What Is Casual Business Attire?

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. As long as your outfit adheres to your office dress code, there's no reason to not get creative.

A Anonymous Feb 11, Method 3 Quiz What is proper business casual attire for men? Although business casual is casual, it also doesn't mean that anything goes.

Not quite. In fact, this dress code guideline is a frequent source of confusion for workers. And it's not their fault — there really isn't a clear, standardized definition. Business casual may mean different things at different companies, cities, and industries.
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For office-friendly business casual, we offer a variety of styles to suit any taste. Pair a Portofino Shirt with a pleated skirt, or pencil skirts with blazers to create stunning women's suits .
Not quite. In fact, this dress code guideline is a frequent source of confusion for workers. And it's not their fault — there really isn't a clear, standardized definition. Business casual may mean different things at different companies, cities, and industries.
Business casual attire is less formal than traditional business clothing but still professional enough to be office appropriate. For women, this typically means a skirt or slacks, a button down blouse, and closed-toe shoes.

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. As long as your outfit adheres to your office dress code, there's no reason to not get creative.

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.

Building a wardrobe of closet staples like a black blazer and chinos will give you go-to options that anchor your ensemble. Add items like color and print to show your personal style while maintaining a professional look. 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.

If in doubt, avoid it. Just be conscious of your choice and think for a moment of how others may perceive it. Or that your makeup is your choice and has nothing to do with your work output.

For borderline casual-business-casual outfits, your shoes can make a huge difference. Slim-cut jeans with a sweater? But pair them with a pair of patent leather high heels? Suddenly, you look a lot more dressed up and looking smart casual. Take advantage of this dress-up-or-down shoe power and transform some of the more casual items in your closet into work-ready wear.

We know, we know. Authenticity is all the rage. And for a reason. Maybe you love hot pink and glittery colors but aren't sure how to pull off these hues in the workplace.

It's important to listen to your instincts, here. Even people who know you have perceptions of you that are in some way shaped by your choice of clothing. Dress codes for work — and definitions of business casual clothing — can vary widely depending on the company and company culture. While your company may not have a formal, definitive dress code in play, pay attention to both dress codes for women and dress codes to men simply by observing what they seem to wear on a daily basis.

Always avoid inappropriate or overly revealing clothing and anything that looks sloppy. Casual still means office attire. Taking into account your industry, the way coworkers dress, and your own aesthetic, make a list of items you will need for work. This might mean a few pairs of black slacks, a half-dozen blouses, undershirts and you're set.

Or, you could consider a capsule wardrobe Pinterest is great for inspiration , where you mix and match 30 or so total items for a variety of looks. Take a look at your closet. 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. 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. Jeans are not considered business casual. Pleated pants and dark colors are more formal, conservative choices. If you want to be on the safe side, over dressing is less frowned upon than under dressing.

Pants should extend to the top of your shoe, or slightly longer. Pants that don't reach down to your shoe are considered high-water pants; pants that fold and bunch up near the feet are considered too baggy. Avoid pants in loud colors such as red, yellow, and purple. Camouflage is not allowed, neither are white pants — they feel a little too informal for even business casual. Stick with black, brown, grey, khaki, dark blue and dark green pants. Consider pairing your shirt with a sweater or sweater vest.

V-neck sweaters work best if wearing a a collar. Turtlenecks can be worn in combination with a blazer for a sleek look and a little bit of novelty. If you want to wear a suit coat and still look business casual, dress it down with khakis instead of suit pants.

Business Casual for Women Clothing Guide. Trying to decipher business casual for women can be a little difficult in today’s work environment and can vary depending on where you work. 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. Business Casual Outfits for Women Business Casual Pants for Women. Whether cropped, wide-leg, straight or slim, pants are an excellent choice for women who must adhere to . Not quite. In fact, this dress code guideline is a frequent source of confusion for workers. And it's not their fault — there really isn't a clear, standardized definition. Business casual may mean different things at different companies, cities, and industries.