Formal Wear, General Tips

Business Casual Professional Style for Women

In this article, I will show you the tips of how to dress in a casual and professional style. Casual dressing in...

Written by Salsa Faida · 3 min read >
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In this article, I will show you the tips of how to dress in a casual and professional style. Casual dressing in a business environment is extremely different from a casual outfit that one would wear in non-work settings. Business casual attire is often worn in creative industries and on ‘casual Friday’ days. It is sometimes referred to as smart casual. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Determining Your Office Dress Code

First of all, you need to know: what is your office dress code? Because, how you should dress in your office is largely dependent on your company’s dress code and also the cultural norms of your office. Usually, companies issue employee handbooks with formalized dress codes. That is also a good starting point to understand what is the appropriate type of outfit that is appropriate to wear in your office.

A good tip for you is to observe the attire of your supervisors and women who are similar in rank to you in your office for a week or two whenever you start a new job. Seeing what others wear is the best way in determining the appropriate level of formality in your office. Because every office can have different rules of dress code that you must obey. It is important to pay attention to what they wear on days where there might be an important meeting, such as when you will typically see the most formal of attire, and in the ordinary days.

Business Casual Professional Style

Jumping in to our discussion in this article, these are some example of the clothes that you can wear in a business casual professional settings.

Dress Pants

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Read related articles: The Best Tips: Business Formal Attire Tips for Women, Women’s Casual Skirts for Non-Formal Activities

Dress pants are a style of pants intended as formal or semi-formal wear. These type of pants are suitable for your business casual attire. They are often made of either wool or polyester. Also, they may be designed to be worn with a matching suit jacket. Dress pants have a crease on them because of their tight-fitting nature. Dress pants can be worn at many formal and semi-formal occasions combined with a shirt that has no tie and a more relaxed fashion, which can be considered smart casual dress. They come in a variety of cuts. Curvy ladies might enjoy bootcut trousers. Meanwhile, small ladies might prefer the more tapered ones. Depending on your office culture, it might not be appropriate to wear colored and patterned pants. That is why you need to know the culture of your office before you apply this tips that I share with you now. Some of the reminders that you need to know:

  • For more conservative offices, stick to pants in a solid neutral, like black, navy, or camel.
  • For ladies in more creative industries, you might be able to wear pants in jeweled tones and with subtle patterns, though neon colors and loud prints should be avoided.

Skirts

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Read related article: Variations of Skirts for Formal Occasions

Pencil skirts and a-line skirts are the most appropriate options for a business casual environment. However, if your company allows you, you can wear the interesting skirt like what I showed in the picture above. You might want to know this tips, such as:

  • It is best to choose a wool blend or cotton-blend skirt to minimize wrinkling.
  • If you want to experiment with your clothing style, you can wear patterned or colored skirts if you want to. Printed and colored skirts have become increasingly popular in recent years as well.
  • A denim skirt would not be appropriate for most the office.

Appropriate Blouses

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In general, blouses appropriate for the workplace have sleeves and are not sheer. You can wear a cardigan or blazer over the blouse if you would like to make a sleeveless blouse work for the office. That would be the ideal match for your business casual attire.

There are many variations of blouses out there. However, the ones universally appropriate for the workplace are:

  • Silk or rayon shirts in solid colors
  • Bow-tie blouses
  • Cowl neck blouses

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Dresses

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The general tip for work environment, work dresses should not be too tight, too short, or overly revealing in general. You can pair the dresses with blazers and cardigans for the colder months, as well as for a polished look throughout the year. The dresses worn in warmer months should have sleeves. Because, sleeveless looks are generally too casual for most workplaces.

Denim

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Some companies usually allow jeans to be worn on their environments. Jeans are sometimes appropriate for business casual offices, like during ‘jeans Fridays.’ However, before showing up at work in jeans, make sure they are acceptable in your office. In general, if jeans are allowed at work, it is best to stick to a darker wash and jeans that are free from rips and tears. The best styles to wear to the office are bootcut jeans, tapered jeans, and and straight cut jeans. Skinny jeans that are skintight and boyfriend jeans (oversized denim) would not be appropriate for the office. Also, jeans that have rips and tears are a no-go.

Choosing the Most Suitable Handbag for You

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Fashion handbag is a good choice for you if you want to have a business casual attire outfit. You need to avoid going with anything too casual, such as an oversized canvas tote or a particularly blingy style. Other than over the top looks like those, you can be creative when it comes to selecting your business casual handbag. You can choose a more relaxed fashion purse to pair with business casual apparel than the basic black leather style best suited for positions that require formal professional apparel. Organizer purses are a particularly good option. A quality designer or other leather handbag that are large enough to fit letter-sized documents is a necessity in the workplace. For a formal workplace, it’s best to buy a handbag in a neutral colour, such as black or brown, that does not show stains easily. You can find quality leather handbags at a variety of stores and online retailers. All in all, I hope this article can help you. Stay tuned to receive more clothing tips in the future!

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