12 Business Casual Outfit Ideas For Work

Monday, September 23, 2019

business casual inspo | work outfit ideas | women office wear | office outfit ideas | business casual style | business attire | business attire for women | women in the work place | trendy office wear | simple office looks

Imagine the show Chopped but instead of cooking, you have to make an outfit "business casual." 

In a world of ever-evolving fashion trends, finding the balance between fashion and office wear can be challenging. Just because something is fashion-forward doesn't mean it is office appropriate and vice versa. Office wear CAN be trendy. Since starting my career, I have taken my office wear out of the office and find myself wearing certain outfits out to brunch or shopping because I feel very confident that I have adopted a very fashion-forward, comfortable, yet business casual look that I now use to brand myself.



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"Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."


I have a bit of a clue of where I would like to see myself career-wise and I know I won't get there wearing leggings and a sweatshirt to work. I have tried a lot of looks. Some are winners and some you never see me wear again. As professionals, we have very few guidelines on how to dress in the office but they are hard rules that need to be respected. 


Use Basic Office Dress Code as Your Initial Guideline


What is basic office dress code? Your employee handbook should tell you more in-depth detail but a few no-brainers are:

  • Employees must always present a clean, professional appearance. Everyone is expected to be well-groomed and wear clean clothing, free of holes, tears, or other signs of wear.
  • Clothing with offensive or inappropriate designs or stamps are not allowed.
  • Clothing should not be too revealing.
  • Skirts should hit at 3 inches above the knee.
  • Clothing and grooming styles dictated by religion or ethnicity are exempt.


Violate any of these guidelines and there could be consequences. Plus, it is just in poor taste.

So, now that you know the basic expectations of work attire, let's check out a few looks that have been winners in my book in my business casual office.

Monochromatic with a Pop of Sass


I love a monochromatic color scheme, but that is because I love to add a little zest into the outfit too. Printed pants are a must in any trendy business casual environment. By keeping your colors in the same family this allows you to spice up your outfit with a little pop color in your makeup or jewelry. Pair with a pair of cute booties or flats depending on the season or work tasks.


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Blouse: H&M
Pants: Old Navy
Shoes: Ross

Linen Flare Trousers with Casual T-Shirt



Back at it again with the printed pants. Like I said, these are a staple in the workforce. Flared trousers with a verticle stripe design, paired with a simple T-shirt can really bring a look down really puts the casual in "business casual." Incorporate some fun dainty jewelry and heels to bring the look back up to industry standards.  Iced coffee is an added office touch.




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Top: Old Navy Plain V Neck
Bottoms: Thrifted flare striped trousers
Shoes: Payless Shoesource





Animal Print Cardigan with Colored Skinny Slacks

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A wise fashion soul once told me that "animal print is a neutral" and I have never gotten over that. There is always room for an animalistic piece on your ensemble. They are great conversation pieces and GET YOU NOTICED. A simple lace or scallop camisole, solid color, slacks, and a fun printed cardigan.

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Top: Ann Taylor (cami) Old Navy (Cardigan)
Bottom: Ted Baker Teal
Shoes: Rue 21



Screen Printed Tee with a Blazer


Use your best judgment on this but pairing a screen printed tee with a blazer and some skinny slack scab be really comfy get up for the day. Blazers are a common workpiece that completes any wardrobe.  Stay away from band tees but something simple like flowers or animals are a great addition.
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Blazer: Candie's brand from Khols
Top: Express
Bottoms: H&M


Severe Leather Alert

Who said you can’t wear leggings to work? Classier leggings are a great outfit piece if paired with a worktop or blouse. They have to be dressed up to avoid being frumpy though. This top from Rue 21 is the equivalent of a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back.

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Top: Rue 21
Bottoms: Amazon Basics

Goth Meets Office in Black and Plaid

Black is obviously the safe work color but you can do so much with it. A lot of industry standards require you wear black so why not make it interesting. Pair your black top with a plaid skirt and tights but put a heavy emphasis on your shoes. Disclaimer, this skirt is a little more than 3 inches above the knee but still not revealing. Since the skirt is shorter, you can pair them with tights to make the outfit more work appropriate. Add a statement necklace because they hold more power than you think. By wearing a statement necklace when you don’t feel like your hair or makeup are top-notch. This will draw attention away from those areas.
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Top: Monki
Bottom: H&M
Shoes: Forever 21

French Tuck with Pinstripe Button Down

Never underestimate the power of a striped shirt and a French tuck. This look is simple and edgy. Cropped ankle skinny pants with a slouchy pinstriped button-down. Pair with some flashy earrings and chic heels so people know you mean business. Wear a white button-down and you'll channel your inner Tom Cruise in Risky Business vibes.

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Top: Banana Republic
Bottoms: Thrifted
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Shoes: Rue 21


Flowy Tee With a Waist Belt 

This is one of my favorite business casual outfit ideas for work! Pair a long chiffon top with skinny black trousers and simple black booties or pumps. Add a waist belt to show off your figure and add some flare on top!


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Top: Target
Bottoms: H&M
Shoes: Call it Spring

Layered Tank with Chinos

Pair any colored chino pants with a plain or patterned layered tank for a casual work outfit. Throw on a sassy pair of heels and you are set for your morning meeting.



business casual inspo | work outfit ideas | women office wear | office outfit ideas | business casual style | business attire | business attire for women | women in the work place | trendy office wear | simple office looks
Top: Vera Wang
Bottoms: Thirfted
Shoes: Call it Spring
 

Classic Polka Dotted Dress

This is a perfect look for the summer months but looks just as great with layers for when the winter months come along. An easy must-have because it is amazingly comfy for the office and for post-work cocktails. Bring out the polka dots with similar colored accessories and shoes to pull the outfit together.

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Dress: Old Navy
Shoes: A'gaci


Cinched Trousers with a Patterned Top



These tied trousers are a massive fashion statement all of a sudden and they look great on all body types. Purchase a pair of these from any fashion store and pair with a sheer patterned top.

business casual inspo | work outfit ideas | women office wear | office outfit ideas | business casual style | business attire | business attire for women | women in the work place | trendy office wear | simple office looks
Top: Charolette Rousse
Bottoms: Ross
Shoes: Shoes for $2.99 (the store's actual name)

For more inspiring outfits check out my FauxPas highlight reel on Instagram or any of my career fashion posts here.

What is your staple to office wear? Tell me about your go-to office style in the comments below.




business casual inspo | work outfit ideas | women office wear | office outfit ideas | business casual style | business attire | business attire for women | women in the work place | trendy office wear | simple office looks

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