What Is Casual Business Attire?

Business casual may sound like an oxymoron, but it's actually a popular dress code for workplaces around the country. While guidelines can get blurred depending on industry and the boss's personal preference, some rules hold true no matter where you are.

Events like a birthday or themed party make showing personal style more appropriate; sport a western-style collared shirt with cowboy boots under your chinos if that's your taste. What is Business Casual For Women? You should learn the company's dress code before you try to find something comfortable to wear.

Go to work in a professional & casual look with these styles at Macy's! Find your perfect outfit for the office today! FREEE SHIPPING AVAILABLE!
Online shopping from a great selection at Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry Store.
Online shopping from a great selection at Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry Store.
Go to work in a professional & casual look with these styles at Macy's! Find your perfect outfit for the office today! FREEE SHIPPING AVAILABLE!
Business casual may sound like an oxymoron, but it's actually a popular dress code for workplaces around the country. While guidelines can get blurred depending on industry and the boss's personal preference, some rules hold true no matter where you are.

To navigate the business casual world, we've decided our definition includes looking polished, while still leaving a little wiggle room for fun via subtle ruffles, prints, and unexpected cuts.

You might already have many of the items or be able to pair articles of clothing to make them work as outfits for the office. For example, if you work in a casual startup, pairing together some nice jeans with a basic top and jacket will work well.

Also, remember that you can repeat a pair of basic slacks in one week if you switch up your top. Go shopping for the articles you still need. Department stores, shops that specialize in business casual like Banana Republic, Express, the Gap are a great bet. TJ Maxx and Marshalls are also good options for office fashion on a budget.

And remember, you can extend your wardrobe by looking for items you can mix and match, not just complete outfits.

Don't forget the shoes! Look for versatile, classy flats and heels that could work with multiple outfits and styles. Zappos offers free returns for those who like shopping from the comfort of their couch! Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. Join us by reviewing your employer!

Wow, I wish I didn't have so many shoes and always think about my shoes matching my outfit. There are so many different takes on business casual. This is where I say it's easier to be a man. I have invested in a few blazers, I like how you can pair a nice blazer with just about anything and it instantly dresses up a casual outfit.

More Articles in Career. What is Business Casual For Women? For your interview, dress up a bit more than the average employee. Invest in some basics. Consider your hair and makeup. Pay attention to social cues. Take dress code cues based on what your colleagues are wearing. What about casual Friday? I argue with my friends about this all the time. Investing basics definitely pays off.

For business casual, a tie is optional. White button-down shirts are the most formal and therefore the safest. Choose shirts in oxford, plaid and poplin patterns, which are a little less formal but perfectly acceptable. Twill, herringbone, and broadcloth patterns are more formal and nice to use for occasionally dressing up.

Jeans are still considered a little too informal for the workplace. Instead, choose khakis, dress pants, trousers or corduroy pants. The pants should extend to the top of your shoe or slightly below. Instead, select formal leather shoes in neutral colors, such as black, brown, or gray. Oxfords, lace-ups, and loafers are all acceptable. Business casual attire does not include sweatshirts, Hawaiian shirts, jeans or sneakers.

Remember that although business casual is a more relaxed dress code, it also doesn't mean that anything goes! Reader Approved Why choose wikiHow? In this case, we have also received several testimonials from our readers, who told us how this article truly helped them. Ask for specific expectations. If you're not sure what your company's policy is, ask the HR rep. Dress more conservatively on the first day if you have no other coworkers to benchmark your attire against.

Business casual is often thrown out there to describe how your employer thinks you should dress at work. The problem is that the expectations of individual companies often differ. For example, one company might want you to dress in business attire, minus a suit coat and tie, while another company may encourage you to wear khakis or jeans. Ask if your employer has an employee handbook that more clearly delineates the company's business casual policy. Look around and see what the other employees are wearing; this is a good gauge of what your employer expects when they say business casual.

Dress formally for interviews. Remember, it's better to be overdressed than underdressed. Those who are interviewing for a job in business, banking and wealth management, politics, academia, engineering, or health sectors should dress business formal unless otherwise instructed.

If no clothing type is specified, and the company you're interviewing for is outside the sectors listed above, stick with business casual. Method 1 Quiz How can you determine your company's dress code? Ask your human resources representative. Wear what makes you feel most comfortable. Assume it is the same as your last job. Ask your friends and family.

Remember that skirts and dresses are acceptable as long as the hem falls just above the knees. As with men, black and grey are more formal, making for a safer bet. Avoid low-cut dresses or those with high slits. Avoid dresses especially and skirts that are more skin-tight. Opt for pants such as khakis, corduroy pants, linen pants or dress pants.

No jeans, unless otherwise noted. If jeans are allowed by your employer, distressed jeans, jeans with holes, and "boyfriend" jeans are not desirable choices. Neutral colors are best. Choose from a variety of shirts. Women have a few more options in this department than the men.

Opt for conservative and not too revealing. Blouses, plain shirts, cotton shirts, sweaters, turtlenecks, vests, and sleeveless shirts are all acceptable. Tucked-in or untucked can both go, depending on the shirt. Unusual patterns are acceptable, as long as they are not wild. The standard, however, is a monotone shirt. Use a collar for a more formal look, and collarless shirts for a less formal look.

Try footwear such as leather shoes, flat trouser shoes, high heels; no open toed shoes. Avoid flip flops, sandals and sneakers. Heels are okay, so long as they aren't too conspicuous. Complete the business casual look. Remember dress socks or pantyhose with skirts or dresses and tastefully accessorize with light jewelry and a simple purse. Ask yourself the following set of questions if you're still not sure whether your outfit is acceptable. The answer should be 'no. Method 2 Quiz True or False: Low-cut dresses are acceptable business casual wear.

For business casual, tie is optional. Unlike pants, all manner of shirt colors are acceptable: Purple, pink, yellow, blue, and red. Choose shirts and pants in "formal" fabric: Cotton is king, and comes in many different flavors. Wool is acceptable, if itchy. Silk, rayon, and linen are frowned upon. Choose shirts in "formal patterns: Oxford, plaid, and poplin are a little less formal, but perfectly acceptable.

Twill, herringbone, and broadcloth patterns are more formal and nice to use if sprucing up. Wear pants styles such as khakis, dress pants, trousers and corduroy pants. Before you even think about choosing specific pieces, all workplace apparel should be clean, pressed and tailored to fit. Dirty, wrinkled or ill-fitting clothing never looks sharp. Some rules, like no jeans allowed apply to business casual dress code for both men and women.

No flip-flop sandals, logo T-shirts, shorts and exposed undergarments are other gender-neutral guidelines. Woven slacks or khaki chinos with a collared button-down shirt are staples for guys. A knee-length pencil skirt, blazer or cardigan and collared blouse are versatile and appropriate pieces for ladies. Footwear should also be clean and preferably leather, but guys can forego oxfords for loafers, and ladies don't need heels.

Certain situations can present variations on basic business casual attire. If you're going into a big meeting but your boss says it's still "business casual", add to your look without being overdressed. Guys can wear separates like navy slacks and a gray tweed sport coat with a plaid buttoned shirt and brown loafers.

Gals can add a black blazer over a pencil skirt and chiffon blouse with a statement necklace and pumps.

What is Business Casual For Women? In general, business casual means slacks (pants that are not jeans) and a blouse or nice top (think no crops, t-shirts or cotton tank tops), a skirt or a dress. Popular combinations often include a nice blouse with a blazer and black slacks, or a 3/4 length collared blouse and a skirt or a dress that's about knee length or longer. Business Casual Shoes for Women. When it comes to business casual shoes, women have many fantastic options, including flats like loafers, brogues and ballet shoes, heels like comfortable kitten and block styles and boots, which are ideal for winter. To navigate the business casual world, we've decided our definition includes looking polished, while still leaving a little wiggle room for fun via subtle ruffles, prints, and unexpected cuts.