Business casual can mean so many things! I started my new job this week and I have been in several different work environments in my career. The dress at my internship in college was business professional. My first job out of college was casual (like nike shorts casual) and my last job I would say was business casual, but more on the trendier side. As spring internships and interviews begin, it can be tricky to figure out what to wear, so I thought I would break down how to dress business casual.
Again take this with a grain of salt because you really have to get a feel for the culture. I would also recommend referencing how your boss dresses as a good guide. Even though your colleagues maybe a little more casual, you always want to dress for the job you want not the job you have.
A great dark denim will take you a long way. Think of this as your base. It can be dressed or dressed down based on your mood and your job.
A straight cut is a great option, and not my typical cut (I’m more of a skinny jeans girl) but this can be perceived a more professional and allows your shoe options to be a bit broader. You can pair this cut with heels, boots or a wide cuff and flats if you want to show off your fancy feet.
Next find a great blazer. A good blazer can take you a long way. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s all about the fit. I chose to layer it over a t-shirt for a more casual laid back look, but this outfit would look great swapped with a nice blouse for a dressier business casual look. It’s still business casual because of the jeans. Jeans are NEVER business professional.
I wanted to add a little texture to the look, so I topped the look off with a cheetah belt. This gives the overall look some more depth and personality as well as pairs nicely with the stripes.
Finally, I would say a nice leather work tote is key. It’s perfect to carry your laptop, chargers, notebooks, lunchbox, etc. This one also doubles as my carry-on when I’m traveling. It’s also perfect to keep a clutch inside and head to happy hour with the girls.
I highly recommend overdressing on your first week until you get a feel for the people and the culture, since business casual is a broad spectrum. It’s always better to be overdressed than under.