Business Casual vs. Business Professional

Today is the Women’s Entrepreneur Resource Event and I thought it fitting to post about professional attire!

For women in corporate America, the lines between casual and professional can become blurry. Casual Friday might mean jeans-appropriate, but it might just mean a cropped trouser is acceptable in lieu of a full pant. By the same token, business casual and business professional dressing can take on the same ambiguity.

To me, business professional means a matching suit: blazer buttoned with a button down or other well made blouse and a crisp trouser or classic pencil skirt. Colors that come to mind are the classics: black, navy, grey. A business professional outfit is completed with a classic closed toe pump in a dark or neutral color. Jewelry is kept simple and classic – pearls or solitaire diamond or other gem.

When talking about business casual, the rules soften. A cute ballerina flat is acceptable as well as a cardigan sweater or a nice blouse without a jacket. A great print blouse can easily stand on its own.

Check out these couple of examples of business professional vs business casual looks:

Business professional

This lady is dressed to the nines, even for work. She wears an Armani suit, Manolo pumps, carries a Prada purse and has a little bling with her Michele watch.

Business casual

Today is casual Friday and she’s going to the office in comfort in a stretch wool pencil skirt and a fun printed blouse – no blazer needed today! She’s topping her look off with fun YSL heels and a fabulous Prada bag.


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