Most companies have a dress code to give their employees some guidance on what to wear every day for work and special events. While business professional attire was once the norm for most industries, business casual is more popular than ever for modern offices. Both styles of attire have their benefits and both can contribute to the success of different companies, so in this blog, we’ll explain the difference between business professional and business casual and give you some ideas for what to wear in your office.
The primary goal of business casual attire is for employees to remain comfortable at work while still looking put-together rather than disheveled or messy. Business casual can give you more freedom to express yourself while still giving off an air of professionalism, so it’s a great way to combine form and function. If you’re attending an interview and aren’t sure of what to wear, the best choice to opt for is business casual attire. Different employers will have their own definitions of business casual, so if you’re in doubt, it’s a good idea to reference your office’s official dress code policy for more specific details.
There are no set rules when it comes to dressing for a business casual office, which can make it quite tricky to curate a wardrobe of appropriate items to wear to work. However, whatever item you choose to wear, you should make sure that they make you look clean and put-together. For women, you could pair knee-length skirts or slacks with a sweater or blouse and wear them with a blazer or cardigan and a pair of loafers, heeled boots, or pumps. For men, dress pants with polo shirts or long-sleeved button-down shirts are a great option to wear with brogues or oxfords.
While business casual offices are more popular than ever, there are some work environments where the only appropriate form of attire is business professional. Industries in which image is vitally important usually adopt a business professional dress code to give the right impression to customers and clients, but it can also give employees a sense of professional responsibility. Putting on a suit or formal dress to go to work can prepare you for a more serious and formal office environment so you won’t feel out of place.
For women, it’s best to opt for a formal blouse or shirt to wear with a smart pair of trousers or a business shirt. Polished, smart shoes are important, so avoid open-toed sandals and instead wear a pair of heeled pumps or dress shoes. For men, suits are the most appropriate thing to wear with a button-up shirt, tie and dress shoes. When you’re choosing items for your business professional wardrobe, stick to neutral colors such as dark blues, greys or blacks, and subtle accessories.