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Business casual attire, also called “smart casual,” has become increasingly popular in the modern workplace. It allows employees to dress in a more relaxed and comfortable manner while maintaining a professional appearance.
Whether you’re scouring jobs online on sites like ZipRecruiter, you’re headed back to the office full time, or just ready to improve your professional wardrobe, looking professional can score you points on the job or at your next big interview.
So, what exactly is business casual attire? It generally consists of a collared shirt, slacks or khakis, closed-toe shoes for men, a blouse, dress pants or a knee-length skirt for women. Jeans may be acceptable in some business casual environments, but it’s always best to check with your employer before wearing them.
In addition to traditional business casual attire, there are a few other elements to consider when dressing for the modern workplace:
Pay attention to fit. Clothing should be well-fitting and not too tight or too baggy. Similar to an interview situation, make sure your clothes are clean, pressed and in good condition. Try your outfits before heading into the office so you know how they fit you.
Choose appropriate fabrics. Avoid clothing made of overly casual fabrics, such as denim or sweatshirt material. Opt for dressier fabrics like cotton, wool, or linen.
Accessorize wisely. Keep accessories simple and professional. Avoid overly flashy or bold jewelry and stick to a watch and a minimal number of other accessories. Accessories are a great way to show your personality and fashion sense.
Consider the company culture. Some companies may have a more relaxed dress code, while others may be more formal. Consider the culture of your workplace and dress appropriately. When in doubt, ask HR or observe your peers to get an idea of how to dress every day.
Keep your outfits well-maintained. Make sure your clothes are clean and well-maintained. This includes ironing your clothes and polishing your shoes.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are dressed appropriately for a business casual environment and project a professional image in the modern workplace.
If you’re looking for a more casual office culture or you’re just ready for the next step in your career, ZipRecruiter can help. As the #1 job site in the U.S.1, it makes job searching easy. It uses powerful AI matching technology to help you find the right fit, and you can also read reviews and ratings from current and former employees to learn about a company’s culture before applying.
1 Based on G2 satisfaction ratings as of January 1, 2022