Choosing what to wear is always a big problem among women – not because they don’t have anything to wear but combining outfits or trying new ones can be difficult. Women love to try new things, especially if they seem to blend with their style. The ultimate goal is to look elegant and slay whatever the occasion is.
However, one of the popular trends making it to the news and fashion world is business casual clothing. Many women seem to have adopted this style, and in no time, it will be an official look for women over the next few years.
So, what is this business casual clothing, really? In this article, you are about to find out everything there is to know about the clothing style and other relevant information about women’s dressing.
What Is Business Casual Clothing?
Business Casual Clothing is a hybrid style of dressing that often involves the combination of formal/business wear (i.e., office attire) and a casual one. This dressing style doesn’t mean one has to go all out wearing professional business wear and a pair of slippers or something ridiculous. Instead, it involves mixing professional colors and casual/neutral colors in dressing.
Business casual attire was always a thing for men, and it went perfectly alright. However, women have started encouraging the style, and it’s looking great so far. There are different events or occasions that a business casual clothing would work – for instance, in a business environment or on a lunch date.
However, in order for business casual clothing to work, especially in a professional setting, i.e., a company, you need to know the dress code of such an organization. As a matter of fact, you may be surprised that casual business style can be a requirement in such a place. Some companies provide an employee handbook at the start of a job, so you can check and see what style they’ve adopted before going shopping.
Therefore, as soon as you understand what business casual means at your place of work, the next step is for you to invest in your wardrobe. Go for really incredible combinations that will make you blend perfectly with everyone else working in that same company with you. However, be sure to consider the weather.
A typical example of a business casual is a tailored blazer with a t-shirt and a pair of leather pants.
When Should I Wear Business Casual?
Business casual attire can be worn anywhere because it fits into the casual and formal lifestyle at the same time. However, there are specific places where a business casual dress code seems mandatory. Or better still, if you are having trouble deciding what to wear for an occasion, below is a list of places or situations where business casual dressing works.
One of the many problems people face when going for job interviews is the choice of what to wear. Not everyone finds it easy to pick a particular outfit and “body” it in the supposed way. As a matter of fact, one’s dressing is an important yardstick that many recruiters consider before hiring a job seeker. So, if you’ve got to wear something, you have to wear it right.
A business-style dress code is great. However, if the company supposedly admits it is a casual business environment, you must go with that information. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to combine different pieces of clothing that won’t go right. It doesn’t matter whether you are attending a video or an in-person interview, you must dress appropriately.
For example, you can combine a fine blouse with a pair of slacks, or better still, go for jumpsuits – black or neutral-sleeved is perfect.
What should you wear to work? That is a question that needs to be carefully answered because you don’t want to do anything that will jeopardize your place at your company or a new job.
From the initial stage of job hire, i.e., interview, you may have witnessed or seen how workers at the company dress on a regular day. From the staff’s dress, you can easily tell if they are a strictly formal or a casual business company.
If the place happens to be a business casual dress code company, then you should try to blend with that same style and wear the same thing to work. The HR manager may even approach you on the dress code policy and other important information you should know – a list of recommended office styles, for example.
Recently, the world shifted towards employees working remotely, giving them the liberty to do things of their own free will. Unfortunately, not many companies give such liberty, as some important things need to be in order – for instance, dress code.
When working remotely, you can choose when to work, what to wear, and a few other things.Hhowever, if you’ll be holding video meetings with other staff or your employer, you’d still need to maintain a level of professionalism.
One of the many things that stand in such a situation is the business casual rule. You are to choose a piece of clothing that blends between the office dress code and the casual lifestyle. If you go against this rule, you may be figured out, especially when asked to present yourself from head to knee level during these video calls.
Another scenario where the business casual dress code works is during lunch dates. You may be asked to represent your company at a meeting with a potential client. You don’t want to go to the venue looking all shabby or too formal.Iinstead, you want to dress in a way that fits the occasion.
Business casual clothing is always a go-to option. Here, you won’t look too serious even while on a professional courtesy visit to a client. Your proper look and elegance would definitely be a selling factor.
How Should I Dress For A Job Interview?
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to attend a job interview in an informal environment, business casual attire is the best job interview attire. Below is a list of outfit ideas for women to try out:
- Combine a tailored blazer or a fine jacket with a skirt or a pair of well-pressed trousers
- Mix a tailored knit sweater with any business outfit
- Wear a flowery or patterned blouse with a skirt – knee-length, short, or longer
- Put on an overall jacketed tailored dress
While you are checking out these formal, casual outfits, you may have a question like: “Should you wear jeans to work?” The truth is: jeans are business casual outfits, but they need to be styled correctly, and of course, in good condition to be deemed suitable for a work environment.
For instance, you can style your denim with another piece of clothing, i.e., a plain black shirt, and look great.
How To Look Proper And Elegant At The Same Time When Wearing Business Casual Clothing?
Now that you know what business casual clothing is, you need to pay attention to some important things to achieve the look you’ve imagined or perfect for the work environment.
First, you need to properly understand the things that make up a business casual outfit, so you can make careful selections when you have to. Next, you should look at the factors you need to consider to pick the right choice.
What Makes a Business Casual Outfit?
Ideally, what makes a business casual outfit is what you wear. You need to pick the right items, and below is a list of business casual outfits for women.
Blouses and Tops
The most significant piece of clothing that stands out when every woman dresses up is her blouse or top. The amount of detail put on the blouse or top determines how easily it would complement other pieces of clothing. For instance, there are plain, patterned, and colored blouses or tops, and you need to consider each of them before picking a jacket or pants, especially if you want to stay business casual.
When picking your blouse and top for this kind of dress code, you should keep it cool and stylish, i.e., it should complement something else on your body – it could even be your body part. You also need to choose this piece of clothing based on weather – colder seasons mean thick and long sleeves, while warmer seasons mean light and short sleeves.
Pants and Skirts
With the blouse and top taken care of, the next thing you have to consider is the pants. Generally, there are different types of pants, and a few of them are quite selective of the kind of occasion you wear them to. It even gets serious when you have to pick business casual pants because you don’t want something that won’t go with any of your blouses or tops.
Another thing about business casual pants is that they either come with belt loops or not. You can choose to go for whichever style best suits you, but you need to ensure they are well fitted or detailed.
In the same way, you can make your selection of a business casual outfit with a skirt. You can either go for knee-lengths, shorter or longer ones, depending on your style. However, it is best not to stay provocative with either the pants or the skirts.
One of the finest pieces of clothing that fit into the business casual theme is the sweater. It comes in different designs, giving you a wide range of styling options with your blouse and skirt/pants.
As a matter of fact, sweaters are incredible clothing that can be worn in more than one way. You can either wear them over your shirt or as a top. If you would be wearing sweaters over your shirt, then knitted designs are the best – they are quite common in many work environments.
More importantly, you can keep them buttoned or unbuttoned, depending on how you feel. The ease of customizing into personal style is why sweaters are perfect.
Jackets and Blazers
If sweaters aren’t exactly your style, then you can go for something more intensive and a bit formal – jackets or blazers. You may not necessarily have to wear them all the time – maybe only during winter periods.
Jackets and blazers allow you to keep that professional look, but you have to match them with other pieces of clothing that will make you look semi-formal. You can go for blazers or jackets with neutral colors (black, brown, or navy) since they blend perfectly with other colors.
Additionally, you don’t have to button up – it is best worn in a business casual environment as unbuttoned.
What Do You Need to Consider When Choosing A Business Casual Outfit?
With enough being discussed about the pieces of clothing that make up a business casual look, you need to consider independent factors to pick each of them. The reason is so that you can “rock” what is exactly for you. These factors are:
The length is the most important factor that needs to be considered when picking a blouse/top or pants/skirt. Even if the company asks you to wear a business casual outfit, you are in a work environment, and you should still do things moderately.
You shouldn’t wear something provocative, or that would make you feel uncomfortable. Instead, you should clothe items with decent length and make you feel confident about yourself/your dress.
Color, Print Or Pattern
The next thing that would do justice to what you wear in a work environment is color. Everyone has a style that suits them – for you, and it could be neutral colors, for others, it could be floral, plaid prints, or multi-patterns. Whatever you’ve discovered over time that is your style, you should continue with it and find better ways to style it to fit into the company’s dress code.
The average person wants to be comfortable with whatever they wear. However, comfort is relative – it could be in baggy or fitted clothes. If you are in a company that requests you to wear business casual outfits, you may have to reconsider your options if you love baggy or ill-fitting clothes. It is advisable to wear fitted clothes so that you can look professional and perform tasks easily.
It is only reasonable to check in with necklines for blouses and tops, with length already a factor to consider. Staying professional even while wearing something comfortable is the reason why most companies adopt the business-casual initiative. However, you shouldn’t abuse that privilege by wearing something not office-worthy. It would be best if you had to wear blouses with decent necklines – something modest – not exposing your cleavage.
There are different neckline options to choose from depending on your chest size – V-Neck, Round or Scoop Neck, Boat Neck, Collard Neck. Choose any of these neckline options that you think are perfectly okay to wear to work.
Conclusion: The Importance Of Business Casual Attire In Professional Settings
From everything discussed on business casual attire, it is only important to see the need for dress codes in a work environment. Whether a company shows its preference for professional/formal wear or business casual outfits, the reason is always to protect the best interest of employees.
If you work in an office where business casual attire is the order of the day, here are some advantages/importance of wearing them in that setting:
- Business casual outfits are comfortable and free. They give employees a chance to express themselves and show their fashion sense – although, it is done moderately. Tech companies are one of the popular organizations known to adopt this dress code for their employees.
- Business casual attires allow employees to spend less on outfits and focus more on other personal projects. The cost of professional attire is high compared to business casual dresses, thus it is a way to save cost.
- Formal outfits get an employee looking too serious when on a casual meeting with a client – for instance, a lunch date.
Judging by all of these reasons, business casual attires seem like the go-to option for easy work life.