Business Casual Dress Code Rules That Everyone Breaks

With no real definition, dressing for a business casual dress code can be confusing. Not sure if your casual Friday outfit is work-appropriate? We discuss some of the biggest business casual dress code rules employees make ahead.

1. Clothing that doesn’t fit right

Woman trying clothing looking in mirror adjusting dress

It might be best to visit a tailor. | iStock.com/Ariwasabi

Believe it or not, the way your clothes fit matters — especially when it comes to a business casual dress code. Clothing that is too oversized may appear sloppy, while clothing that it too tight or short may appear inappropriate.

When shopping for your business casual workwear, purchase items that fit appropriately. There’s also no harm in getting to know your local tailor.

2. Dirty shoes

Shoes that look like this belong in the garbage, not at work. | iStock.com

Another business casual dress code mistake people make? Wearing dirty shoes to the office. Whether its an old pair of dress shoes or an office-approved tennis shoe, you’ll want to ensure that your soles are shiny and clean for work.

3. Trendy jeans

young woman with bag posing in the city streets

Save these for more casual outings. | iStock.com/Tixti

While jeans may be acceptable in your office, trendy jeans with holes and patches on them probably aren’t. Save those for the weekend.

4. Sneakers

Female hands lacing running shoes. Closeup

Sneakers are just too casual for the office. | Fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Just because it’s casual Friday, doesn’t mean you can wear your sneakers to the office. Unless they’re a clean pair of tennis shoes that have been approved by HR, leave your Nikes, Converse, and other street-style shoes at home.

5. Leggings instead of dress pants

Asos, leggings, women's fashion

Some people still don’t accept leggings as pants. | ASOS

Another dress code rule everyone breaks? Wearing black leggings as dress pants. Even if your blouse covers your backside, leggings may not be acceptable in your office.

6. Using co-workers as an example

office work

Don’t use your co-worker’s attire as an excuse. | iStock.com

Just because a co-worker is wearing it, doesn’t mean it’s apart of the business casual dress code. If you see a co-worker wearing something questionable, refer to your employee handbook before making the decision to dress in a similar manner.

7. Outdated clothing

Fashion Model woman Stylish Autumn Outfit

This look is straight out of the ’80s. | iStock.com/Evgenij918

In addition to inappropriate clothing, outdated clothing can also set you apart from co-workers in a negative way. Giving your work wardrobe an update means more than just a fashion statement. It shows that you’re up-to-date in all areas of your expertise.

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