A workplace that requires business attire is easy to dress for; choose a full suit and you’re ready to go. Business casual, however, requires a bit more thought. Apart from some general no-nos — which include no T-shirts, shorts or flip-flops — keep in mind some general tips about putting together a business casual wardrobe. As you integrate into your workplace culture, you might be able to vary your look along the way.
Colors and Fabrics
Dressing business casual means wearing conservative colors, including black, grey and beige. Brown and khaki are also acceptable. Cotton, silk and blends are appropriate; shimmery fabric seen in club wear is not.
Long-sleeved and button-up shirts are appropriate business casual attire. Polo shirts are more on the casual end of business casual; wear them only if you’re sure the occasion doesn’t require you to be more dressy. Sweaters are acceptable. Do not show cleavage.
Pants and Skirt
Pants should be neatly pressed. Skirts should reach your knee while standing and cover your thighs when you’re sitting down. Longer skirts or a tailored dress is also acceptable. If your skirt is kneel-ength, you should wear pantyhose.
Shoes and Accessories
Coordinate your bag with your shoes and choose a small bag over something large and floppy. Shoes should be black, navy, brown or tan. Flats with covered toes are the safest bet. Jewelry should be minimal and not outlandish; avoid extreme color and loud styles. A simple watch is appropriate.
Business casual is a classic, neat look. All pieces should be pressed and fit well; nothing should be too tight or too baggy. Pants should be creased, and pieces should be in good shape. Stay away from clothing that is worn, has loose threads or missing buttons.