How to Successfully Dress Business Casual

Business casual is having a moment right now for office and meeting attire. But, for many people, those two words can get a little confusing. What exactly does business casual mean and how do you blend the two?

Blending the two words “business” and “casual” is actually the best of both worlds. Someone must have realized that they were tired of feeling uncomfortable at their desk in a stiff button-down, blazer, and shoes and decided it was time for a new era in business attire. Thank you, whoever you are.

Business casual also allows you to add some personal expression into your daily work outfit. You can wear things you wouldn’t be able to wear if you have a strict work dress code. At Cvent CONNECT we like to mix professionalism and comfort, depending on the meeting.

It’s important to know that if the dress code is business casual, that doesn’t mean you can’t still dress up for important meetings. Personal preference is a big player for business casual.

Here are the simple ways to dress “business casual”

The overall consensus is that this style mixes your casual or comfortable wear with a professional flare. Below are pictures that depict the multiple different places you can take this.

Style will range between people, which is natural. Some people prefer wearing dresses and blazers, others, like myself, prefer bootleg jeans and sweaters. Everyone can find their happy medium here.

Menswear

Tops

  • Polos, sweaters, button downs, and nicer t-shirts are all acceptable. “Nice t-shirts” are simple and tasteful, but not sloppy
  • Jackets: Pullovers, cardigans, nicer zip-ups, and blazers are all good choices

Bottoms

  • Khakis, jeans, colored pants, slacks (if you want to dress up)
  • No shorts, no rips or holes in pants, no chains or anything extra off the pants

Shoes

  • Closed-toed lace-up shoes are the best bet (nicer sneakers fit into this category)

Womenswear

Tops

  • Sweaters, polos, peplum shirts, comfortable but nice t-shirts, blouses, button-downs, flowy shirts
  • For strappy tops, a good rule of thumb is a three fingers’ width for the strap
  • Dresses are also great! Modest sundresses or professional shift dresses work
  • Jackets: Pullovers, zip-ups, sweaters, cardigans, lightweight jackets, vests

Bottoms

  • Jeans without rips or holes, longer skirts (around knee length), khaki material pants, patterned pants

Shoes

  • Ballet flats, wedges, sandals with a back, nicer tennis shoes, booties, boots

These are the basics of business casual, but it don’t stop at my suggestions. Put your own spin on them!

A plus that Cvent employees love is getting to dress in business casual at the office. Our workplace is a comfortable environment that keeps it casual, yet also professional.


Caroline Howard

Written by Caroline Howard

Northern Virginia native turned southerner at The University of South Carolina. My skills include planning 4,000 attendee corporate events and then blogging about them. My friends always ask where I am, because when I'm not behind my laptop writing, I'm off exploring new places like Cuba and Spain.