Business casual for women is business attire for work or business. Business casual is a polished refined look that is usually suitable for all industries and is a popular preferred attire even among other establishments such as restaurants. Business casual attire is not as formal dressy as corporate attire which may include a three piece suit. Business casual is polished and neat, and always looks appropriate.
“The way you present yourself to the world and your ability to assemble business casual attire is crucial to your success”. This is not meant to sound superficial or intimidating, but the plain fact of the matter is, you are judged every single day of the way you dress. Your clothes are speaking for you, communicating strong messages to the outside world about your taste level, professionalism, and general acumen. When you become comfortable with the business attire dress code, you can put outfits together in a thoughtful manner and your wardrobe will convey that you are sophisticated and relevant, who doesn’t want that?
Business attire has sometimes been looked at as dressy and sometimes intimidating. Business casual is a step down and more casual, but still looks professional because it is polished, refined and neat.With business casual you don’t have to be stiff or boring, you can still add your fashion sense and taste. Business casual for women does not necessarily have to be for work or business. It is a preferred way to dress for many women, whether they know it or not.
The business casual for women basics include, pants, trousers, skirts, button up shirts, blouses, sweaters, cardigans, dresses, shoes, belts and structured bags. If jeans are allowed, dark jeans with no holes. Business casual usually does not include jeans, although many employees allow denim especially these days. Choosing the right jeans is important and the right jeans can still look polished and neat.
What you wear to a night club or to the beach is not suitable for business casual attire. No flip flops, shorts, plunging V-necks, tight fitting clothing or too baggy. Use moderation and good judgment when selecting your attire.
BUSINESS CASUAL ATTIRE GOAL
Saving vs Splurge- assuming your creating your business casual attire from scratch, it’s recommended you start by buying the best basics at whatever price point you can afford. Your goal is to find timeless silhouettes-not super short, tight, or cleavage baring styles, in neutral colors and make sure that everything is impeccably tailored. When your wardrobe is flush with these indispensables, you will look polished and refined at all times, effortlessly.
Pants, khaki’s or trousers in wide leg, boot leg, straight or pencil pants are fine. Pants should always be ironed, and in neutral colors. Black is the no-brainer basic and easy to wear with everything. Don’t wear pants that ride too low.
If your business casual dress code allows jeans, choose dark denim with no holes are distressing. No designs or embellishments on the pockets.
Your skirt length should come to your knees while you are standing or a little bit above. High slits that show a large view of your legs are not appropriate and if wearing a slips, it shouldn’t be visible.
Dresses are an easy item to wear because its one piece and you have an entire outfit. Don’t wear too tight of a dress, pencil dresses and the classic wraps look good on most body shapes. Keep the hemline at the knee or a little above. If t you would wear the dress to a night club, then it’s probably not appropriate for business. No spaghetti straps, unless you are wearing a jacket or cardigan over it.
Button ups should be tailored and crisp. Silk blouses, dressy sleeveless tops or shell tops are also good choices. A good quality T-shirt made with quality fabric is fine. Shirts should not be too tight or low cut. Velvet and shimmery fabrics for evening are not appropriate as well as see- through shirts.
Sweaters are great especially for fall and winter. A cardigan is essential and looks great with pants and a pencil skirt. Don’t be afraid to wear color, but keep it conservative. Jewel tones look lovely and combine with with basic darks.
A great jacket is essential and a good investment. You don’t need to buy tons of jackets, find one that looks good on you and is tailored. A neutral color will go with many outfits. Jackets are always a good choice and always look great, even if you are wearing a pencil pant, a simple quality T-shirt and a nice heel, if you throw on a nice jacket, you instantly look great and pulled-together.
Wear a nice classic watch without a lot of “bling”. Earrings, necklaces and bracelets are fine as long as the choices are simple and not too much. Avoid extremes of style and color and don’t wear too much jewelry.
Black leather shoes are a basic staple to a business casual attire. Stick with neutral colors for a variety of wear. Pumps and flats are good. A good heel is around 3 inches. The wider the heel, the more comfortable. Make sure your heels are always in good condition.
The best kind of purse is a structured bag in nice leather. Black goes with everything or any other neutral color. Fringy and heavily embellished bags are not suggested.
Always have clean manicured fingernails
Perfume is fine but don’t wear too much or over powering fragrances.
Padfolios are preferred over large briefcases.A small briefcase is good as long as you need one. Don’t use a briefcase or padfolio if you don’t need it, you will look silly.
BUSINESS CASUAL FOR WOMEN TIPS
- If it’s a neutral color, well tailored, and a traditional shape, it’s probably a timeless essential.
- A couple of flawless pairs of pants will give you a strong wardrobe foundation.
- The right clothing pieces are invaluable, it’s better to have a few amazing pieces, rather than lots of shoddy cheap styles.
- No missing buttons, stains, no lint and check for strings.
- Steer clear of mini-skirts, body tight dresses, cleavage baring shirts and worn out shoes
- Save your 5″ high heels or higher and platforms for the evening.
- No super sized jewelry or bright makeup
- No flip flops or sandals
- No bright and loud colors or patterns
- Always remember, the office or business is not a place to show off your curves
- Too baggy clothes and too many layers will make you look frumpy.
- It’s okay to create a polished look, but still remains true to your style, just use good judgement and moderation.
- Panty Hose are not required. Black tights or non-see through tights can be worn under skirts that are short.