What Is Business Casual Attire?


Quick Answer

Business casual attire falls just short of business suits and usually includes button-down shirts, blouses, leather shoes and belts, skirts, and slacks. Dark, neutral and conservative fabrics are ideal. Athletic, disheveled or ill-fitting clothing should be avoided, as they are not considered business casual.

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Full Answer

Grooming is important, so clothes should be clean, free of wrinkles and appropriate for an impromptu meeting with a CEO. Hair and nails must be well-maintained, and heavy cologne or perfume should be avoided. Women’s skirts should hit the knee and cover the thighs. Extremely tight, loose or short skirts must be avoided, and slits must be conservative. Tops should be tailored and not expose too much skin. Sweaters, sweater sets, blouses and button-down shirts are all acceptable. Hosiery is optional, but a good idea, and shoes should be leather or a similar fabric. Makeup needs to skew toward a more natural look, and jewelry and accessories should be classic and conservative.

Wool, twill and khaki pants are appropriate for both men and women. Appropriate men’s shirts include button-down shirts, sweaters and turtlenecks, and the sleeves should be long. Ties are optional and depend on the work environment. Casual jackets and cardigans can replace suit jackets, and appropriate materials include cashmere, cotton and corduroy. Shoes and belts should be brown or black leather, and socks should be dark. Hats are considered too casual, and any accessories worn need to be understated.

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