When you’re dressing for a job interview or a day at the office, it can feel like you’re forced to conform to a restrictive set of fashion requirements. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With a few classic wardrobe staples and plenty of modern flairs, you can achieve an androgynous business casual style that's true to your personality.
To help you create an androgynous style that feels personal but still polished, we’ve put together six ways to rock gender-neutral business casual fashion and make it fit your personal style.
Business Attire 101: Business Casual vs Business Professional
Let’s start by defining business casual and business professional clothing. Some key differences include:
- Suit jackets – Generally, business professional calls for a suit jacket, while business casual does not. When the dress code leans casual, opt for layering with blazers, cardigans, pullovers, or button-up shirts.
- Bottoms – You have a wide array of options for business casual bottoms. Trousers, work skirts, and work pants are acceptable so long as they are clean, wrinkle-free, and sans holes. Even jeans may work, depending on the setting.
- Shoes – Footwear is often overlooked, but shabby shoes can deflate a polished look. For business casual, most styles are acceptable as long as they’re clean and scuff-free. Lace-up oxfords, Chelsea boots, or even a sleek pair of sneakers can work well with many types of business attire.
- Tops – In business casual settings, top options are just about limitless. Feel free to incorporate bold colors and patterns and play with unique cuts and styles. Just keep in mind that in most workplaces, tanks and revealing tops are less acceptable.
Androgynous Outfits for Business Occasions
Once you know where your workplace falls in the casual-to-professional spectrum, you’re ready to put together the perfect androgynous look using five key business casual pieces. Here’s how to style your outfit for any occasion.
#1 The Badass Blazer
Blazers are some of the most versatile pieces your wardrobe can hold. Here’s how to wear a blazer and style it for different work situations:
- For the interview – When interviewing, aim for a step above what you’d expect to wear to the office daily. A classic blazer in a neutral tone is the most versatile choice (or you can show some personality with detailing like a simple stripe in a contrasting color). Wear it with well-fitted trousers for a classic look.
- For day-to-day – For everyday business casual, have more fun with a blazer in a bold print. Pair with fitted trousers or slacks in a solid color or neutral tone to contrast the blazer. (Matching blazers and trousers can feel too formal for daily office wear.)
- For work events – Try a patterned blazer with statement wide-leg trousers for a special work event like a holiday party or happy hour. If you want a hint of delicate glam, add a satin cami underneath.
#2 The Anything-But-Basic Button-Up
For a versatile, androgynous business casual wardrobe, a wide selection of button-up shirts will be a must-have.
- For day-to-day – Try a basic neutral button-up open and untucked over a fun printed tee. Finish the look with a pair of trousers in a bold color and a polished loafer to add a bit more verve.
- For work events – Pair a classic single-breasted vest with a patterned button-up. This subtle but dashing style can add more dimension to your everyday look for a client meeting or working lunch.
#3 The Chic Jumpsuit
A jumpsuit or coverall is a bold, fashion-forward piece that’s stylish and professional. You may be wondering how to style coveralls for different occasions. When first choosing a jumpsuit, you might find that neutral colors are easiest to mix and match. But if you’re ready to be a little more daring, try experimenting with jumpsuits and coveralls in bright colors and eye-catching patterns.
- For day-to-day – Liven up a solid color jumpsuit or coverall by layering it over a colorful top. Or, if you’re ready for more of a bold statement, try a sleeveless patterned jumpsuit over a solid-color tee. Pair with black boots to keep the look office-ready.
- For work events – A high-waisted coverall is a perfect choice for instant polish when meeting higher-ups. Need a cozy-yet-posh look to make it through an all-day workshop? Go for a coverall in a sophisticated color and cozy fabric like merlot corduroy.
#4 The High-Powered Trouser
It’s common to focus on your upper half when assembling an outfit, but the right pair of trousers can be a powerful piece in your overall look.
- For day-to-day – Try wide-leg trousers to create a long, flowing line from hip to toe. Or rock a fitted, ankle-length style to emphasize a dope pair of shoes.
- For work events – When you’re headed to a training event or an all-hands meeting, try pairing a flowy sleeveless button-up shirt with fitted trousers in a coordinating color or eye-catching print. You’ll be ready for any team-building activity corporate can throw at you.
#5 The Androgynous Suit
Finally, on those days when you want to make the ultimate rock-the-boardroom statement, we love an androgynous suit. Wearing a matching jacket and bottom (whether skirt or pants), you’ll turn every head in the office.
- For the interview – A suit is a fail-safe choice when you’re unsure about the office dress code. Stick with a classic fit and a neutral palette—add a small accessory like collar clips if you want a bit more flair.
- For work events – You’ve got the job, you know the office culture, and you’re presenting to the CEO. It’s time to let a little more of your unique personal style shine through with a suit in a statement color or standout pattern.
Build Your Boss Energy With WILDFANG
What we love about the androgynous business casual look is how it can immediately amp up your confidence and energy. There’s nothing like a perfectly fitted blazer or a fantastic pair of trousers to help you feel ready to take on the world—and when you feel that kind of power in yourself, your colleagues will feel it too.
Androgynous fashion is all about breaking traditional gender norms and expressing yourself in a way that feels authentic to you. And for the most up-to-the-minute androgynous looks in business casual wear, WILDFANG has everything you need to look and feel your best.
Sources:Chicago Tribune. Business casual vs. business professional: How to dress for the office. https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-fashion-business-casual-vs-professional-20211021-7jqp7vmpwzddjjp4d7kw43nqvm-story.html