Many of us work in an environment that is not formal enough to dress business formal, but it is also not casual enough to pull off the sneakers look. This means it’s time for business casual attire. Some people say it’s complicated to achieve the in-between level of formality but with our guide, you will master this style easily.
So, what exactly is business casual for women?
The easiest explanation could be that women business casual wear is a combination of business formal and casual styles. Basically, it describes the vast majority of office outfits. It’s mostly about mixing those formal and less formal garments to create a look of semi-formality that will be suitable and respectable for the office but not offensively casual towards colleagues.
Here are some business casual for women examples and outfit ideas for you to take inspiration from. We will discuss it in more detail further in the blog.
How to dress business casual
There are some business wardrobe staples that every woman should own. Elegant business skirts, various colours of slacks, formal and casual shirts, blazers, suits…you name it. Let’s learn how to combine these business formal pieces with casual clothes to not overdress or underdress for those office days ahead.
The basic rule we can apply for all the outfits: one business formal garment should be mixed with one informal one.
Business Casual Blazer
Blazer is perceived as a business formal piece which means it should be complemented by a casual item. Pair it with a casual shirt, jeans or chinos or a lightweight dress to keep the look clean and simple but still semi-formal.
|White Double Breasted Blazer|
Business Casual Dress
Business dress is a very formal piece that should be mixed carefully to achieve the right level of formality. Try wearing it with an oversized linen blazer, bright and funky trench coat or with a chunky sweater for a more laid-back office environment.
|Bell Sleeve Shift Dress|
Business Casual Shirt
Formal shirts are crisp, perfectly fitting and very elegant. They are the absolute basis of a business casual wear so let’s make the most out of them. Combine yours with linen chinos, dark jeans (these should not be bleached or ripped), sweater or oversized trench coat. As for informal shirts with various micropatterns, stripes or checks, mix them with clean looking and simple slacks to keep the look elegant.
|Pink Checked Linen Shirt|
Business Casual Slacks
Women’s slacks are one of the most favourite clothing pieces due to its versatility and comfort. Easily combined with basically anything, wear them with one of your favourite casual or formal shirts, with an informal tweed blazer or a light sweater and ballerinas. This is one of the comfiest outfits you can create for your day in the office.
|Red Plaid Linen Pants|
Business Casual Skirt
Business skirts are modern and very elegant looking, so we also need to break their formality with some casual elements. Let’s not compromise the length as it would be inappropriate for the professional environment. Instead, try wearing the pencil skirt with an informal shirt tucked in or a flared skirt with a plain t-shirt that fits you well. Don’t wear your heels if you want to keep it informal, try reaching for your ballerinas or loafers instead.
Business Casual Suit
Suit is without doubt the most formal piece of all the business formal wardrobe classics but don’t think that you cannot get some wear from it in the business casual at work. Go for a suit in bright pastel colours, that can be easily combined with a simple white t-shirt and ballerinas, if you go for a business casual interview. If your company allows it, go for the look with elegant leather sneakers and wear them with a floral or checked pantsuit.
Business Casual Shoes
To complete the perfect business casual outfit, you should take care of your shoes. As we always say, shoes can make or break your outfit, depending on what shoes you wear and if you take care of them. Business casual dress code gives you some room to play with your shoewear, so try going for a sleek-looking penny loafers, informal brogues to break your otherwise formal outfit or elegant high-quality chelsea boots to keep your feet warm on the coldest days.
Business Casual Colors
For most women, business wardrobe consists of basic pieces in neutral colors, such as black, dark blue, beige or white. Luckily for all, business casual style allows us to introduce more colors into our daily outfits and have the whole color scheme available to us.
Start building your outfit with essentials in basic colors and slowly add some touches of color – whether it’s a pastel one or more daring, shiny colors. It’s also easy to combine neutral basics with pieces with an interesting pattern, such as dots, stripes or even leopard. Remember, it’s all about finding the right balance!
Business casual attire Don’ts
- Avoid wearing flip flops, running shoes or strappy summer sandals.
- Yoga pants, leggings or ripped pants are a definitive no-go in the business casual attire.
- Sportswear and sweatshirts with hoodies are also not recommended.
Business Casual Do’s
- Always wear wrinkle-free clothing.
- Your hemline should reach to your knees.
- Pair prints with simple basics.
Business Casual that Works
Let’s put down an easy list of the most appropriate business casual pieces you might want to wear to the office.
- Business Casual Tops: shirts, blouses, sleeveless tops (not spaghetti straps), blazers, elegant sweaters,
- Business Casual Bottoms: skirts (knee-length should be the shortest), dress pants, jeans (dark wash, no rips), chinos, business dress
- Business Casual Shoes: pumps, sandals, ballerinas, minimalist leather sneakers, elegant loafers or dress boots
If you want to check out even more outfit ideas, watch this video to find inspiration:
Hopefully, you have some better idea what business casual wear for women is now. Don’t forget that at Sumissura, every garment is made to your measures so it will serve you and fit you well over the course of years. Have a look at our collection to discover more:
If you want to learn more about business casual for men, click here.