Business Casual Dress Code for Women: A Guide to Looking Professional and Put-Together

In today’s workplace, the dress code is often more relaxed than it used to be. However, this doesn’t mean that you can just show up in jeans and a t-shirt. Business casual is still a professional dress code, and there are certain things you should avoid.

Here are a few tips for looking professional and put-together in business casual attire:

  • Start with a good pair of pants. A pair of well-fitting dress pants or chinos is a must-have for any business casual wardrobe. Avoid jeans, shorts, or sweatpants.
  • Choose a nice top. A button-down blouse or sweater is always a good choice, but you can also opt for a turtleneck, camisole, or tank top. Avoid t-shirts, tank tops, or anything with offensive or revealing raphics.
  • Add a jacket or blazer. A jacket or blazer can help you look more polished and put-together. It can also be helpful in cold weather.
  • Accessorize with jewelry, a scarf, or a purse. Jewelry can add a touch of personality to your outfit, while a scarf or purse can help you look more put-together.
  • Shoes are important. Avoid sneakers, sandals, or flip-flops. A pair of dress shoes or flats is the best choice.

Here are some additional tips for dressing for business casual:

  • Pay attention to the details. Make sure your clothes are clean, pressed, and free of wrinkles.
  • Choose colors that flatter you and that coordinate well with each other.
  • Avoid anything too flashy or revealing.
  • Be comfortable in your clothes. You should feel confident and professional in your attire.

With a little effort, you can easily create a business casual wardrobe that will help you look your best at work.

Here are some examples of business casual outfits for women:

  • A pair of dress pants with a button-down blouse and a blazer.
  • A pencil skirt with a sweater and a scarf.
  • A dress with a jacket or cardigan.

No matter what you choose to wear, make sure that you feel confident and comfortable in your clothes. When you look your best, you’ll feel your best, and that will show in your work.

Here are some additional tips for dressing for business casual interviews:

  • Dress one step up from the company’s dress code.
  • Choose classic pieces that will make you look professional and polished.
  • Avoid anything too trendy or revealing.
  • Pay attention to the details, such as your hair, makeup, and jewelry.
  • Be confident and project a positive attitude.

By following these tips, you can dress for business casual in a way that is both professional and stylish.

Summer business casual women’s outfits

The warmer months usually introduce a refreshing colour palette and lightweight, breathable fabrics (such as cotton, linen, and silk) into your wardrobe.

During summer, the challenge when choosing business casual outfits is to find just the right balance between work-and weather-appropriate.

Although dresses and skirts are fabulous for keeping your legs fresh, avoid body-hugging, overly tight styles when temperatures rise.

Linen Blend Twist Shift Dress image number null

 

Ribbed Collared Tank Top image number null

Winter business casual women’s outfits

For fall and winter business casual attire, be sure to opt for thicker fabrics and warm styles, such as long sleeves and knitted sweaters, boots and sock booties. Business casual for the cold weather also calls for layering.

red

jacket

A (cashmere) turtleneck is the ultimate, versatile starting point of your 9-to-5 winter business casual look, working with everything from pants to midi skirts and beyond.

Pro style tip: Belt a jacket to accentuate your waist and avoid bulky-looking layers.

WOSALBA

black turtleneck

Basic black turtleneck

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JENNIE LIU

black turtleneck 2

100% pure Cashmere turtleneck sweater

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Cropped tweed pants and a long coat are also must-haves in your effortlessly chic winter business casual capsule wardrobe.

For a trendy touch, also invest in a leather midi skirt and a pair of white trousers.

A winter closet staple, tights are one of the easiest ways to transition your favourite dresses and skirts into the colder months without losing any sense of style. Make sure to stock on some timeless, versatile black tights in sheer opaque or super opaque.  For a bolder look, add colored and printed versions (which are back on the radar as a fashion statement) to your winter closet.

Pro styling tips: Mix the fabrics and textures to make any winter look stand out.

Business casual shoes

Put your best foot forward with stylish business casual shoes that will effortlessly take you from the workplace to happy hour.

There are a ton of fantastic business casual footwear options to achieve a business casual look. From flats that don’t fall short in the style department (like loafers, brogues, and ballet shoes) to heels that mean business (such as comfortable kitten and block styles and boots).

If you had only to buy yourself one pair of office-appropriate shoes, make it a chic pair of leather pointy-toed pair of heels in black or nude. These classic women’s business casual shoes can literally be worn with anything and everything in your work wardrobe. And luckily, you can still pull off a killer look with pumps in modest height (sorry, stilettos).
If you’re comfortable ditching heels to work, opt for a pair of comfortable flats like a pointed-toe d’Orsay or menswear-inspired OxfordsBrogues and loafers. These flats are just some of our favourite go-to shoes for walking around the office all day or for commuters running from the subway to the office and back home again.

Cushy booties or knee-high boots without over-embellishment are business casual staples during colder months. Keep buckles and studs to a minimum for a more timeless look. Pick your boots in leather (or vegan alternative) or suede in a neutral colour that will go with anything.
Remember: Between commutes, meetings, and after-work events, what you really need is a pair of shoes that are not only stylish but equally comfortable.

CLERGERIE

clergerie
Brogues and Oxfords

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DADAWEN

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Platform Oxfords shoes

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NINE WEST

nine west

Natural Suede Pumps

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Business casual women jeans

Once a big no-no in the office, denim jeans at the office are becoming more and more common as workplaces are increasingly adopting more relaxed dress codes.

Super versatile, seasonless, and comfortable while still looking put together, denim jeans are in vogue.

So know that yes, you can wear work-appropriate jeans as business casual attire—as long as they are well-tailored and your ensembles remain polished. Dressing up your denim (with, say, a pair of heels or a blazer) is de rigueur.

Style tip: Opt for a pair of timeless skinny or boot cut jeans. As a general rule, go for jeans that have a darker wash with little to no distressing for a more polished look. Also, denim with a bit of stretch tends to be more comfortable for sitting for long periods.

CELINE

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Denim Jeans

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LEVI’S

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Skinny jeans

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LEVI’S

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High rise skinny jeans

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Business casual women shirts

A chic button-down white shirt in classic cotton style or more feminine silk is a business casual staple.

For a slightly more trendy business casual vibe, go for a button-down with a little bit of feminine flair, like ruffles, or a studded collar.

OFF WHITE

Luxury white shirt

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RUNCATI

Affordable white shirt

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Business casual skirts

Both stylish and versatile, pencil or A-line skirts with appropriate length are another undeniable business casual wardrobe staple.

These classic skirts are easily paired with a rotating cast of dressy blouses or button-down shirts.

 

 

URBAN COCO

midi skirt

Bodycon midi pencil skirt

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KATE KASIN

white boots
white boots

Pleated A-line skirt

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Business casual women pants

Mid- or high-rise, wide-leg, straight or slim, business casual pants are the first option for most women in the workplace.

A pair of elegant black trousers is a timeless essential. Pick office pants with a little stretch for maximum comfort when sitting down.
Pro tip: Show off your favourite shoes with cropped pants for a modern yet pulled together business casual look.

GINASY

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Ankle cropped dress pants

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SAINT LAURENT

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Wool pants

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Business casual jackets and blazers

The right blazer or jacket has the power to elevate any business casual outfit instantly.

Pro styling tip: You can cuff your blazer sleeves to soften the look.

 

 

LOOKBOOKSTORE

Blazer jacket

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Business casual women cardigans

You can never have too many cardigans. A staple in business casual attire, your basic cardigan will pull together any outfit while keeping you warm.

RICK OWENS

Long black cardigan

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CIELO

Open front cardigan

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GRACE KARIN

Long knitted cardigan

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ISABEL MARANT

Luxury cardigan

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