What Is Business Casual For Women
The easiest way to think of business casual is a hybrid of business professional and casual wear. A pair of jeans, an oxford button down, and a light sweater are all business casual. Flip-flops should be left at home.
Casual dressing for the workplace often includes a blazer, suit skirt, or pants in neutral colors, along with a patterned shell top or leopard print flats. For most companies, wearing business casual is a daily requirement.
If you don’t work from home, you need to understand how to put together stylish work outfits. This is an essential skill for anyone who doesn’t work from home.
When you’re starting a new business, it’s smart to start with a good, solid selection of business clothes and shoes for the bulk of your main business wardrobe. A lot of thought went into choosing the best office outfit for you. It starts with essential pieces in neutrals and then you add a pop of color to these pieces so you don’t have to buy a ton of new items.
Wear a pair of gray trousers two to three times a week. Swap the top for another day or try it in a different color. This should work best for a pair of brightly colored trousers. You can wear them a few times but you’ll quickly grow tired of the attention they get.
- What Is Business Casual For Women
- What to Look for In Business Casual Attire
- Women’s Business Casual Pants
- Shopping For Business Casual Pants
- Business Casual Blouses and Tops
- Shopping For Business Blouses And Tops
- Business Casual Sweaters
- Business Casual Jackets or Blazers
- Business Casual Skirts or Dresses
- Business Casual Dress Tips – Business Dress Length
- Business Casual Dress Tips – Business Casual Necklines
- Business Casual Dress Tips – Sleeves For Business Casual
- Business Casual Dress Tips – Clothing Fit
- Business Casual Dress Tips – Color or Print
- Business Casual Shoes
What to Look for In Business Casual Attire
One of the most challenging aspects of dressing for work is picking the right business casual pieces. Business casual style means that you need suits that fit you well, a wide range of casual shirts and dresses, appropriate accessories, and shoes that are comfortable.
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
Whether you work in an office or for yourself, pants are an obvious choice and the first option for most business attire. You should buy a pair of black slacks that fit well and don’t have any 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 are many different kinds of denim these days. Make sure the color is pure and it’s good to have a bit of stretch in the denim so it’s more comfortable for sitting for long periods.
It’s all about wearing colors that fit you. You can wear white, but it needs to be the perfect white and not the same old white. Try pairing it with bright colors.
If your pants are made of a thicker, stretchy material, like a denim, a mid-rise trouser style works best. I like wide-legged pants, but you can also go with a straight leg, boot cut or ankle length.
You can wear your business casual pants in several different ways. Wear your new sweater or coat this season. It will be the perfect thing for the colder months.
You should be looking for lighter-weight, lighter-colored pants in the spring and summer. You also have a lot more options during this time of year. If your style is casual, you might even wear wide-leg cropped pants in white or blush.
Shopping For Business Casual Pants
For business casual pants, I usually look for trousers with a medium waistband and no loops for a belt. A wider waistband is supportive, keeps your tummy tucked and gives a flattering shape to your body.
If you have a problem area, don’t wear low- or high-rise pants. This top is super comfortable and will make you look thinner in the middle.
You should buy trousers that fit well and minimize your body shape. Stretch makes them less forgiving. Straight or wide legs are best. Avoid super-pegged leggings if you’re aiming for a slimmer legline.
You’ll need to avoid pants with pleats and watch out for pants with pockets that are positioned along the side seams. You can have extra-wide jeans with wide legs, or just buy the skinny jeans, then pair them with tights or legging.
If you have a large behind, it might be worth wearing a belt with your trousers to draw more attention to your posterior. Pants that don’t have belt loops are so much better!
Business Casual Blouses and Tops
Try out this great color combo for a fresh, colorful look. It includes a fun top, floral skirt, and some shoes that are perfect for a fun day out. There are a lot of products in pretty colors that match your skin tone, eyes, and hair color.
Pastels, jewel tones, plaids, muted florals, and prints (paisley, geometric, polka dot, ikat) are all acceptable. In the cooler months, choose longer or ¾ length sleeves; in the warmer months, opt for short or cap sleeves, and you can even wear a wide-strapped tank.
For summer, look for light blouses with cap sleeves, sleeveless, and shell tops in light fabrics, such as silk, cotton, or other similar fabric.
To keep your neckline modest, wear a collared, boat-neck, square-neck, or turtleneck. A scoop neck shows off your collar bone, which should always stay covered.
Keep your shirt tucked in or, if it’s too short, make sure it doesn’t show under your pants. 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 there are almost limitless options. It’s easy to get carried away by the variety and affordability of the products.
Investing in more work essential pants and blazers is a smart decision because they’ll last longer, and they look better for the long run. Casual tops are a great way to dress up without investing too much money into new clothes. You’ll probably want to add a few new casual shirts every year.
In the summer and spring, look for colorful shirts and fun prints. Flowers, lace, florals, windowpane, stripes, leopard prints, and leopard or camouflage prints.
Choose blush if you want to add some color to your complexion. If you love bold colors, consider buying tops in pink, green, yellow, orange, red, and bright blue.
Don’t you dare wear that silk sleeveless top without a blazer! To look professional, pair a green silk polka dot top with a striped blazer. I love the navy and white combo that looks awesome against the solid-colored blazer.
Business Casual Sweaters
You can wear any sweater in a variety of ways: as a top, over a shirt if you want to layer, with pants or a skirt, or over a dress. It doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as it fits properly.
A cardigan works best. 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.
You can have a sweater with buttons, no buttons, or a drape front collar. Longer cardigans help you add some extra style and versatility to your wardrobe. They look best worn with a skinny belt for some added definition and a different look.
I usually prefer wearing thin, v-neck, long sleeve sweaters to the office than other types of sweaters. Business casual sweaters are perfect for layering under a button-down shirt, and they’re also versatile enough to go with nearly any type of clothing.
The bold and bright pink sweater is a high contrast between the striped collared shirt and black bottoms. The basic, long black cardigan is another must-have for the busy working woman, especially in the winter.
You can see in this outfit that I paired it with the pink v-neck sweater, this is an excellent choice for the cooler months and the colder weather. You can layer a business cardigan over many different outfits, and it’s very comfortable, too.
Business Casual Jackets or Blazers
It’s best to wear a sweater or jacket during colder months for warmth while going to and from home and 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 should keep your outerwear professional looking all the time. That way you can make a positive first impression no matter what the occasion.
Color is the key to dressing your best. If you want to save money, buy a few pairs in neutral colors – black, brown. Classic patterns such as stripes, small pinstripes, herringbones and plaids are always great choices in a jacket.
A lot of people have boxes instead of fitted clothes. That’s because they don’t know what works for them. Your jacket should fit properly – that means if it’s too tight, you should take it in, and if it’s too.
If you prefer a coat that doesn’t look like a suit, you might want to consider a wool motorcycle jacket.
Layers are perfect for any kind of business casual outfit. You’re ready for the chill! Instead of feeling cold, you are warm and also looking nice in your new coat. In this outfit I’ve cuffed my blazer sleeve to make it look softer and prettier, and to show off the cute striped lining.
With the casual business attire you’ve included in this article, I’ve worn it layered over a forest green dress. Added a slim belt to the dress to create some definition, and added a pretty silk neck scarf to brighten up the outfit and soften the outfit.
Business Casual Skirts or Dresses
Women should dress in both pants and dresses for work, but they don’t have to be limited to one look. The clothes you wear with your pants will usually work well with a skirt.
The best skirts to wear this season are pencil, A-line, or pleated. For women with a full figure, the hem of a short skirt or dress should be just above the knee. Don’t limit yourself to a specific style. Go for a color and print that appeals to you.
Ann Taylor always has so many nice things to choose from.
Casual suits are more appropriate for business casual wear than dresses. Dresses are easy to take on and off and make it quick and simple to get ready in the morning. When it’s chillier out, they work well with business casual cardigans and blazers.
The neckline of a blouse should follow the same rules mentioned above for necklines. It should follow the neckline of your blazer. 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.
Business Casual Dress Tips – Business Dress Length
A dress or skirt shouldn’t be too long that you feel uncomfortable. Wear an A-line skirt that’s knee-length, or, if you are tall, an above-the-knee dress.
The long skirt will be easy to get up and down out of chairs and can appropriately cover you if you are walking upstairs or on an escalator.
Business Casual Dress Tips – Business Casual Necklines
No matter what kind of dress or blouse you’re wearing, its neckline should be modest and not show too much cleavage. Leave the plunging v-necks and halters at home. Try a moderate v-neck, round, scoop, boat, or collared style.
You’ll get the best coverage if you have a larger chest so avoid tight, low necklines, boat necks, or keyholes and pick a v-neck or scoop neck instead. You can wear a boat neck and a neckline, such as the dress I’m wearing, if you have a smaller chest.
Business Casual Dress Tips – Sleeves For Business Casual
Typically, offices are on the cold side, so for dresses opt for longer sleeves. You can choose a full-length or three-quarter-length sleeve. A full-length sleeve is said to be the most flattering.
A shirt collar ends between your neck and your shoulder. The thinner your arm is, the more that you should wear a low-sleeve shirt. The most flattering sleeve length is for your body and office environment. Add the outfit to your go-to work wardrobe if your office is warm and you want to stay warm without heating up the room.
Business Casual Dress Tips – Clothing Fit
Whether you want to wear a pencil skirt that looks and feels perfect or an elegant cocktail dress, the fit is key. Fit is the same as appropriate. You can look professional, but you have to dress in a way that fits your figure. You should dress in a way that makes you feel good.
Choose clothes that are loose, but still fit your body figure well. They should highlight your waist, rather than just emphasizing it. A-line, shift, sheath, and classic wrap dresses are all good choices.
Business Casual Dress Tips – Color or Print
The style of your clothing will help dictate the color or print of your garment. The style of dress is not as popular as the one you wear in the summer, but it’s still a classic!
Whether you’re at a dinner party or simply going out with friends, black or navy is an easy choice. You should avoid wearing too much blue or pink during the winter, as these colors tend to make your skin appear sallow and lifeless.
Prints are fun to wear, so you might want to give them a try. They work for any season, and you can even go retro and make them into a little something extra special.
Business Casual Shoes
When it comes to shoes, there are a lot of great options. Flats, wedges, heels, boots, and certain sandals can be worn with your business casual outfits.
It’s a comfortable option, but it’s usually worn with trousers. How about a loafer or driving moc, ballet or pointed toe style, or even an oxford?
In an office setting, heels should be worn no higher than 4 inches, to be both appropriate and more comfortable. Whether you need something to wear to a wedding or a special event, slip-ons are the perfect choice.
If you’re going to be walking around a lot or on your feet most of the day, opt for flats or a very thick block heel. It’s best to wear flat shoes when you go to the beach.
Color goes with everything. It’s an excellent choice for flats or heels, and it also works well for summer and winter.
When you need to keep your feet warm during the cooler months, wear warm socks or boots, either flat or with a heel. Boots should be made of leather (or a vegan alternative) and should be a neutral color.
While your shoes, tights, and socks are not required, you may wish to wear them. You can opt for open-toe sandals, rather than close-toed shoes. When shopping for casual running shoes, look for an insole that is a little higher than the height of your normal shoe.
If you want to get noticed, you need to go where the women are. Dress up for those evening cocktail parties and business networking events. As a matter of fact, flat sandals are not appropriate for most business casual environments.
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