WHAT TO WEAR: Defining Business Casual

The beginning of fall means networking, internships and career fairs, especially if you are a junior or senior in college. The dress code for most events usually states business casual. For a lot of people, previously including myself, the words “business” and “casual” generally do not mix, creating a panic in which we are completely stumped as to what should be worn. How casual can you be? Will you dress too formally?

Usually for men, business casual simply means dress pants or khakis paired with a collared shirt. However, for women, business casual means a variety of choices, too many to even count. Some women opt for a casual outfit, paired with khakis or trousers instead of jeans or leggings, while others tend to go for a more professional look, using blazers and heels to add a formal touch. Dressing business casual gives women a way to express themselves in their professional lives through their attire because they can play around with different colors and styles. However you choose to dress, make sure it is classy and appropriate, while being something that you feel comfortable in.

This Fashionista paired an olive green surplice top with skinny trousers and simple black oxfords to make up the main outfit. She then added a beaded turquoise necklace to add a pop of color and a gold wallet to accent the look.

A simple, yet classy look like this is perfect for a business casual environment. To make an outfit like this look more professional and less casual, one can pair a blazer or heels with it. Versatility in a business casual look is key because it makes the outfit more adaptable depending on the setting. This also allows for the ensemble to be customizable based on the woman wearing it.

Next time you see the words “business” and “casual” paired together, do not panic! It seems like the most confusing dress code to ever exist because there is no set look. However, it actually allows for you to dress to your personality on a more professional level. Always remember that professionalism and self-expression are not two separate entities in which you can only choose one. Both can be incorporated into one look that makes you look and feel incredible.