Dressing for the Job - Business Casual vs. Business Professional

As a business women, whether you're working for yourself or someone else, it's important for you to understand the difference between professional dressing and casual wear. There is a thin line and sometimes, it can be very easy to cross. Many corporations today allow their employees to be more "business casual" on certain days of the week or sometimes every day, but don't necessarily show their employees how it's supposed to be done. Shame on them!


We understand that times have changed, which makes dressing appropriately a little bit more challenging. So, we created this post to educate you on what both business casual and professional dressing consists of and how you can transition your looks from one to the other with just a simple adjustment. Continue reading for some much needed advice on how to dress appropriately for your industry.



Business Professional Dress: This style of dress is very conservative. It mainly includes a suit or suit separates in neutral colors (black, navy, brown or gray) paired with a classic button up or blouse. Skirts should come to the knee and pants should be full length. Closed toe shoes are a must and the heel shouldn't be any higher than 2 inches. You can also go with a flat shoe, if you'd like.


- Solid colored suit/suit separates

- Closed toe pumps (2 inches or less)

- Neutral flats

- Conservative blouse

- Classic button up

- Simple/clean jewelry

- Knee length skirts and dresses

- Full length dress pants


This may sound some what boring, but this is when you can play around with different textures and styles to really spice up a professional look. It also helps to add accessories (nothing too loud) that will add some personality to your outfit.



Business Casual Dress: This style of dress isn't as structured as business professional but still very similar. It can include some pops of color and/or patterns mixed with neutrals. A cardigan paired with a knee length skirt or dress pants and a blouse are an easy combination. You can even go as casual as cropped pants, chinos and/or dark washed jeans, depending on your work environment. But jeans aren't necessarily considered business casual. They can, in fact, be dressed up with a heel/flat and paired with a blouse and blazer for a more laid back, casual Friday; if your job permits it.


- Pops of color

- Printed blouses/tops

- Dark washed jeans (depends on your work environment)

- Flats

- Heels

- Cardigans

- Sweaters

- Knee length skirts and dresses

- Cropped pants/chinos


Business casual always seems to be everyone's favorite, typically due to comfort and not having to think too much into it. It's also more fun to play around with different colors and styles that don't normally fly when dressing professionally. Business professional is more for job interviews and even for work, if your job has a conservative dressing environment.



After summing up the difference between the two, which style is your favorite? Does your job enforce any of these dress codes?


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