What Is Business Casual & How To Do It Right

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With so many different work environments, different bosses and office culture – it can be hard to work out what is business casual, what’s too casual and what’s just a plain old mess of dragging hems and boring black tattered work pants.

While there are often different dress standards for each business, we’re told regularly that the dress code is either business or business casual. The idea of business casual should be as straightforward as it sounds but unfortunately, it’s like walking into a makeup store and asking for a nude-toned foundation. We have a rough idea of what it is, but it’s not very specific, and someone else’s idea of nude could be another person’s idea of really dark or really pale.

So, let’s put this annoyingly vague label to bed, shall we?

Business Casual

Is clothing that’s professional but not formal. It’s best to avoid wearing jeans or open shoes and often entails things like casual blazers with trousers. Pencil skirts without a jacket. Patterned pants and a simple button-up, or a fit and flare skirt with a knit and a beautiful wristwatch.

If you’re running your own business, you may also be attending networking events and be wondering what to wear. If this is the case, jump on over to my post about that here.

what is business casual girl with a red bag in work clothes

What Is Business Casual – The Do’s And Don’ts Of Business Casual

Dresses & Skirts:

Do:

Wear lighter fabrics.

Wear bold prints.

Pick knee or just above the knee length styles.

Don’t:

Wear plunging necklines.

Wear cutout or one shoulder dresses.

Wear a short dress or skirt.

what is business casual skirt option image

Jackets:

Do:

Wear lighter colours.

Wear softer fabrics.

Pick styles you could see yourself wearing out of a night time, or to a nice lunch.

Don’t:

Wear a formal suit jacket.

Wear the jacket as a top.

Pick one in a fabric too heavy to wear all year round.

what is business casual white jacket option image

Tops:

Do:

Wear lighter colours.

Wear softer fabrics.

Wear boat necks, round necks, square necklines, shallow v-necks and shallow scoop necks.

Wear your button up shirts rolled up at the sleeves.

Don’t:

Wear a strappy top.

Wear anything cropped, cut out or see through.

Wear a neckline that shows too much skin.

what is business casual pink top option

Pants:

Do:

Wear lighter colours.

Wear patterned fabrics.

Wear the pants without a matching suit jacket.

Wear ballet flats or small heels with them.

Don’t:

Wear jeans.

Wear shorts.

Wear hipster style pants.

what is business casual patterned pants option

ALARNA HOPE

Owner / Blogger / Stylist

Alarna Hope is a Fashion Stylist and Writer based in Sydney, she's considered an expert in her field as a Personal Stylist and is also quite good at writing about herself in the third person. She cries during movie makeover scenes, has a jar of Nutella under her bed for safety, and can tell you the synopsis of every Kath & Kim episode ever. She currently resides in Sydney with her Oscar worthy cat, Meryl Streep.

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