Dos and Don’ts of Business Casual Attire

White jeans; are they business casual?

If it’s a new pair of white jeans, you can wear them to a casual business workplace. Just make sure that you balance the jeans with the perfect top. You’ll want to choose a slightly dressy shirt, such as a blouse or button-up.

Putting together a business casual wardrobe takes time and distinction. You have to know exactly what to look for if you want to be stylish and professional. To help you out, we’ve created this styling guide.

What are the dos and don’ts for business casual attire? Read on to find out.

Avoid Athleisure Wear

Whatever you do, don’t come into the office wearing athleisure. Athleisure is a famous fashion style. The athletic approach involves wearing the type of clothes you would work out, except in a more casual way.

Thanks to all of the new pieces of clothing available on the market, and unique shoe styles, there are a lot of fun athletic outfits you can put together. These outfits can be great for hanging out with friends or even meeting up for a date!

However, athleisure wear doesn’t have any place in the office. Even if you’re coming to work on a Friday where things are a little more casual than usual, avoid athleisure. Why?

On top of being unprofessional, athleisure where might make your coworkers uncomfortable. A lot of the clothing will be skin-tight and relatively revealing.

High-waisted running shorts, skin-tight leggings, and crop tops are a few of the items involved in athleisure wear. These outfits are best kept away from the workplace. While athleisure wear won’t fly, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about pairing sneakers with business attire.

Examples of Business-Appropriate Shoes

What footwear is appropriate for business casual attire? For starters, it’s all going to depend on the nature of your job.

If there’s any risk of injury, you’ll want to avoid wearing open-toed shoes. You should also avoid wearing any type of open-toed shoes if you work in food in the food industry.

However, what about office workers? Is it okay to wear a pair of sandals if they’re stylish? 

In a lot of cases, open-toe footwear will be perfectly acceptable in the workplace. Just avoid wearing anything too casual like flip-flops. Instead, stick to professional sandals.

We find it’s best if the sandals have a back strap on them. The back strap will help the shoe look more professional while keeping you safe.

About 27% of workplace injuries happen from slips, trips, and falls. Make sure your footwear will keep you safe so you don’t have a tumble.


Business Casual Do’s and Don’ts for Graphics

Humor can be a difficult thing to pinpoint. You might think you understand the comedic climate in your office, but that doesn’t mean you know the whole picture. Even if 95% of your coworkers enjoy a bit of raunchy humor, that doesn’t mean the other 5% will be on board.

To protect your reputation and avoid disciplinary action, you’ll want to steer clear of clothes with offensive messages or graphics. Whether it’s an offensive message or an offensive photo, these pieces of clothing should be kept out of the workplace.

A great example would be a shirt that says something humorous about coffee addiction. It could be a playful joke about being a coffee junkie, but that doesn’t mean your coworkers will interpret it as playful.

Mental health issues, addiction, religion, politics, and gender roles can be challenging to joke about. If you’re wondering whether or not a clothing item might be offensive, it probably is. Always judge on the safe side of things and choose plain colored t-shirts over ones with slogans.

Never Wear the Competition

What type of industry do you work in? Is it a competitive industry? Make sure you go above and beyond to represent your company so that your coworkers know where your loyalty lies.

Avoid wearing any type of t-shirt or accessory that promotes other companies within your industry. Even if the other company isn’t direct competition, you should avoid promoting other business names.

Steer clear of shirts, hats, koozies, and pens that are promotional material. The only promotional material you should be wearing is the material that your company is giving you.

You’ll also want to avoid wearing old promotional material. For instance, did your company give you a t-shirt with the business’s name on it 5 years ago? That shirt doesn’t look as great as it did the first day you got it.

Since you don’t want to misrepresent your business, avoid wearing clothes that don’t do the company’s name justice. If you wear a shirt that sponsors your company’s name, make sure the shirt is fresh and clean.

Steer Clear of Baggy Clothing

If the idea of jumping into an oversized hoodie makes you smile, you’re not alone. Baggy clothing is growing in popularity, and for a good reason too.

The right pair of baggy pants or the right oversized shirt can help you feel comfortable and relaxed. However, the baggy look is a bit too relaxed for the workplace.

You’ll have to use a little bit of judgment to decide whether or not a shirt is too baggy. Sometimes oversized shirts have the correct type of cut to lay on your body perfectly. Whereas other types of oversized shirts will hide your body and make you look too casual.

When in doubt, wear your shirt for a friend or family member. Ask them if they think it’s too big, and take their opinion to heart.

As far as baggy pants go, they’re never acceptable at the workplace. It doesn’t matter how stylish your baggy pants are; they will make you look unprofessional. Like wearing athleisure wear, baggy pants just don’t have a place in the professional world.

Overall, wearing baggy clothes to work will make you appear lazy and out of touch. That’s not to say that you have to wear form-fitting clothes. If you enjoy the feeling that baggy clothes present, look into layering your outfits.

Perfect Your Business Casual Attire

When you take the time to perfect your business casual attire, you’ll be able to get the correct type of attention. Now you know what type of clothing to avoid.

Go through your closet and look for athleisure wear or baggy clothes. Set these casual clothing items aside so that you don’t accidentally include them in one of your work outfits.

Then you can start piecing together the perfect look for work tomorrow. If you need a little bit more inspiration, just read another article.

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