What is Business Casual for Women?
What is business casual for women? Within the fashion industry, we come across countless different words to sum up our styles and aesthetics, and there are so many it can seem difficult to keep up with them all. One of the most common and familiar terms you may have heard of before is ‘business casual’, a style which is, essentially, effortless office-ready chic, but appropriate for a casual day out, too.
When worn, it’s flattering on anyone. So, if you want to find out more about the style, and how you can start wearing it, you’re in the right place!
What is business casual style?
If we suggested business style, you’d probably immediately jump to the idea of smart skirts, tailored trousers, and structured blazers, which is correct. However, business casual boasts something that regular, boring office wear lacks: an effortless elegance.
More often than not, offices will have their own dress codes, and you’re expected to dress appropriately formally. But it’s no secret that the sleek, plain look isn’t everyone’s taste, and some of us long for a little more colour, or a pattern to catch the eye.
We all know how comfy it is to wear out our own clothes on weekends, when we’re not in work, and the difference in the way you feel can be huge. Despite that, casual clothing is never seen as suitable for a work environment.
This is where business casual attire comes in, and it’s the perfect hybrid between your classic casual style, and a more formal, office-appropriate way of dressing. Of course, while the business element is toned down by the casual style, the key to remember here is that your clothes should still be modest enough to wear in your office and align with your dress code.
Essentially, the basics of business casual are finding pieces that are still formal enough, but suit your style a little more, and have a slightly lighter, more toned-down flair when they’re all paired together.
How can I dress business casual?
Now that we’ve sussed out exactly what business causal style entails, you’re probably even more interested in the style, and perhaps you’re considering implementing it into your own office wardrobe.
Of course, before you can start wearing the outfits, you need to nail the basics, and learn about what creates a good business casual outfit. Luckily, you’ve found the right place to discover all of this, and below is a guide to dressing the part, from head to toe.
Pants and skirts
Firstly, every outfit needs either a pair of pants or a skirt, so it makes sense that these are the first category of clothes you’ll shop for. When it comes to pants, they’re a less risky option, and easy to choose when it comes to styling with a top.
For your pants, choose something clean and polished, made of any material you believe is office appropriate. Jeans can look great when styled for business casual, just made sure they’re not too faded, and don’t have rips or frayed hems. Another option is culotte-style trousers, and they’re trendy and smart, so you can go wrong.
When it comes to skirts, there are lots of styles to choose from, but the main worry here is always the length, as offices don’t usually accept any skirts that are too short. Try to keep your skirt just above the knee at the shortest, or feel free to wear a midi skirt if you want a safer, equally as trendy, and comfier style. You can buy something patterned or plain but avoid any sort of side splits or similar details.
Blouses and tops
Now that you’ve found some pants, or a skirt, it’s time to find a matching top. In this area, there’s so much variation in what you could choose, and there aren’t too many limits, either.
Of course, you should steer clear of any sort of crop tops or very low cuts, as well as strapless styles, as these aren’t deemed office-appropriate, but other than that you’re pretty free to experiment with different styles.
Satin shirts and blouses are a timeless piece, and they’re particularly trendy at the moment, worn with a skirt or pants and a blazer. Or, for an even cozier style, how about a nice sweater, made from a solid, high-quality knit?
We’ve mentioned pant and top ideas, but they’re not the only option available, and you could also reach for a dress every now and then.
Generally, dresses look best when they’re flowy and modest, and are particularly flattering during the spring and summer. However, you can also find some suitable for the winter, and they look great when styled down with a pair of white trainers.
Jackets, coats, and blazers
One of the signature elements of business attire, coats jackets and blazers are essential, especially during the chillier seasons. You don’t need to wear a blazer, necessarily, but it can also be a nice touch for some outfits.
As well as a blazer, you’ve always got the option of a light jacket, instead, such as a nice leather jacket, denim jacket, or even a well-paired bomber jacket. And, for the colder months, something stylish like a trench coat will see you through, and it’s a classic piece that’ll last for years.
Moving onto shoes, this is where you can really finish off your outfit and set the entire tone. Shoes have a big influence on the style of your outfit, and so it’s important you choose them right.
If you want to dress an outfit down, and you’re looking for a more effortless, sporty style, trainers are the ticket for you. A pair of nice white trainers can actually look quite smart when worn correctly, and they’re comfortable to commute in, too.
On the other hand, the option of stilettos or court shoes is also available, as long as it’s something smart. It’s usually best to steer clear of sandals, including strappy heels where most of your foot is out, and save this for the evenings. But a nice pair of mules can look fabulous in the summer.
Finally, it’s time to finish the look with accessories. Here, you’ll see that dress codes generally don’t police your accessories, so you really are free to style whatever you like.
Perhaps you’d like to layers some gold chain necklaces to complement your neckline, or maybe some stacking rings to draw attention to that fresh manicure. And finish with a coordinated mini bag for the perfect business casual attire. For Business friendly make up read How to Achieve the No-Makeup Look