Women are often plagued by the question of what to wear to work. While suiting and formal wear used to be traditional workplace outfits, a cultural shift emanating since the early 1980s has made business casual the office attire de mode. It can be challenging to figure out what to wear in the present-day work environment. One also needs to consider shifting fashion trends, weather, and unclear expectations into account while selecting one’s work outfit.
Business casual varies from woman to woman. Apart from one’s profession, position, and location, the business casual dress code also depends on which town and the part of the world you reside in. Since dressing can play a crucial role in making or destroying a person’s career, there are a few rules regarding business casual attire for women. Therefore, in this article, we will try to understand what business casual for women is and discuss some business casual ideas for women.
What Is Business Casual for Women
It is difficult to define what business casual looks like for women. Depending on your industry or the level you operate at, there may be some variation in its composition. Business casual women’s outfits must be considered a hybrid of nice workwear that you are comfortable with and yet makes you presentable. These are clothing items that you can wear outside the office as well. While you can go ahead with a T-shirt, sneakers, and jeans, they must be toned down and matched appropriately with sweaters, slacks, and suiting.
If you are new to the game and have not yet figured out what is acceptable and what is not, here are some of the staples of business casual that you need to stick to:
- Dress slacks
- Close-toed shoes
You also need to know those clothing pieces that will never make it to this category. Some of these include:
- Cropped shirts and dresses
- Mini skirts
- Spaghetti strap tank tops
- Sheer or see-through clothing
The bottom line is that you must ensure that your clothes do not create distractions at work.
Business Casual Women Outfits
Let us look at a few business casual go-to’s that can be used for creating easy, versatile, and fashionable looks. These outfits can be mixed and matched to create various styles and, with suitable layers, can be used throughout the year.
Women’s blazers tend to evoke the vibe of business suits without becoming formal. They are a convenient layer in the colder months and can double up as a jacket when it becomes chilly. They can also help you achieve a variety of casual to dressy looks depending on what you wear beneath. From silk tank tops to button-downs to T-shirts to blouses, blazers can go with anything.
While a boxy black blazer may not make you feel like a boss, you can easily experiment with a relaxed fit, textured fabric, or eye-catching color. You can also spruce things up with tweed or plaid. Trendy touches like unusual buttons notched collars, or ruched sleeves might also work.
Maxi skirts are form-fitting yet long enough to provide coverage and warmth. As far as work outfit ideas go, maxi skirts can be styled in any way. Here are a few ideas that add variety to your maxi skirts:
- Floral prints
- Tiered design for a ruffly look
- Woolen fabric for the winter days
You can also wear them with riding boots or white sneakers.
You do not need to look any further than a pair of dress slacks or crop trousers if you are looking for business casual wear. Apart from being classy and form-fitting, they can be matched with almost any other office-friendly clothing piece. You can also add certain details to get that extra comfort and aesthetic appeal. Elastic waistbands, pleats, and skinny legs are a few examples that come to mind. If you find some neutral or plaid pants, they can go with your sweaters and blazers.
A basic neutral-color dress is a must for any office-going woman. Long sleeves and flattering silhouettes can create an effortless look that can be perfect for your meetings and happy hours. Try to find something in grey or black or navy shades. It makes it formal and can be complemented with any other color. Such dresses can also be styled by adding a belt, donning a silk scarf, or throwing a blazer or sweater on top.
When it comes to business casual attire for women, these are pieces that you cannot go wrong with. However, you need to consider the dos and don’ts of your workplace. For example, wearing athleisure may be tolerated in some places, but they are mostly frowned upon. Similarly, with jeans, you need to figure out how tolerant your office policies are. While business casual women’s outfits are more about comfort and functionality, you need to remember where you are wearing them.
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