What Is Business Casual?

You’ve made it! You crafted your job-winning résumé, successfully passed all the hurdles involved in the recruitment process and now your first day is quickly approaching this Monday. You are already envisioning the new job site and the work that comes with it. A smile rises on your face, you have succeeded. So, what’s next on the list?

There is one aspect of your job you failed to envision: the dreaded first day outfit.

Your new company operates on a business casual dress code but you’re stuck between business and casual. You wonder how it is possible to dress for a business…casually. Business casual wear is less formal than the suit and tie but more professional than the blue jeans you wear on casual Friday.

While there are many options, we recommend a nice blouse without overbearing patterns or a plain button up paired with khaki pants for the ladies. Women can also add a cardigan or blazer to complete the look with an extra layer of professionalism.

Men, it is impossible to go wrong with a button up or a professional sweater paired with slacks. You can even dress your outfit up with a blazer or sports coat!

Some examples of unacceptable clothing choices would be strapless shirts, sweatpants and items with discriminatory or offensive language or pictures. While footwear for both genders is flexible, we also suggest to avoid wearing sneakers, flip-flops and overly bright or distracting socks or shoes.

Although these are the typical business-wear practices, always check to see if your company has a dress code policy which can give you more insight on what is and is not acceptable at the workplace.

What are your tips for business casual wear?