So, you just got your first job or internship and the attire is business casual. But, what is business casual? And how is it different from business professional? Well don’t worry, we’re about to go over the differences!


You know when you’re chilling at your favorite coffee shop and a man and woman walk through the door, both in suits? This, my friend, is business professional. Business professional is likely very different than what you wear on a daily basis (unless you enjoy dressing up everyday, then props to you)! Here’s what business professional looks like for both men and women. 


Business professional offers little variation for outfit choices. Thus, when dressing business professional, it’s important to stick to a solid color. No neon green suits here! Wear a solid-color, collared shirt and don’t forget the tie. The solid color rule also applies to your socks and shoes. Shoes can be a dark leather in styles such as cap toe, oxford, monkstrap, or venetian. Sneakers do not count as business professional. Don’t forget to comb your hair before heading out the door!


Many of the same rules apply to women’s business professional attire. That means: solid colors! While men wear shirts, women wear blouses. Be careful when wearing a skirt though — make sure it’s about knee length. Panty-hose are also appropriate, but don’t wear ones with patterns or funky colors. When it comes to shoes, you can wear solid colored flats or heels. Make sure the heel is low, not just because it fits the business setting but it’s probably not very comfortable to wear stilettos from 9 to 5. 


Business casual attire allows for a greater variety in clothing choices. It’s usually more comfortable than business professional and you may wear some of these pieces on an everyday basis. 


Business casual does not require solid colors! So, you can replace your suits and shirts with polos, khakis, and sweaters. Ties are optional. When it comes to shoes, clean sneakers can usually be worn. However, click here to review more business casual shoe options!


Just like men, business casual allows women to try out more patterns and colors (but nothing too loud)! Pair basic shirts with blazers and slacks! Or, you can wear a comfortable jumpsuit. Since business casual guidelines vary from company to company, double-check whether you’re allowed to wear jeans. Dark wash denim can really complete your outfit. When it comes to shoes, low-heels to booties to sneakers are permissible. Click here to read about more shoes options- and business casual attire in general- to wear to the office!

Hopefully, this gave you a better idea of what it means to dress business casual versus business professional. Make sure to check in with your company as well to see what kind of attire is allowed. For more detailed information about dressing professionally, check out this blog post!

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