Business Casual – 5 Tips for Professional and Casual Business Dress

Are you confused about what business casual dress really means?

It’s a merging of the formal, tailored, dark & neutral colors of business wear, with the relaxed, loose, comfortable look of casual wear. It’s not weekend wear, or sportswear. It’s somewhere in between. It combines the professionalism of business dress with the comfort of casual dress, to create a smart, polished office look that’s a step below business formal.

Here are 5 tips for looking stylish in business casual attire.

1. Dress for your industry and for your company. If you are meeting clients, in most companies it’s a good idea to have a jacket handy. A jacket instantly upgrades your look, and presents a polished, professional appearance.

2. Choose your accessories carefully. You many be wearing a sweater and pants, but make sure your shoes are shined and stylish. Carry a good quality leather briefcase or handbag. Invest in a sharp-looking watch with a leather or metal band. Wear a leather belt to tie your look together.

3. Coordinate colors. Yes, you are wearing a more casual look, so you don’t need to dress in charcoal grey or navy. However, consider that these neutral colors are a great basis for a capsule wardrobe. When you begin with 2 or 3 pairs of pants in black, navy or grey, you can add any color shirt or sweater and still look business-like. When you top it off with a jacket, you look ready for any business event.

4. Check your grooming. Make sure your hair is clean and has a style that suits you. Check that your fingernails are filed, with no jagged edges. Check for stale breath and 5-o’clock shadows. Sometimes we don’t realize that we look less than fresh at the end of the day, when we may be heading out to see clients.

5. Give yourself a once-over in the mirror before you step outside. Look for loose threads, missing buttons, and scuffed heels. All of these details play an even bigger part of the picture when you wear business casual attire.