Casual Friday used to be the only day where you could dress down at work, but current office culture means women are starting to wear some slightly more casual attire every other day of the week while still looking professional, a dress code which has come to be known as ‘the business casual’.
Most workplace environments are slowly starting to steer towards this business casual dress code, and women are able to take greater liberties with their work attire by donning the old vintage frilly dress or rock a sandal shoe.
However, the ‘business casual’ dress code guidelines can cause a bit of confusion, as it sits in the somewhat murky waters between pencil skirt and blazer and shorts with sandals.
Some of the more obvious ‘don'ts’, if you find yourself in a workplace where business casual is suitable, are short denim skirts, tank tops, anything that shows your midriff and baggy sweatpants.
On the other hand, you’ll find that off-the-shoulder tops, white sneakers and even jeans, all make to ‘do’ list if you can look both comfortable and professional, although it requires a degree of polish.
Here are some items to add to your business casual work wardrobe:
Business casual shoes for women – White sneakers
If you keep your white sneakers clean, they have fabulous versatility and can be worn with a suit, jeans or a dress and become an item appropriate to wear around the office.
For your business casual wardrobe try the Esplar sneakers by Veja, $155.
Business casual dresses for women – Floral printed dress
You should always have a couple of floral printed summer dresses on rotation come spring time as they make for the perfect business casual attire in the summertime. Paired with functional accessories and a clean pair of white sneakers, and your sleeve-length midi floral printed dress is the perfect weather appropriate business causal ladies outfit.
For your business casual wardrobe try the Green Ruffled Printed Dress from Mango, $89.95
Business casual pants – Denim
Denim jeans were once a huge no-no in the office, but this casual wardrobe item has slowly become more work appropriate. Make sure you dress up your look with some eye-catching jewellery, a nice blouse and polished shoes, and your denim jeans can be the perfect business casual pants.
For your business casual wardrobe try the Margot Cropped Straight Leg Jean from Camilla and Marc, $300
Business casual shirts – T-shirts
T-shirts don’t just belong on the weekends in your downtime, you can most certainly bring this basic item into the office if you also bring a little glamour. Make sure you pair your basic tee with a bright statement midi skirt and a chic heel to keep things looking professional and you’ll fit within the business casual dress code.
For your business casual wardrobe try the Consequence T-Shirt from C/Meo Collective via Fashion BNKR, $89.95
Business casual tops – Off-the-shoulder
A daring choice but if done right, an off-the-shoulder top can look chic and sophisticated, especially in summer. Worn with a sharp midi skirt or cigarette pants, a crisp off-the-shoulder blouse and elbow-length sleeves and a straight across neckline is both a flattering silhouette and a modern business casual look.
For your business casual wardrobe try the Bon Voyage off-the-shoulder embroidered cotton blouse from Alice McCall via Net-a-porter, $450
Business casual jacket – Statement blazer
A black blazer is an essential item in any working girls wardrobe, but when you need to breathe new life to an otherwise uninspired outfit, a statement blazer is a perfect item. Whether it’s printed o colourful, a statement blazer will always look equal parts effortless and professional.
For your business casual wardrobe try the Pierre Blazer from Rebecca Vallance, $729