well-fitting, polished business wear with elements of casual attire—think blouses, polo shirts, button-downs, chinos, dress pants, dark-wash jeans, and polished, practical footwear.

How should I dress for business casual in the summer? ›

"Business Casual" attire means:

A long or short-sleeved dress shirt (collared or turtleneck), and/or a sweater. Dress slacks, khaki pants, or dress jeans. Appropriate shoes and socks, including dress shoes, dress boots, or other presentable shoes, but not including sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, or work boots.

Can black skinny jeans be business casual? ›

It is not always clear whether jeans are acceptable or banned in the workplace. Black jeans are often in an especially gray area, as they toe the line between formal and casual. However black jeans can be a welcome addition to a men's business casual wardrobe.
...
Width.
Medium (D)8-12, 13-15
Medium (B)6.5-11

Is a cardigan and t-shirt business casual? ›

Business casual attire is perfect for the cardigan and T-shirt combo, but you can also find a way to make it look quite professional providing you choose the right type of cardigan.

Is t-shirt and jeans business casual? ›

It's important to understand the difference between business casual and casual. Light washed blue *jeans, t-shirts, sneakers and flip-flops are off limits for business casual.

What should you not wear in the office? ›

What NOT to Wear to the Office
  • Any shorts (or any pants that are less than full length — ankle-length pants and capris will be questionable at some offices!)
  • Flip-flops (whether they're plastic or leather, rethink)
  • Sandals of any kind; peep toe shoes are also often questionable at the most conservative offices.

What is acceptable business casual attire? ›

Appropriate business casual dress typically includes slacks or khakis, dress shirt or blouse, open-collar or polo shirt, optional tie or seasonal sport coat, a dress or skirt at knee-length or below, a tailored blazer, knit shirt or sweater, and loafers or dress shoes that cover all or most of the foot.

Can jeans be business casual for a woman? ›

Jeans can be worn for a business casual look, but they are a little trickier to get right. The key is to pick something slim-fitting and in a dark wash, and you will need to dress them up with a smarter top or blazer. Avoid anything distressed, with holes or slashes in it, and choose a straight hemline.

Can I wear sneakers for business casual? ›

The typical lace-up sneaker can be a great fit for a business casual workplace. As lace-up sneakers have a more casual look than a slip-on, a neutral color and leather material will help provide a clean look suitable for the office.

Is a Tshirt business casual? ›

Definition. There is no generally agreed definition of "business casual". One definition of business casual states that it includes khaki pants, slacks, and skirts, as well as short-sleeved polo shirts and long-sleeved shirts, but excludes tight or short skirts, T-shirts, and sweatshirts.

What is the difference between business casual and smart casual? ›

Smart casual is a less formal extension to business casual. While business casual is used for the office, smart casual is for everything outside of it. You can wear a plain, toned-down t-shirt for smart casual, any shirt that has a print of some sort is more of a casual look, not smart casual.

Can a sweater be business casual? ›

Sweaters will absolutely work for a business casual wardrobe. You may wonder—are sweaters business casual? We answer with a resounding yes! In a business landscape that is increasingly going suit-optional, the sweater is stepping up to take the suit jacket's place.

What are some examples of business casual? ›

Business casual includes trousers, pencil skirts, slacks, khakis, blouses, button-down shirts, polos, sweaters and sports coats. Accessories may include simple jewelry, belts or ties. Business casual shoes include loafers, lifestyle sneakers (with leather or canvas), mules, flats, Oxfords, boots and heels.

Is a blue jean jacket business casual? ›

There's nothing risque or explicitly controversial about a denim jacket, which lends itself well to most business casual dress codes. Popular amongst educators looking to add layers or retail associates wanting to add comfort to their ensemble, denim jackets are a great way to stylize a business casual outfit.

Are cardigans business casual? ›

Informal dresses paired with cardigans and a pair of flats provide a perfect business casual outfit. Blazers are acceptable, although they can sometimes make your look a little overdressed. For shoes, flats, heels, boat shoes, dress shoes and loafers are all acceptable options.

Can you wear sandals for business casual? ›

The best way to begin to understand the elusive phrase business casual is to understand what it is not. Business casual is definitely not sandals and a t-shirt. Business casual is not a plunging neckline, bare midriff, or outfits with words or pictures that could possibly be perceived as offensive.

Are white trainers business casual? ›

Whether you work in a creative space or need something smart casual for dress-down Friday, an impeccable pair of white trainers strike the perfect note. Best of all, they provide the perfect bridge between boardroom, after-work drinks and an evening out on the town.

Are white shoes business casual? ›

Business Casual

We recommend white fashion sneakers as opposed to athletic styles to avoid looking too laid-back. Also, make sure they're free of dirt, scuffs, and stains. A pair of clean, crisp white sneakers can look totally polished and professional with the right office ensemble.

Is a cardigan and t-shirt business casual? ›

Business casual attire is perfect for the cardigan and T-shirt combo, but you can also find a way to make it look quite professional providing you choose the right type of cardigan.

Can a black T-shirt be business casual? ›

A black or white t-shirt is always a good option. If you want to show off a bit more of your own personality, though, try wearing a brightly colored tee under a neutral jacket or blazer. Depending on just how casual your office is, you may even be able to layer with a zip-up hoodie to keep warm.

Can you wear short sleeves for business casual? ›

Short-sleeved button-up shirts are certainly appropriate for business casual attire. The fabulous thing about this shirt style is that it can be worn for a multitude of occasions.

Videos

1. What to Wear to an Interview: Professional, Business Casual and Smart Casual (Ft. Ingrid Nilsen)
(Indeed)
2. Women's Business Casual Clothing Guide
(Olivia Nielsen)
3. Business Casual Style Guide
(Quintessential Gent)
4. How To Dress | Your Complete Guide - Decoding the Dress Code
(Tracy Hensel)
5. Business Attire Guide: What to wear as a Consultant?
(Kevin Jon)
6. 7 BUSINESS CASUAL ESSENTIALS EVERY MAN NEEDS | Mens Style Guide
(Trey Bryant)
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