Are you required to wear business casual attire to the office, but are not sure what fits into that category or how to make it professional and fashionable? Navigating the rules and expectations surrounding business casual for women can feel tricky and vague, but in reality, it is not nearly so complicated as you may think. Business casual attire is a common professional dress code for offices around the world, but can often be open to personal interpretation and inconsistencies.
|Wide Leg Trousers|
|Practical Tote Bag|
|Chic Trench Coat|
10 Style Ideas for Womens’ Business Casual Attire
Actually, you can successfully adhere to the standards of business casual for women without sacrificing style. There are a number of classic pieces that every professional businesswoman should incorporate into her wardrobe to meet the office checklist and still feel chic and fabulous. While there are many options to incorporate style and business casual for women into your wardrobe, we narrowed the list down to 10 indispensable elements. Each of these wardrobe essentials will leave you feeling confident and ready to meet whatever your day has to offer.
Business Casual for Women Product FAQ
1. What is Business Casual Attire?
Business casual tends to vary depending on a particular office, company, or region; but there are basic elements to know of. As its name suggests, business casual is a step below the traditional business formal attire that has permeated office dress codes for so many years, and still does in some companies. Rather than requiring you to stick to the same suits every day, business casual often allows for more color, mixing, and matching than its more conservative alternative.
Crisp and airy blouses, chic pencil skirts, slacks or cigarette pants, cardigan sweaters, structured blazers, A-line dresses, and sheaths all come to mind as appropriate business casual for women attire. On the same note, examples of what would not be appropriate are short or low cut apparel, clothing that is too tight, shorts, loud or gaudy accessories, and anything distressed or with holes.
Some offices may allow more dressed-up versions of leggings; others may frown on them. It is usually acceptable to incorporate color into your attire, but it should not be too loud or something you would wear to a party. Be sure to consult your company’s dress code or speak with a manager for clarification if you are unclear on what clothing pieces are acceptable or not.
2. Why Upgrade Business Casual Attire?
For some, business casual attire for women can seem boring or stifling if you are unsure of what to wear and what key pieces to invest in. In reality, you can rock the latest classy fashions, all while maintaining a corporate, professional demeanor.
It is all about mixing classic staples with modern elements and creating a look appropriate for all-day use, which can transition into a more relaxed setting after work. Rather than wearing the same pieces every day, including the 10 key style ideas, we will discuss into your work wardrobe will leave you feeling chic and powerful at the office.
3. Where Can You Buy Business Casual Attire?
You can purchase business casual attire from just about any clothing retailer you can think of. All the pieces we chose can be found online through Amazon for your shopping ease.
4. Price Range
The wardrobe pieces we chose the range in price from $14.00-$130.00.
How We Reviewed
Each of the following style pieces were reviewed based on their unique features, pros and cons, price, and ease of purchase. We chose classic staples that can be effortlessly incorporated into every wardrobe and align with any variance in business casual for women based on an office, company or region. Every item on our list was carefully selected to ensure accessibility for women of every personal preference and budget.
Overall Price Range Of This Product (and similar products)
The following business casual for women essentials cost approximately between $14.00-$130.00. Accessories may come at a lower cost than clothing staples. Certain materials and brands will cost more than their lesser-known counterparts. In addition, timeless investment pieces that can be worn for many years to come may have a higher price tag than those which will need to be replaced throughout the seasons.
What We Reviewed
- Wide Leg Trousers
- Pinstriped Pants
- Practical Tote Bag
- Practical Tote Bag
- Wraparound Cardigan
- Block Heels
- Solid Button-Up
- Sheath Dress
- V-Neck Sweater
- Chic Trench Coat
Wide Leg Trousers
No business casual for women style list would be complete without first mentioning wide leg trousers. This trusty essential for your work wardrobe is flattering to a variety of tastes and comes in different lengths to suit your needs and preferences. Wide leg trousers are a classic choice that meets office requirements across the board.
They come in neutral and more eye-catching colors, accentuating curves and elongating legs for a plethora of uniquely beautiful shapes and sizes. Wide leg trousers are also very versatile and can be worn with everything from a fabulous blazer to a trendy blouse. You can also take them from day to night with ease, by just switching out a more conservative top for an evening appropriate style piece.
- Universally flattering
- Versatile and acceptable across all dress code variances
- Some women prefer skinny cropped or cigarette pants to the wide-leg effect
- Wide-leg pants can have a swallowing effect for those who are shorter in stature
This product can be found on Amazon for between approximately $20.00-$27.00.
Pinstriped pants are a fun way to spice up standard business casual for women with prints and textures while remaining professional. Pinstripes can come in different colors and pant shapes. They are easily paired with more muted colors on top, or worn with dramatic hues for a bolder, yet still modest look.
- Versatile pants that come in different cuts and colors
- Can be worn with a variety of tops to create a different look each time
- Not everyone prefers to wear stripes
- Pinstripes do not always flatter and elongate in the same way solids do
This product can be found on Amazon for between approximately $14.00-$18.00.
No comprehensive list of business casual for women staples would be complete without mentioning the timeless blazer. Blazers have come a long way over the years and can be purchased in a variety of high-fashion, yet professional, cuts, colors, and patterns.
Blazers are a must-have in colder months. They are also great pieces to have handy year round to deal with the cool indoors or give you an extra boost of confidence for your next meeting or presentation. Pick a blazer that comes cropped at the waist to wear with a pencil skirt for something unexpected, or pair a boyfriend blazer with skinny pants and your favorite pair of office-appropriate heels for a sophisticated, on-point look.
- Endless assortment of blazers available to suit every need and taste
- A timeless office essential that never fails to please
- It is important to pick the right cut to avoid wearing something too bulky
- Depending on style and fabric, not a piece that can always be worn year round
This product can be found on Amazon for between approximately $20.00-$26.00
Practical Tote Bag
This accessory is an invaluable piece if you are trying to master business casual for women. Totes are the perfect way to carry around all your necessary documents and files for the office, but can also fit your favorite snack, a change of outfit for your fun meet-up after work, or even a second pair of shoes. Totes come in a variety of sizes and colors and are sure to be a staple you can use for many years to come.
- Professional, polished way to transport all your daily essentials
- Office staple that will stand the test of time
- Could be heavy to lug around for some
- Not as conveniently portable as a shoulder or cross-body bag
This product can be found on Amazon for between approximately $26.00-$32.00.
Cardigans are a must-have to conquer business casual for women. You might think of cardigans only in terms of the classic shapes and cuts, but wraparound cardigans provide a great twist on this classic staple.
Wraparound cardigans can be cozy and neutral or colorful while remaining timelessly chic. They are a great way to add interest to a simple outfit or incorporate an extra layer to stay warm. Wear them over a sheath dress or pair them with wide leg trousers and a blouse. In the colder months, another fabulous look would be to slip a wraparound cardigan over your favorite top and slim-fit pants, with a pair of chunky ankle boots.
- Keeps you warm and stylish
- You can purchase in a variety of shapes and colors
- Some may prefer a more classic cardigan cut
- Not a piece that can necessarily be worn year round
This product can be found on Amazon for approximately $20.00
Block heels are an exceptional shoe necessity for business casual for women, as they give that extra height without causing discomfort or stretching your feet out of alignment.
A classic shape, the block heel is versatile because it can be worn with just about any office piece. If you are newer to wearing heels, block heels are a great transition piece to get you used to walking in them. Whether you feel like wearing pants, a skirt, a cute dress, or going for a nice walk on your lunch hour, block heels hit the mark.
- Lower, more comfortable heel option
- Pairs well with an array of office attire pieces
- Not as elongating to the legs as higher heels
- Some may find block heels too clunky for their personal taste
This product can be found on Amazon for approximately $19.00-$27.00.
Any discussion of business casual for women would be incomplete without touching upon the solid button-up shirt. A wardrobe staple for the office since the beginning of time, the button-up has come a long way over the years and can be purchased in a variety of fabrics, cuts, and colors.
Tucked into a pencil or A-line skirt, paired with slim or wide-leg pants, or thrown on with your favorite jeans for dinner with friends after a long day the office, the solid-button up is a timeless must-have for the complete professional wardrobe.
- Versatile, timeless piece
- A solid investment that can be worn many times for years to come
- You may need to play with colors or jewelry to add more interest to the piece
- Some find solid button-ups a little starchy and uncomfortable
This product can be found on Amazon for approximately $22.00.
The sheath is the quintessential, tailored dress option in business casual for women, that never fails to please. The sheath dress is insanely flattering, suiting a variety of personal tastes. It is very versatile and can be taken from day to night with ease by just switching out your blazer for a bold red lip and a pair of cocktail heels.
Whether you are in a conservative or relaxed business casual environment, the sheath dress is a staple that can be worn repeatedly for years to come. Sheath dresses are a nod to the vintage era and are a modern, sophisticated addition to your wardrobe that will prove a timeless investment piece.
- Versatile, universally flattering shape
- A key investment piece that will stand the test of time
- Some may find the shape tight or constricting
- Others prefer a-line cuts
This product can be found on Amazon for between approximately $20.00-$34.00.
If you are not sure what sweaters work best for business casual for women, look no further than the classic v-neck sweater. V-neck sweaters are a solid bet for figure flattering, modest office attire that will keep you warm and fashionable at the same time.
They come in a variety of lengths, colors, and patterns so that you can pick according to your personal taste. Pair a v-neck sweater with your favorite work pants or tuck into a pencil skirt for a waist-cinching effect.
- Can be worn in a variety of ways in different colors and patterns
- Suits even the most stringent of dress codes
- Better suited for colder months, rather than year round
- Can come at a higher price point
This product can be found on Amazon for approximately $50.00.
Chic Trench Coat
Finally, no list regarding business casual for women could be complete with the chic trench coat. A timeless throwback to the vintage era, the chic trench coat has remained a classic piece through the decades that can be incorporated into any wardrobe with effortless grace. Layer it over a sweater and trousers in the colder months or throw it over a whimsical a-line in the spring.
- Universally flattering
- Timeless wardrobe piece you can wear for years to come
- Comes at a higher price point
- Some may find the classic shade too neutral for their liking
This product can be found on Amazon for approximately $130.00.
If you are looking to invest in some business casual pieces without stretching your budget too far, start by choosing wide leg trousers, a solid button-up, a sheath, a blazer, block heels, and a tote. You can easily mix and match these items, creating several fabulous outfits you can replicate in different shapes, colors, and textures over and over again in your professional life.
If you want to add interest to your business casual wardrobe, consider adding some pinstripe pants or a wraparound cardigan to the mix. For a more committed investment, the classic v-neck sweater and trench will never fail to leave you feeling confidently chic.
Successfully maneuvering the world of business casual for women can be accomplished with grace and ease by incorporating a few timeless staples into your wardrobe. You can easily spice things up with statement pieces and accessories, but it is these classic items that will frequently stand the test of time and pass the office litmus test for modesty and professionalism.