Posted on: April 21, 2017

Business Casual vs. Business Professional

Business Casual vs. Business Professional

Whether you’re interviewing for an internship, a full-time career, or attending a job fair it’s important to understand how you dress for on a particular occasion- whether it is business professional or business casual style. Your clothing will have a major impact on how the people view you.

Wearing the wrong clothing can lead to a negative first impression and even cause you to lose an opportunity before you start presenting yourself. As we all know, first impression matter- be prepared to put your best foot forward! For more details and guidance on best dress practice visit our Pinterest Boards: Men’s and Ladies.

When to Wear Business Professional

Business professional attire is appropriate for a formal interview and presentations to prospective clients or employers. It is a more clear-cut set of guidelines. Imagine what comes to mind when you think of a corporate business setting… It commonly includes a matched suit with light or white shirt or blouse, neutral and darker colors and simple choices of jewelry and shoes.

Here is a list of what may be worn for business professional attire, including both men and women:

Business Professional for Men

  • Solid color, conservative suit is preferred but you can wear a blazer
  • Ties – should reach the top of your belt buckle.
  • Professional shoes – Best material is leather.
  • Socks – match the color of your shoes and slacks, and that they cover or reach mid-calf
  • Nice slacks, button up shirt and tie
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Business Professional for Women

  • Heels -should be no higher than two inches. Closed toe pumps are preferred
  • Dark colored two-piece suit – pants or skirt with a matching jacket
  • Business-style dress with a jacket
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Blouses – Tops can be button ups, turtle necks, shells, or fashion blouses
  • Skirts – Should be a modest length, no shorter than 2 inches above the knee.
  • Shoes – must be clean and polished, should be no higher than two inches.
  • Socks/ Hosiery –match the color of your shoes and slacks
  • Button-up, pressed, solid-colored dress shirt

When to Wear Business Casual

Business casual dress is not quite business professional, but not casual either. Some organizations consider nice jeans and a button-up shirt business casual attire, while others consider business casual attire as a slight variation of professional dress. This style is designed for everyday work wear in job offices and in most business environments.

Below are examples of what you may consider to wear in typical business casual dress code:

Business Casual for Men:

  • Slacks or Khakis
  • Button-up dress shirt
  • Dress shoes
  • Short-sleeved polo shirt
  • Tie not needed
  • Light pastel colors are acceptable

Business Casual for Women:

  • Flats, heels, or nice sandals; no flip-flops, sneakers, or unprofessional heels
  • Shirt, casual button-down shirt, open-collar or polo shirt
  • Loafers or loafer-style shoes or closed-toe dress shoes
  • Pants or appropriate length skirt, khakis
  • Nice blouse or sweater