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A Complete Guide On Business Professional Attire for Men & Women

business professional attire

A business professional dress code is the most formal workwear attire that represents the inflexible and severely formal work ethics of an organization. So, if you want to blend into the business professional corporate culture at your new job, then do your maths correctly.

How you dress up and carry yourself plays an essential role in leveling up your career. With the rapidly changing corporate culture, most companies prefer a laid-back business casual dress code while others follow a strict professional code. Although there are tons of information available on what to wear, do not follow them blindly. Instead, it is better to search for the company’s dress code and dress accordingly.

Unlike business casual attire, the business professional dress code has a strict approach and requires more effort. But, do not worry; we have saved you all the hard work with this brief professional attire guide. So, keep reading to know more.

What Is Business Professional?

Business professional is a dress code often followed by companies with highly conservative work ethics and require a strictly professional approach. The sole purpose of this attire is to look professional and reflect your skills through your outfit. Therefore, the most prominent feature of this dress code is the perfectly tailored look and fitting.

Offices that encourage business casual attire also prefer a business professional dress code for important meetings and other formal events. You will mostly see professional business attire in banks, corporate firms, courts, or government offices.

Business Casual Vs. Business Professional: The Difference

The suit is the primary difference between a business casual and a business professional. A business casual attire is a combination of some casual and formal elements, but a business formal is strictly bound to a professional business suit look. For Instance, a relaxed laid back outfit with a button-down dress shirt paired with corduroy pants and formal shoes is a perfect casual business look to wear on a regular workday. But, for a business professional dress code, you cannot o beyond a formal suit paired with formal shoes, a shirt, and a tie.

Do And Dont’s Of Business Professional Dress Code 

  • Choose your footwear carefully. Wearing a pair of sneakers or athletic footwear does not go well with business professional attire.
  • For women, avoid outfits with too much skin exposure. Wear panty house under your dress for maximum coverage.
  • Keep your accessories minimal.
  • Wearing bright colors to your workplace is offensive. Instead, try to style in neutral shades.
  • Wearing a headcover is against the professional dress code unless it has some cultural or religious significance.

Business Professional Attire For Men

Your personality and outlook have a significant impact on your professional growth. Therefore, keeping in mind the recommended dress code of your firm and dressing accordingly can take you far in your journey. So, to help you out on your quest, we have curated this list of business professional dress code essentials that will make your dressing up task easy.

Business Suit

Business professional dress code is fundamentally designed around a business suit. A formal suit in a dark neutral shade i-e black, navy blue, brown, or charcoal, is the outfit that can get you through all your business professional meetings in style. In addition, a pinstripe or plaid suit will also work fine but do not opt for a broken combination suit. A mismatched blazer and pants is a business casual outfit and against the dress code.

Formal Dress Shirt 

The choice of your shirt can make or break your entire look. Go for a dress shirt in light neutral colors with your suit. Make sure the shirt contrasts nicely with your suit. Typically a white or sky blue pressed color shirt is an ideal match to dress up your business suit outfit.

A Tie 

A perfectly knotted tie is the key element to upgrading your professional attire. An open collar suit without a tie is considered offensive in a highly formal corporate environment. Contrast a dark color tie with your blazer suit for an everlasting impression. You can also go for a red, blue, or black striped or dotted tie to create a style statement. But, make sure the length of your tie is just right and sits barely above your belt.

Formal Shoes 

Always wear a pair of formal leather dress shoes to stay within the professional boundaries. You can choose to wear black or brown shoes, but the color of your shoes must match your waist belt. Wearing leather sneakers or athletic shoes may not work for a professional business look.

A Portfolio Case (Optional)

Showing up to an interview in business attire with a pile of paper sound very unprofessional. Right? This is when a portfolio case comes in for the rescue. Carry a briefcase or a folder to retain all your essential documents. This will not only keep your documents safe and will make you look more professional.

Business Professional Attire For Women 

Sorting out what to wear in a professional business setting is a relatively easy task for men compared to women. All they have to choose is the right suit from already limited clothing choices. But, the case is different for women; the variety of options makes styling a business professional attire a daunting task. So, here are a few professional clothing essential for women with which you can pull up an adorable look.

Formal Skirt Or Pant Suit 

The business professional attire choices for women comprise a formal suit, skirt blazer suit, and a midi dress. Avoid dressing up in bright colors. The color of your outfit should be according to the dress code, i.e., black, grey, navy, and brown. Wear black or nude stockings with your dress or skirt outfit for maximum skin coverage.


Unlike men’s business professional attire, women have a variety of choices. You can wear a black or white collared button shirt, crewneck, or round neck shirt under your blazer suit. But, make sure to choose a quality, well-fitted shirt.  Moreover, you can also opt for a black and white strip for a statement look.

Dress Shoes 

The first thing anyone notices about your appearance is your footwear. Therefore, decent footwear plays a crucial part in creating an everlasting impression. According to the rules, a pair of dress shoes, i-e, flats, pumps, or heels, is the perfect footwear to adorn your business professional attire. But, make sure not to wear heels above 2.5 inches. 

Hairstyle And Makeup 

Hairstyle and makeup are two essential elements of any women’s look. In order to create a professional-style statement, keep your makeup minimal. A nude lip color with some light blush and mascara will work for you. For hair, choose a hairstyle that keeps them away from your face. A sleek bu hairstyle is perfect for any professional setting.


Are cardigans business casual?

Yes, cardigans can be worn as business casual attire by styling them with some formal office clothes. For Instance, you can achieve a flawless workwear look by wearing a neutral shade cardigan with black dress pants and a white collared shirt. Lastly, wear a pair of pointed-toe heels or flat pumps to complete this look.

What is considered a business professional?

An outfit with a very sophisticated and formal vibe is professional business attire. For men,  a formal suit outfit is often referred to as a typical business professional. In comparison, women can wear a corporate suit or neutral midi skirt outfit with stockings for a traditional business professional vibe.

Is a dress business professional?

Yes, you can wear a dress, as a business professional outfit. But do not overdo it. Make sure it is a plain unicolor dress with a fine tailoring and perfect fitting. Wearing printed or plaid dresses may be ok for a business casual look but are against the professional dress code. Lastly,.complete this look with a pair of dress shoes.

Are khakis a business professional?

No, khakis are not appropriate for a business professional dress code. But you can style khakis for casual workdays when no severe business clothing is required. A khaki pant paired with a button-down shirt, leather belt, and shoes is an adorable business casual outfit to create a style statement.


Back in the day, a suit was considered the only professional dress code. But now, we have multiple professional dress codes depending upon a company’s work environment. An organization with a laid-back and relaxed working attitude prefers a business casual dress code. But, in a severely formal corporate environment, a business professional dress code is encouraged. A business professional outfit is strictly bound to a typical business suit attire. So, follow the rules and dress accordingly. 

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