What is Business Casual for Women?

Fashion young woman in pink skirt and black blouse with blue clutch , accessories, watch and sunglasses white background

What is business casual for women and what does it look like? There are many interpretations of this dress code. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, but hopefully these guidelines will give you a better idea. Most companies will have this outlined for you, so if you are unsure check with your human resources department.

 

Business Casual for Women: General Tips

  • Break up your suiting pieces, and match them with other coordinates including cardigans, sweaters or nice flowing skirts.
  • Just a three piece outfit (top, bottom, shoes) won’t cut it.
  • Layer your tops and incorporate accessories for a complete look.
  • This is your time to show some personality! Don’t show up in something boring. Make use of your best colors and prints.

 

What to Avoid when Dressing Business Casual for Women

  • Overdoing it. Too much glitter, curls, bright colors or bold prints make for a clown.
  • In most cases, denim is NOT business casual. If you integrate denim, that will automatically make the outfit “smart casual.” On rare occasions if it is a dark imitation denim worn with a blazer and leather shoes it can pass.
  • Clothes that are too trendy or fashion forward. They are distracting to your employees and/or clients.
  • Skirts that are too short and necklines that are too low.
  • Tops and bottoms that are too tight.

Blazers and Over Pieces

  • Can be classic or creative styles
  • Are made of any material except for denim
  • May include any colour
  • Choose small to medium scale patterns

Tops

  • Can be classic or creative styles
  • Are made of any material except for denim
  • May include any color
  • Choose small to medium scale patterns

Skirts and Pants

  • Can be classic or creative styles
  • Are made of any material except for denim
  • May include any color
  • Choose small to medium scale patterns

Shoes

  • Business casual shoes for women can include: Sandals, pumps and flats
  • Fabrications in leather including suede

Accessories

Purses

  • Consider classic styles over creative bags
  • Made of any material except for denim
  • May include any color
  • Choose small to medium scale patterns

Jewelry

  • Can be classic or creative styles, but avoid gaudy pieces
  • Made of all materials
  • Include any color

Hosiery

  • Hosiery should be considered, but it’s not necessary
  • Choose neutral tones, flesh tones or colors and patterns that match your shoes

Hair, Nails and Makeup

  • Neutral makeup shades are best: pinks, peaches, reds and plums
  • Avoid overly bright shades in yellow, orange and green
  • Any hairstyle is usually acceptable except for the few that require excessive curling or molding
  • Nails can be any color, but avoid nail art
  • Try to be more classic than creative

Follow Cherene Francis – Stylist Toronto | Image Consultant | Personal Shopper’s board Business Casual Fashion by Stylist Toronto: Picks for Work, Career and Office Settings. on Pinterest.

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