Updated on December 18, 2022 by Sarina Tariq
Business casual is a casual style suitable for a professional setting—above jeans but not as conservative as a business suit. The Business Casual dress code is meant for a formal atmosphere but does not require strict adherence to the formal dress code. It is a smart dressing style.
Some companies insist on a business casual dress code as their central style. Still, others allow it only for certain occasions like dress-down Fridays, casual business meetings, informal client visits, etc.
Though the word casual is central to the dress code, Business casual is still formal attire, and it should reflect professionalism and dependability, so ensure that what you wear is pristine and pressed. Creased clothes shout out unprofessionalism.
Business Casual Dress code
1. Well fitting pants in neutral colors
Black is a favorite color for formal pants, and they can be paired with any top. Other favored colors are navy and charcoal. The pant can be made of suit material, corduroy, or good quality lined crepe; No denim or hosiery material.
A khaki pant is a semi-formal pant in a light tan or beige color. It is synonymous with casual dressing in a formal setting, which is what business casual is all about. Pastel-colored tops go very well with these pants and create a casual but sedate vibe.
2. Tailored Blazer
A blazer can completely transform your looks – turn a ‘hmmm’ outfit to a ‘very nice’ and professional one. The blazer can be in a color that suits you and should be semi-fitted.
3. Short sleeved shirts
A long-sleeved dress shirt is formal, but when it is half-sleeved, not so much. It should also be well-pressed and semi-fitted.
4. Casual tops
Buy tops in colors that can be mixed and matched. Shell tops (sleeveless tops) under blazers are the quintessential business casual staples. Turtle-neck sweaters are also nice. Tops made of knit fabrics are comfortable and casual and do not crease even after a long day.
T-shirts are casual but too casual for a business setting, so they are not so welcome in a business casual dress code. But this depends on where you work. A plain and well-pressed T-shirt under a blazer can still give a smart look. But absolutely no logo-t-shirts or hooded sweatshirts.
5. Formal skirts
This can be a fitting pencil skirt or a nice A-line skirt in a sedate color and knee length. The shirt should be long enough to be tucked into the waistband of the pants or skirts.
6. Comfortable dresses
A fitting dress is a nice addition to a business casual wardrobe. You can wear it with a 3/4 length blazer.
7. Pumps (Court shoes)
It is usually a “no sandals, please” in this dress code, but this depends on the setting, company, country, etc.
There are many shoes which come under business casual code but not as much as the black pointed-toes shoes with low cut front, the Pumps. It is formal enough but casual enough too. You can count loafer shoes also in this category.