How to look good for business casual


What is business casual?

There is a lot of confusion around business casual because

  • HR usually doesn’t provide images of what they mean
  • It can vary from industry to industry
  • ultimately everyone has their own interpretation of it

Business casual is a step down from a formal (think- suits) dress code, but isn’t as casual as a no dress code (think- tee and jeans).

It still has to have a professional feel, look and most importantly represent your company in the right way.

As a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant, I’ve worked with many clients who needed help navigating this dress code.

They didn’t want to dress in a traditional way of a long sleeve button down, baggy khakis and dress shoes. 

My clients wanted to develop a classic, effortless looking business casual style and with my help they looked incredible.


Next Level Wardrobe clients



Here are 3 ‘next-level’ tips for to remember when dressing for business casual:


1.Ditch your jeans

Business casual means no jeans throughout the week, maybe on casual Friday.

So what do you wear instead?

Try a pair of sleek trousers. This is a modern update to the traditional khakis that you usually see most guys wearing.

There are now stylish, comfortable trouser options as well that have drawstrings, stretch fabric and some are even water repellant.

Suitsupply has great trouser options for all body types, check out a style I recommend here.


Traditional business casual baggy khakis
The modern sleek trouser


2. Sport a Luxe Sweater

One of the easiest ways to upgrade your look is to incorporate better, more luxe fabrications in modern styles, like a lightweight sweater.

This style you can dress up easily, by doing a sophisticated layered look or you can wear casually on the weekends.

Be sure to look for wool blends or cashmere fabrications. These natural fabrics will breathe and will have a flattering fit.


Dressing up a lightweight sweater. The collar and tie make it feel more formal.
Dressing down a lightweight sweater. The sneakers and no-layered look give it a casual feel.


3.Don’t forget your shoes

Leave the square toed dress shoe and gym sneaker at home:

Please leave these styles at home! 

Instead, choose for a modern sneaker or leather boot.

These styles come in a variety of colors and textures. I recommend a grey leather sneaker and a brown suede boot.

Between these two pairs, you’ll be covered year around for your business casual footwear needs and best of all, you’ll be able to wear them for day time at the office to a work event in the evening.


Just say no to dated dress shoes
The suede texture gives these shoes more of a modern, classic feel.



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Cassandra Sethi is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. After working over 15 years in the Fashion Industry, most recently as a Senior Buyer for Equinox, she created her business, Next Level Wardrobe – a luxury personal shopping service for successful professionals.

Next Level Wardrobe has been featured in Wall Street Journal, Today and CNN. See here.


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