What Is Business Casual Anymore? This Capsule Wardrobe Explains It All


(Image credit: @jordanrisa)

In all the time spent working from home, I forgot "business casual" even existed. After all, what is it even anymore? In my honest opinion, I feel like everyone was still a little confused on the guidelines of the dress code before this year, and now, it's even a little bit more confusing. If you're wondering the same things, don't worry. You're not alone. The term itself is an oxymoron since business and casual are totally conflicting styles. Plus, everyone's version of the dress code this past year has been a Zoom-ready shirt on top, comfy pants on the bottom.

If you're heading back into the office and need a refresher on what to wear, we've put together a capsule wardrobe that'll make it much easier for you. Below, you'll find the exact pieces you need to make the perfect modern-day business casual ensemble. 

Relaxed Trousers

Not only are relaxed rousers on-trend, but they're also easy to style. Wear skinny pants if that's your preference, but these are a perfect way to look forward but still feel comfortable.

Strappy Sandals

Strappy sandals are a must-have staple, but especially in the office. They immediately elevate any look, even if your outfit is just a plain white blouse and trousers. 

Structured Flats

Whether they're loafers or mules, structured flats will help you be comfortable on your feet but still help pull your look together. 

Easy Dresses

Sometimes, you have no idea what you want to wear to work. This is where easy dresses come into play. Just throw one on and pair it with minimal accessories, and you're good to go. 

Practical Carryalls

I remember the good ol' office days when I schlepped around multiple bags. For the future, I'm going to invest in a quality carryall that can, at least, fit most of my stuff. 


Do I even have to explain this one? Pair with trousers, a skirt, and—if your office allows it—jeans.

Quality Tees

It is business casual, right? Quality T-shirts are perfect for layering underneath blazers. 

Midi Skirts

In my opinion, midi skirts are top-tier over maxi and mini. They hit the perfect length and can easily be styled for the office and dressed up for an after-work gathering. 

Oversize Blazers

Gone are the days of the fitted blazer you saw on office TV shows. The updated version is a slouchier and more relaxed fit. 

Lightweight Tops

Find lightweight, interesting blouses that can be worn easily without layering.

Next, "Spicy" Basics Are the New Boring Ones—I'll Explain With These 30

Associate Fashion Editor
Yusra Siddiqui is an editor who resides in New Jersey but bounces between the suburbs and NYC. (She's a Jersey girl at heart.) After interning at Who What Wear in 2019, she found her way to the team after graduating from LIM College in 2022 with a fashion media degree. She's also spent time writing and working for publications such as Fashionista, Coveteur, and Nylon, but she always knew that Who What Wear was where she was meant to be. When she's on the job, she's perusing runway shows, analyzing the latest thing fellow Gen Zers are up to on the internet, and sharing what she can about the modest-fashion market. You can also catch her dabbling in entertainment, talking about the costume choices of the latest Netflix series or diving deeper into how the plotline affects the viewers in a myriad of ways. Lastly, she likes to create content for Who What Wear's TikTok. Her personal time is spent doing similar but also different things—deep diving into almost every new TV show (Bridgerton, Gilmore Girls, and Stranger Things are favorites), planning her next local getaway (whenever that may be), and reading the latest Emily Henry or Sally Rooney novel in one sitting.