What is Considered Business Casual?

What makes an outfitting business casual? To some, it’s defined by the standards of their workplace, but there are general guidelines that apply to many different work environments.

The  business casual look usually means wearing something slightly nicer than what you would wear when running errands on the weekend, but not so nice that you look like you just left the office after a long day of work.

This can mean anything from wearing khakis and a polo shirt to wearing chinos and a button-down shirt and blazer. How does this relate to dressing for success?

What is Considered Business Casual for a Man

A collared shirt with slacks or khakis is always a safe bet. If you’re unsure about whether or not to wear a tie, err on the side of caution and don’t wear one. Jeans are usually not considered appropriate unless they’re dark-wash and in good condition.

A blazer or sports coat can add a touch of polish to your look. And finally, be sure to pay attention to your shoes – they should be clean and well-maintained. Women also need to dress in business casual attire.

Women’s dresses, skirts, and blouses should be wrinkle-free and fit correctly. Shorts may only be worn at the beach or as part of a workout outfit; if you’re wearing shorts for any other reason, make sure they come up past your knees.

What colours are business casual for men?

In general, dark colours are more formal than light colours. Black and navy are always safe choices. Grey and brown can also be appropriate, depending on the context. For example, a grey suit with a white shirt would be more formal than a brown sweater and khakis. When in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of caution and dress more formally.

What colours are business casual for women? Women can wear just about any colour they want – so long as they pair it with the right accessories. For example, black pumps are much more appropriate than high heels when wearing a conservative skirt or pantsuit.

Of course, your outfit should still make sense for your workplace and industry. But if you’re at home running around doing chores all day, jeans and sneakers will do just fine!

Business casual men
Business casual men

What is considered business casual for a woman

In general, business casual for a woman means avoiding anything too revealing or overly casual. Think office-appropriate clothing that you would feel comfortable wearing in front of your boss and clients.

A good rule of thumb is to dress as you would for a job interview. That means avoiding anything too trendy or eccentric and sticking to classic styles. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and dress more formally rather than less.

Business casual women
Business Causal woman

What is considered business casual for a restaurant?

In a restaurant, business casual typically means no jeans, shorts, or business You may be able to get away with khakis or dress slacks, but it depends on the establishment. A nice blouse or polo shirt is usually appropriate.

If you’re not sure what to wear, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and dress up rather than down. Even if you do choose an outfit that’s too formal for your boss’ taste, they might respect you more for having made an effort. Plus, it’ll make any interactions seem less stiff.

What does this mean for clothing?:

As long as your clothing isn’t extremely revealing (for example, tight jeans) then wearing clothing that has logos or slogans on them should be okay – just don’t wear anything too bold.

What about shoes?

Flip-flops or sandals are considered way too informal in most cases. Closed-toe shoes like sneakers, pumps, or loafers are generally safe bets when deciding on footwear options.

Ways to Get Away With Wearing Denim To Work

Denim is the perfect fabric for a busy workday. It’s comfortable, durable, and easy to care for. Plus, it comes in a variety of styles that can be dressed up or down. Here are seven ways to get away with wearing denim to work:

1. Choose a dark wash.

2. Stick to classic cuts.

3. Pair with a blazer or cardigan.

4. Add accessories to dress it up.

5. Wear closed-toe shoes.

6. Keep hems below the knee.

7. Make sure everything fits well and isn’t too baggy. Avoid rips, tears, and other distress marks. When in doubt, go with khakis instead of jeans.

What is not appropriate for business casual?

Business casual does not mean jeans and a t-shirt. In general, you should avoid anything too revealing, too sloppy, or too formal.

You also want to steer clear of anything that could be considered unprofessional or offensive. That means no flip flops, crop tops, leggings as pants, spaghetti straps on shirts (unless they’re intended for layering), or tank tops without a cardigan over them.

Wear what’s appropriate for the environment: it’s probably best to dress up in an office with mostly conservative dressers. For offices where people tend to wear shorts more often (think tech start-ups), err on the side of dressing down.

What is acceptable attire for business casual?

In general, clothing that is too casual (jeans, t-shirts, sneakers) or too formal (suits, ties) is not appropriate for business casual settings. Instead, aim for a middle ground with clothing that is professional and comfortable without being overly stuffy or relaxed.

For women, this might mean a skirt or slacks with a nice blouse; for men, slacks and a collared shirt. However, even these guidelines depend on the industry and location. Many more laid-back industries like technology or media prefer a more laid-back look such as jeans, while other fields may require dress shoes and dress pants.

The key to finding out what type of attire is expected in your field is to ask around your office or company before making any assumptions about what is acceptable.

What should men wear in the office?

A good rule of thumb is to dress one step up from what you’d wear daily. For example, if you wear jeans and a t-shirt most days, try wearing khakis and a button-down shirt. If you normally wear a suit, try wearing a sports coat with dress pants and no tie. Generally speaking, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.

What is Business Casual?

Business casual is a dress code that is typically relaxed, but still professional. The level of formality may vary depending on the company culture and the industry. In general, clothing should be clean and wrinkle-free, and shoes should be closed-toe and dressy.

Avoid wearing jeans, shorts, t-shirts, or other casual items. If your workplace allows it, you might consider dressing up with suits, skirts, blouses, dress pants and/or dress shirts. You might also want to pack an extra change of clothes for when you get to work in case you spill something on your outfit.

Men’s Business Casual Outfit #1

A blazer or sports coat, dress slacks, dress shirt, dress shoes, and a tie. This outfit is appropriate for most businesses. You can wear a dress shirt with or without a tie. If you’re not sure if a tie is required, err on the side of caution and wear one.

Men’s Business Casual Outfit #2

(five sentences): A collared shirt (button-down or polo), dress slacks or khakis, dress shoes or loafers, and a belt.

Women’s Business Casual Outfit #1

A tailored blazer, dress slacks, and a blouse with a modest neckline will always look professional. If you’re unsure about the dress code at your office, err on the side of caution and go for darker colours and more conservative cuts.

Closed-toe shoes are a must, and pumps or loafers are usually best. Finally, add a few simple accessories like a watch or pearl earrings to finish off the look.


Business casual typically means no jeans, shorts, or t-shirts. For men, this might mean slacks and a button-down shirt. For women, a skirt or slacks with a blouse is usually appropriate.

You should avoid anything too revealing or too informal, like athleisure wear. If you’re unsure about what to wear, it’s always better to err on the side of being too formal rather than too casual.

2 thoughts on “What is Considered Business Casual?”

Leave a Comment