Casual Attire for the Office

How casual should "Dress-Down" really be?


Cecily Cole-Jones

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how casual dress-down should be for the office as dress codes vary from workplace to workplace. However, it is essential to maintain a professional image even when dressing down.

Opt for clothing that is comfortable yet still looks polished and put-together. Jeans and sneakers may be acceptable in some offices, while a more business casual look may be required in others.

It's always a good idea to check with your HR department or supervisor to ensure that your outfit is appropriate for the workplace. Remember that dressing down doesn't mean sacrificing professionalism, so always strive to look neat.

Use some rule-of-thumb tips:

  • Consider a cardigan or blazer if wearing jeans

  • Sneakers should be clean & not overworn

  • Tight-fitting, low-cut, cropped, or spaghetti straps should be avoided altogether

  • Oversized tops, stains on clothing, excessively wrinkled items, rips, or washed-out clothes should be saved for the weekend, not the office

  • Frazzled or wet-look hair, unshaved legs, or underarms, should never be considered acceptable. Take the time to groom yourself properly.

  • Ripped or baggy jeans, offensive or graphic t-shirts, and overly casual footwear like flip-flops or slippers are never "go-to" for the office.

It is important to dress in a way that shows respect for the workplace and clients, while still being comfortable. Remember to always follow any specific dress code policies that may be in place to ensure a positive and professional work environment.

photography of three women sits beside table inside room during daytime
photography of three women sits beside table inside room during daytime