What Does Business Casual Look Like This Summer?

Two guys in an office setting
Image via iStock.

After much of the country was forced to work remotely over the last two years, it created an opportunity for a revamp as workers started returning to offices and refocusing on the business casual look.

Employers were now looking at what practices they had been using that might be outdated and what elements of remote work were worth retaining.

One of those aspects that companies have been flexible on is loosening their dress codes for business casual attire. U.S. News & World Report provides some clarification on the subject, with these being some of the pivotal takeaways:

Many employees humorously shared how working from home led to them only worrying about professional attire from the waist up and just donning sweatpants since their legs would never be seen on a webcam.

Business casual has not become quite that loose, but sweatpants may have certainly inspired some of the modern styles. You will find elastic a lot more prevalent in professional attire these days, including in skirts and slacks.

Depending on the company you are with, even jeans are becoming more acceptable. That does not extend to jeans with stylish rips or flared-out bell bottoms, but plain-looking jeans can be considered business casual depending on the office. Though see what others are wearing first to gauge whether your particular employer feels that way.

Business casual styles that have not changed include shirts for both men and women. Button-down shirts are still the norm. Blazers are also still commonplace. And you can still usually avoid worrying about needing a tie if the job is business casual. Slacks are also still standard, as well as skirts for women. If you are just starting at a new position somewhere it is usually safest to look your best initially and then scale down appropriately if you see others are less formal.

The tricky thing is business casual is a nebulous enough term that every employer will have their own conception of where the line is drawn. Some will expect the same styles as pre-Covid, while others have loosened up enough to even allow sneakers. As you familiarize yourself with your workplace, you will learn their specific culture and what is normal for your company.

To learn more about what constitutes business casual in today’s work environment, read the article from U.S. News & World Report here.


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