Best Business Casual Outfit Tips for Office Wear

11 months ago / by Team SEEMA
Business Casual
Image credits: senivpetro via Freepik

Business Casual

Workplace fashion is constantly changing, so you may be unclear on what it means to dress “business casual.” When you’re looking for cute business casual outfits, you could be searching for anything from blazers to heels, button-downs, or even jeans. This will depend on your company’s level of formality.

What Does It Mean to Dress “Business Casual?”

One of the reasons people have a hard time finding casual work outfits is because the definition of “business casual” differs depending on the company. However, there are a few unspoken rules that you should keep in mind when dressing for work.

Usually, business casual is defined as no shorts, short dresses, or jeans. Ties are option for this type of attire, and both women and men can wear button-downs. Generally, business casual attire is about looking presentable without being too formal.

Business Casual Attire for Men

Business casual clothes for men usually depend on outfits that can be worn with or without a tie. Outfits that still look presentable but don’t require a tie, such as button-downs with khakis or dress pants, are considered business casual.

When it comes to shirts, short and long-sleeved collared shirts are usually acceptable. If your office allows business casual wear but is still somewhat formal, a long-sleeve button-down shirt without a tie is appropriate. Short-sleeved button-downs are a suitable choice for warmer weather.

For jackets and blazers, men can wear well-cut outerwear to add a professional touch to a casual ensemble. These clothing pieces are appropriate if you have a special presentation to give at work but still don’t have to be extremely formal. Blazers that are solid-color and free of patterns are ideal for work. Choose well-fitting blazers and jackets in black, navy blue, and gray so you can match them with several outfits. Sweaters and sweater vests are also acceptable forms of outerwear. Choose sweaters that will comfortably fit over button-down shirts and leave the collar of the shirts exposed for a more sophisticated look.

It’s also important for men to have a few nice pairs of pants or slacks to wear to the office. Khakis are usually appropriate for a business casual office and these pants match well with patterned or solid-color shirts. Dress pants are also versatile since you can wear them with button-downs or sweaters. It’s best to stick to neutral colors for your pants such as navy blue, brown, and black so you can pair the pants with shirts in virtually any color.

When you’re trying to determine ‘what is business casual?’ you’ll need to know which shoes are considered appropriate for the office. Loafers are always safe business casual attire. Stay away from sandals and flip-flops, and check to see if your office allows sneakers. No matter which work-appropriate shoes you choose, make sure the shoes are clean and of good quality.

Business Casual Clothing for Women

Business casual wear for women can vary significantly depending on the type of office the woman works in. Dresscode variations are different depending on office style, profession, and climate as well. However, these are a few staples you’ll want to have in your wardrobe when you want to look casual but professional.

Dresses and Skirts should fall to at least the knee. This rule of thumb helps to ensure that the skirt or dress is appropriate for hte office. Avoid wearing dresses that are too form-fitting or formal in an office setting.

When it comes to pants, wide-leg or tailored dress pants or suit pants are a safe choice. Chinos are acceptable for most business casual offices as well. Depending on the type of office you work in, you can wear bright pants or pants in vivid colors.

Blazers are appropriate for men and women in an office setting. These items are a staple for a professional wardrobe and help to make your outfits more versatile. Choose black, tan, brown, and blue colors for your blazers so you can coordinate them with other items in your closet.

Button-down shirts and blouses are also appropriate for women to wear in the workplace. The shirt should fit well without being too tight or too baggy. Be sure the shirts are ironed and in professional condition. Usually, professional offices prefer that you refrain from displaying brand logos, so keep this in mind when choosing tops for work.

Shoes for women in the workplace include closed-toe heels, loafers or flats. Usuually, stilettos and open-toe shoes are not permitted in the office, and these shoes are often not practical in office settings. Sandals are usually a no-go for the office, and you should check with HR to see if sneakers are appropriate.

Are Jeans Considered Business Casual?

Generally, jeans are not business casual wear. It’s usually not best to take any chances and wear dress pants or khakis instead of jeans, even if your office has a more casual dresscode. However, there are several offices who allow their employees to be more creative in expressing their style, so it’s best to check with your management or HR department to make sure jeans are OK for your office.

If you work at a company that does allow you to wear jeans, you should choose dark-wash jeans. The darker wash make the denim more formal. Tailored jeans are also appropriate for a casual office since they add more sophistication to your look. Avoid wearing jeans with prints, holes, or rips in them unless you know this is permitted in your office.

Sticking to these tips can help you put together professional and appealing work outfits that display your sense of style. Here’s to looking your best in your business casual office!


Is a polo business casual?

Yes, polo shirts are considered business casual attire. Depending on the dress code in your office, you can wear a polo with jeans or khakis.

Can I wear sneakers for business casual?

Shoes are an essential part of business casual attire, and you can add sneakers to your wardrobe choices if your office follows this dress code. It is best to make sure the sneakers are clean and in good condition.

Can you wear jeans in business casual?

Your casual work outfits can consist of jeans depending on your office’s level of formality when it comes to the dress code. The jeans should fit like trousers and a darker denim wash often looks more polished and professional.

Can I wear flip-flops for business casual?

No, flip-flops are not part of casual office attire. Slippers and sandals are not part of business casual attire either. Generally, shoes for the workplace should cover the entire food and should be clean and presentable.