Business Casual for Women: Do's and Don'ts

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how we work, including how we dress for the workday. So what exactly is business casual for women nowadays? Between remote work and casual Fridays, you may be wondering what’s acceptable and what’s not anymore.

Today we’ll give you eight business casual for women do’s and don’ts. Remember that these are only guidelines, as your workplace’s specific dress code might differ.

Read: Appearance Matters: 4 Ways to Be More Confident at Work

DO Wear Clean Clothes

Even if you can’t afford the latest designer styles, wearing clean clothes is always in fashion.

To make sure you have a clean, neat outfit for the workday (and to save yourself some time in the morning), try these tips:

  • Wear a sweat proof undershirt, like these ones from Thompson Tee. A sweat proof shirt traps underarm sweat and prevents pit stains from ruining blouses and shirts (and also helps you save money on dry cleaning).
  • Pick out your clothes the night before. That way, you have enough time to make sure everything is free of stains, holes or other unprofessional flaws.
  • Keep your garments wrinkle-free by steaming or ironing them and storing them properly in your closet or dresser.

DON'T Wear Ripped or Torn Clothing

Speaking of unprofessional, wearing ripped or torn clothing — even if it’s in style! — is never acceptable in most business environments.

Business casual outfits should still be business appropriate, so avoid ripped jeans, old t-shirts, beat-up sneakers and anything else that looks worse for the wear.

DO Think Beyond Skirts

Today, skirts are no longer the standard for business casual for women. Instead, consider options beyond the business skirt suit, like long skirts and dresses or pants.

For women who prefer pants, pantsuits, chinos and dress pants are usually appropriate for business casual. However, if your workplace has more of a lax dress code, you can also try capri pants or culottes for a fresher take on business casual pants.

DON'T Wear Athleisure

Although many of us might be used to wearing our leggings and loungewear while working from home, athleisure typically isn’t appropriate for the office. So don’t wear your workout clothes to work unless your workplace specifically allows it.

If athleisure fits with the dress code, make sure your top or leggings don’t look like you worked out in them this morning.

DO Watch Your Footwear

Stick with dress shoes, loafers, heels, and boots to play it safe. Women can get away with dressy sandals most of the time, like an open-toed heel, but not flip flops.

Check if your work environment has any specific requirements about shoes. For example, in a lab, you might be required to wear closed-toed shoes for your safety.

DON'T Default to Jeans and Sneakers

If the dress code isn’t that specific, try to avoid wearing jeans and sneakers. However, even the nicest jeans don’t hold a candle to dress pants or khakis. Alternatively, consider getting dress pants that fit like yoga pants, like these styles from Beta Brand. For more options, check out this guide to women’s dress pants.

Although sneakers are the most comfortable option for footwear, business casual for women is all about putting your best foot forward — literally. So try some low-heeled shoes instead, like ankle boots or loafers.

DO Watch Your Messaging

Don’t let your graphic tee get you into trouble. If your business casual dress code allows t-shirts, double-check the design before wearing something to the office.

Before deciding if a shirt is business casual, consider if it has a graphic, message or design that might be misunderstood or doesn’t align with your company’s values. When in doubt, opt for a plain t-shirt instead.

DON'T Wear Visible Undergarments

Sometimes it can be tricky to find undergarments that work with different types of clothes. For example, one of the biggest challenges for business casual attire for women is making sure your bra straps don’t show.

Consider wearing an undershirt beneath sheer tops that show visible bra straps. Or, don a cardigan or blazer over strapless tops or sheer blouses.

Make It Easy to Dress Business Casual

Figuring out the dos and don’ts of business casual for women can be confusing at first. But once you have the basics down, you can build a work wardrobe without overthinking it.

Thompson Tee’s sweat proof undershirts for women are foundational for your business casual wardrobe. These shirts feature patented Hydro-Shield technology that absorb sweat to prevent moisture from permeating your outer layers and ruining your clothes.

With both original fit and slim fit options for women, you’re sure to find a sweat proof undershirt that fits your style, saves your clothes and allows you to do less laundry. Check out our line of women’s sweat proof shirts today.