Getting business casual outfits spot-on can be a little tricky nowadays. Every company’s dress code will vary, and even where you work will affect what type of clothing is acceptable. Understanding your company’s dress code is imperative, so make sure you start there, unless you work from home.
Most workplaces require formal clothing regularly, so knowing how to pull together a great and stylish ensemble is significant.
Thus, in today’s post, we will break down tips on what to wear and what not to wear, where to buy, and examples of stylish looks:
Business Casual Style Guide
Putting together stylish and comfortable looks is a must no matter the season, where you work, or the type of your job. One of the great benefits of this fashion is that you can incorporate clothing that is a little more comfortable and fun to wear.
While you still want to stick to neutrals and other conservative colors, you can bring modest prints, softer fabrics, and even comfier shoes. The safest way to ensure your outfit is according to the dress code is to opt for one dressy and a casual item. You can also go for some simple and light, work-appropriate jewelry.
Dos and Donts to Remeber
- Go for neutral-colored workwear: blacks, browns, beiges, white, navy, etc. You can bring in the occasional pop of color to brighten the ensemble and mix and match your basics to create stylish looks.
- Avoid wearing ripped jeans, low-rise pants, shorts, flip-flops, sweatpants, short skirts, or anything shorter than four inches above the knee. It would be smart to steer clear of crop tops, graphic tees, etc.
- Add a tank top if your top is even slightly sheer.
- Do not wear overly baggy or bodycon clothing. If you do want to pull off a fitted dress, pair it with a long blazer or cardigan and heels to make it appropriate for work.
- Do try and get your clothing tailored. It is a foolproof way to ensure everything fits perfectly.
- Do not wear wrinkled clothing. Always iron or dry-clean to ensure it’s in pristine condition.
- A good rule of thumb is the same four-inch rule that applies to your hemline: a top should be no lower than four inches below your collarbone. Likewise, if wearing a skirt or dress, your hemline should be no shorter than four inches above the knee.
- Be mindful of your undergarments as well. They should fit well and not be seen through your outerwear.
Please keep in mind that your workplace environment might be a little more relaxed, and if you work in an industry like fashion, you might find you have a whole lot more range to styling appropriate attires!
So, below is something for everyone, but the basics are still the same. Without further ado, let’s check them out!
Spring & Summer Looks
↓ 24 – Add a Pastel Element to a Neutral Look
The combination of neutrals with pastels is super chic. If you need to wear tank tops, stick with wide straps or style them with cardigans or other garments on top. Add a blazer for a little extra coverage as well as to tie the look together.
↓ 23 – Add Printed Footwear to a Solid Ensemble
Here is an excellent example of how to wear jeans for business look. Paired with a solid-colored three-quarter length sleeved top and animal print ballet flats, this is as great as an example of any trendy professional clothes.
↓ 22 – Go for Pastels & Lighter Shades for the Perfect Spring Look
Bringing in elements of your personality can sometimes feel a bit tough into your look! Maybe you love color and loud prints making typical conservative work attire boring or plain. Whatever the case, incorporating color or extra feminine detailing can be done effortlessly!
Here is a beautifully neutral and pink ensemble that remains conservative and is both whimsical and chic. While you will not want to bring a basket purse to work, try a white or one in beige to tie the look together.
↓ 21 – White Pants Go Effortlessly With Any Blouse
Jewel tones are a great way to incorporate color into your work wardrobe, particularly if you like to keep your bright colors to a minimum. This pleated top allows you to skip the jacket. Paired with straight white pants and cat-eye sunglasses, you can see how stylish you can be without sacrificing comfort.
Here are more ideas on How to Wear White Wide Legged Pants.
↓ 20 – Pair a Vertical Striped Top With Beige Pants
What I love about this look is how fresh and stylish it is! This is an outfit I would not mind rocking even to work at home. The fit of the trousers is flawless, not too tight, and not a lot of excess fabric. Not to mention that this is a good ensemble for a petite girl too.
Here are all the Ways to Wear Striped Shirts.
↓ 19 – Accessories to Style & Elevate Your Look
When it comes to accessorizing, less is more. In the case of this look, you can see how a great pair of sunglasses, a beautiful long necklace, and a stylish purse all complement this ensemble without overwhelming it. As Coco Chanel said: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”
↓ 18 – Classic Neutrals and Stripe Print on a Skirt
Bring a print or pattern into your attire and keep the rest neutral. An excellent way to make your look pop is to add a bright color to a monochrome outfit. Pair your footwear and accessories suitably to create cohesiveness and make your ensemble stand out!
↓ 17 – Pair a Button-Down Top and Detailed Trousers
Please remember that with sheer tops, you always want to wear an undershirt to be safe! I would also go a little looser on the pants, if only for comfort’s sake! Sitting for long periods in close-fitting pants is not fun.
↓ 16 – Silk Blouses & Flats are the Definitions of a Relaxed Business Ensemble!
Fall & Winter Outfits
↓ 15 – How to Style Maternity Wear?
A dress can be a great maternity work outfit. It provides less restriction than pants and can give you the extra legroom you need!
Pair it with a soft-colored sweater blazer (super comfy and chic) for inside the office, and finish the look with some leopard print ballet flats.
It is the perfect blend of style and comfort.
↓ 14 – Unify Your Look With Matching Outerwear & Footwear
Most of the time, it is best to tuck your tops into your pants. But when you do not, please ensure you have a few inches of fabric going past the waistband of your pants. Otherwise, you risk baring your midriff every time you lift your arms.
You can unify your look by opting for a blazer or cardigan in a similar color to your footwear if your top and bottoms clash with each other. This will create cohesiveness and leave you looking effortless!
↓ 13 – Style a Striped Tee Shirt With Jeans for Work!
This ensemble is great for summer.
↓ 12 – Execute Neon & Earthy Tones Flawlessly
Now, if you work in the fashion industry, you may have a little more (or a lot more) wiggle room for styling casual workwear. That is why we have this stunning take! This high-end look is fashionista-approved, and you could even rock it for after-work events. It is just that chic.
This fit is ideal for fall, but add stockings to make it more winter-appropriate business wear!
↓ 11 – Opt for Ballet Flats
Here is a great go-to outfit you can pull out once the weather gets nippy. To replicate the look, go for a black mock-neck shirt and straight jeans. You can add a chunky scarf for a cozier feel. Finish off the look with a pair of ballet flats!
↓ 10 – Pair a Crewneck Sweater With Pencil Skirt
I love this classic black and white ensemble, complete with a gorgeous white pencil skirt with button detailing that could make a girl swoon.
Do note that this is a great-fitting skirt that is not overly tight and falls just below the knee. You can pair this lovely skirt with a slim black crewneck sweater and nude heels.
Do check out this collection of our favorite Outfits with Pencil Skirts.
↓ 9 – Add Nude Heels to an Elegant Sweater Blazer
Great for fall and winter, this gorgeous ensemble will keep you cozy and warm and earn you major style points.
↓ 8 – Footwear
When it comes to footwear, there are plenty of options! From flats to heels and wedges to boots, you can achieve stylish elegance while being comfortable. Heels are most traditional for office wear, but try keeping yours under four inches.
Other options include certain types of sandals. Pumps, slingbacks, peep-toes, and T-straps are great picks
↓ 7 – Cozy Cardigan Edition
Bring some texture into your ensemble to get a fresh look.
↓ 6 – Create an Affordable Attire With Wardrobe Staples
A capsule wardrobe allows you to get lots of wear from budget-friendly & fewer-quality pieces. You will want lots of neutral pieces and solid colors by scouring sales racks and hitting your local thrift stores. J. Crew hosts regular sales, so check them out routinely for good buys!
↓ 5 – Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Stuns in an All-White Fit
Here is an effortless way to pull off solid-colored attire. The tank top is perfectly appropriate for work and pairs flawlessly with the pleated pants. Moreover, the pairing of a fitted clothing item with a baggy one makes this fit stand out more.
The camel heels contrast phenomenally with the white and complement the belt. And finally, the gold accessories help tie everything together. You can drape a white blazer over your shoulders for a strictly business vibe!
↓ 4 – Get the Streetstyle Casual Down With Hailey Bieber
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how you nail streetwear for official meetings! If you want to keep things more formal, swap the tee shirt for a white blouse and pair it with khaki pants, sneakers, and an oversized trench coat.
The key to pulling off a look like this is to carry yourself with confidence, and you will see yourself exuding grace automatically. Another quick way to look formal is to brush your hair back in a sleek ponytail or bun and small gold hoop earrings.
↓ 3 – Amal Clooney in a Matching Tweed Set
When you are in a hurry and do not have the time to put together a fit, matching tweed blazer and skirt sets will come to the rescue! The best part is that half the work is already done for you. All you have to do is accessorize and decide on the footwear.
If you wish to amp up your ensemble, opt for stockings with ballet flats. You can also leave the front of your blazer open to show off a cute top/ blouse in complementary colors.
↓ 2 – Get Cozy for Office Meetings With Dakota Johnson
Pleated pants are perfect for styling relaxed yet formal ensembles because they are easy to elevate or style down. Thus, they are the ideal item for putting together casual business looks.
Dakota Johnson opted for a matching two-piece with a crop top and cardigan. Pair this fit with court shoes in cream or ivory shade to match the top set. Bright lip color is the perfect addition to tie this attire together!
↓ 1 – Style a Sweater Vest Like Victoria Beckham
This look is super cozy and stylish for the office! I love the details of the lace collar peeking out beneath the vest, as it adds character and femininity to an otherwise masculine outfit. The straight pants and court heels are an effortless pairing to the top and sweater!
You should pull your hair back in a sleek bun at the nape of your neck for a polished and sophisticated appearance. And accessorizing with dainty jewelry will hit this attire right on the mark.
What is business casual?
It helps to think of this clothing style as a blend of traditional formal outfits with a few informal pieces thrown in.
For example, think of a blouse with cap sleeves and flats, paired with dress pants and a blazer. It is still professionally appropriate, but it is not a full pantsuit or button-down dress shirt.
How should women dress for casually at work?
You should try to create professional outfits that are not corporate work attire formal.
Mostly, the hard and fast rules include wearing trousers, dress pants, or pants in a neutral color with a blouse or button-down, flats or small heels, a few accessories, and your choice of a blazer, jacket, or cardigan. You can wear it sleeveless, but it has to extend to your shoulders (no narrow straps).
Where can I buy these clothes ?
Here are six places that sell cute, stylish work clothes for women:
- Ann Taylor
- Banana Republic
- & Other Stories
- J. Crew
Are jeans okay for business?
This depends on the nature of your work, your company’s dress code, and other factors, but yes, in most cases, you can certainly wear light/dark wash or black jeans to your job. In some cases, you may even wear dark gray jeans. Just try and avoid anything ripped or low-rise.
I hope this post helped and gave you some ideas on how to nail the perfect outfit yourself. Stay stylish, friends! If you still have questions, drop them in the comments below!
R.H. Elias is a freelance writer, aspiring author, and freelance transcriptionist. She is a homebody all the way and loves curling up on a cold, rainy day with a good book and a warm cup of tea. Her favourite pastimes include reading, writing, and watching period films. She currently lives in Puerto Rico.