Implementing a Dress Code: Part 4 – Business Casual Attire

3 mins read

This article is written to describe a Business Casual dress code.

Business casual is one of the most common dress codes in North America, as employees are allowed to add personality to what they are wearing, as long as they keep a professional appearance. In this, you will begin seeing a lot of colours, accessories, and styles.

Business Casual Attire Consists of:

    • Dresswear:
      • Can wear any solid colour or conservative patterned collared button-ups
      • Must be tucked in, pressed, and clean at all times
      • Collared dress shirts can be short sleeved or long sleeved which can be worn down or folded up to the elbow
      • Pullovers and sweaters worn over collared shirts, solid, striped, or another conservatively patterned sweater. Primary and jewel-toned colours are best
      • Dressy slacks, such as black dress pants or pressed khakis in the summer, worn with or without a sports jacket
      • Business separates, rather than a full suit – a skirt worn with a cardigan or jacket
      • Coloured shirts and blouses. Choose solid colours, or muted patterns like stripes or checks, and avoid low-cut shirts or bright patterns
    • Ties or other accessories:
      • Ties should still be conservative in pattern. Avoid novelty ties, and choose patterns like dots, stripes, or checks. Most colours are acceptable.
      • More casual accessories, such as a leather-band watch.
      • Larger, more noticeable jewelry – as long as it’s not distracting
      • High-end accessories such as watches (preferred silver, gold, or white gold, rose gold) and cuff links
    • Shoes and Footwear:
      • Shoes can be oxfords, loafers, or another comfortable yet dressy choice, in brown or black. Avoid sneakers
      • Shoes may be comfortable flats and pumps, but should remain closed-toe. Black, brown, red, navy, and gray are among the most appropriate
    • Leggings:
      • Tights, preferably in a dark colour
      • Under no circumstance should exercise leggings be worn (i.e. Lululemon)


    • Head Hair:
      • Must be well-groomed, clean, and can be more casual with less conservative colours and more noticeable highlights
      • May offer more leeway for hairstyles (short and long), however should still be neatly styled
    • Facial Hair:
      • Must be well-groomed, cleaned, and natural in colour
    • Nails:
      • Must be well-groomed, well-kept, even in length, and buffed
      • Nail polish has more leeway with bright solid colours

Now that you have a snapshot of what is typically considered Business Casual dress attire, please stay tuned for part 5 of this series when we outline what is considered Casual.

Pro Tip: Do not be shy about getting a regular professional manicure. This is quite common in the business world.

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