Building Your Work Wardrobe Basics

Kheushla Powe

In the final post of the Building Your Wardrobe Basics, we’re covering the casual dress code. Casual can be defined as something more relaxed, informal or suited for everyday use. The casual dress code means different things in different industries. Overall, casual is more informal but you still need to be neat and professional.

Jeans can be worn in the casual dress code environment but I would lean more toward darker washed jeans. To be taken seriously in a casual environment, I would pair nice dark wash jeans or khakis with crisp,  button down shirts or polos. Flip flops, tennis shoes and worn jeans are still a no-no in the more casual office.

Casual Guidelines

Here are a few basic guidelines for casual office attire:

  • Nice and neat shirts and blouses like polos and button downs

  • Casual dresses and skirts can be worn

  • Dark wash jeans and khakis are appropriate for the casual office

  • Shoes can be on the more casual side. Open toed shoes are appropriate but flip flops shouldn’t be worn.

The Basics

To begin building your basics, you can start with the following:

  • 8 tops (button downs/polos)

  • 3 pair of bottoms (dark wash jeans/ polos)

  • 3 casual dresses

  • Start with 2 pair of shoes (neutral or black flats)

Places to Find Your Basics

Banana Republic

Banana Republic Factory Store

Ann Taylor

J. Crew

J.Crew Factory



TJ Maxx

Nordstrom Rack

Saks Off Fifth

Neiman Marcus Last Call