What is Business Casual Style for a Young Woman?

Business casual is a pretty broad term when your a woman and the internet is pretty darn vague on the definition. But for a young woman there's even less information of there. I'm 21 and starting my first real job out of university which is very exciting! But the typical slacks and button down combo makes me look closer to 40 and not very age appropriate, but leggings and jeans obviously aren't acceptable either. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place of not appropriate either way. I have a meeting with HR before I start so I'll clarify there, but a head start would be good :)

What constitutes and business casual for a young woman so it's both workplace appropriate and age appropriate? Dark wash/black skinny jeans and nice blouses? Dresses? Slacks?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Button down light color fitted shirt with a jacket and pants. Dark jeans if you want really casual and slacks if you want to be a bit more business. This style gives you a neat and sharp look. Fairly suitable if you want to give an impression of cool and professional. If I was meeting you then I would feel you are here for strictly business. I would focus on my brainy parts of the discussion.

    A blouse and pencil skirt will give similar impression but with a much stronger feminine feeling. If I was meeting you then I would feel you are here for a relaxed business with a little leisure and fun. I might spent a couple seconds in my fantasy before falling back into earth and get to the point.

    Now a fitted button down shirt and skirt... now that's a dangerous combo. You are giving me a cool and business exterior but you are open to a little fun later if I get it right. At least, that would be my fantasy which I will spend time thinking while trying to discuss business.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • You can substitute the boring button down combo with a nice sweater. For example, you could wear a cowl neck sweater dress with leggings and boots and that would be considered business casual. Or normal slacks with a black turtleneck. Really nice looking sweaters can fit into any business setting.

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What Guys Said 2

  • Sweaters, scarves, skirts, blouses, layers. Jeans are rarely business casual.

    The difference between looking young and old in slacks and a button down is all down to the cut and fabric.

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  • I personally find a woman wearing "typical slacks and button down combo" unbelievably attractive. Especially if she's young. Trust me, you'll look amazing and not old at all. You're just not used to wearing such clothes.

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What Girls Said 1

  • I wear boots or heels, a nice pair of slacks or a skirt, and a nice blouse. Sometimes a sweater dress.

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