A Simple Guide to Business Casual

by Lexi Smith


So, you just found out that you received your dream internship. You start next week, but the company you are going to work for has a business casual dress code!! You’ve never dealt with business casual before, and have no idea what it entails. The good thing about this sort of dress code is that, depending on how strict it is, you ultimately have free reign for creativity and keeping your everyday style. Business casual can range anywhere from a pair of pants and a sweater to a full on suit. With that said, I wouldn’t go into your first day in a suit (unless told otherwise) but do make sure that you crush the dress code on the first day and make a good first impression. Don’t worry, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. You don’t have to wear a dress and heels everyday.



  • Having a blazer or two in your closet is always a good idea. They don’t have to be super fancy nor do they need to be super expensive. I have a blazer from Nordstrom Rack that was about $40, and I have two different blazers from Banana Republic that I got on sale for about $70 each. They are more pricey than your normal everyday clothing but they last a while and are worth the small investment to look the part.


Plaid Pants:


  • My plaid pants are a go to for me when I have no idea what else to wear. I have a troubling amount of them, but they always seem to come in handy. You can pair them with pretty much any solid top, sweater, or jacket. 





  • You can be pretty creative when it comes to shoes and business casual. There are not many restrictions. However, do not wear any sneakers/tennis shoes, including vans, converse, etc. unless instructed otherwise. I would also leave the flip flops at home during the summer. Sandals are usually okay but save your flip flops for the beach. Lastly, just make sure your shoe choices are appropriate for your workspace. 


Dress Slacks:


  • This goes for the men and the ladies that are weary about their business casual dress code. You can never go wrong with a good pair of slacks. Solid colors are preferred. It will make you look much more professional than wearing crazy, bright patterns.



  • I know ladies, it seems scary. Some women, like me, love to wear dresses. For me it’s a ten times more comfortable than wearing pants. However, many girls absolutely hate dresses and would do anything to not wear one. I have a bunch of super casual but comfy dresses in my closet that work on your everyday, or as business casual. In the winter I put on a pair of tights, grab some boots, and i’m good to go.




  • Men, if you throw on a fun tie with your dress shirt and pants, you will be good to go. If your shirt is dressy enough you can skip the tie, but they are always a fun addition to a solid shirt.


If you look in the mirror and second guess yourself on any component of your outfit, you should probably switch it to something else you are more confident in. Especially in your first couple weeks of an internship. You don’t want to error with something as simple as an outfit. Dress to impress for your internship, but casually.


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