WHAT IS BUSINESS CASUAL ATTIRE?
Business casual is crisp, neat, and should look appropriate even for a chance meeting with a CEO. It should not look like cocktail or party attire. Avoid tight or baggy clothing; business casual is classic rather than trendy.
For both men and women, clothing should have a good fit, it should not be too tight or loose, and should not reveal cleavage, stomachs, lower backs, or buttocks. Minor tailoring may be needed to ensure a smooth fit for business casual clothing. In addition, clothing should be pressed and in good condition, meaning that it has no fading, holes, or dangling threads, and is also wrinkle-free.
Khaki or dark pants, neatly pressed, and a pressed long-sleeved, buttoned solid shirt are safe for both men and women. Jeans and knits should be avoided. For women, all skirts should fall, at a minimum, to the knee, and should not reveal the thighs when sitting. Small slits to facilitate walking comfortably in long skirts are acceptable, but should not be designed to reveal the leg. In all cases, undergarments such as slips, undershirts, brassieres, and underwear should not be visible.
Tops such as button-down and collared polo shirts are acceptable business casual wear for both genders. Women may also wear sweaters in cotton, silk, and blends; velvets and shimmery fabrics suitable for parties are not appropriate. T-shirts and apparel with logos not considered appropriate for the office. Tank tops and cut-off shirts should be avoided, and short sleeved shirts should only be worn in warm weather or more casual office environments. A sport coat in subdued colors can be used for a slightly more dressy business casual look.
Should be leather or fabric/microfiber. Athletic shoes or hiking boots are not appropriate. Colors can be black, navy, brown, tan, taupe (to coordinate with your other attire and accessories). For the most conservative look, toes should be covered. Thin straps and spike heels are not appropriate. Chunky heels and platforms are not appropriate. Your choices reflect your judgment. Make certain you can walk comfortably in your shoes; hobbling around a site visit in shoes that are pinching your feet does not convey a professional image and does not convey good judgment. * If the weather is icy or there is snow on the ground, you may wear a more casual pair of boots for ease of walking to the site, but make sure you bring a more professional pair of shoes to change into when you arrive.
Accessories such as discreet jewelry are permitted (a simple necklace and earrings for example), and women can certainly wear scarves with understated makeup. A tie is not technically necessary for business casual, but some men prefer to wear one as it can always be removed if it seems too formal for the situation. If a belt is worn, it should be made from leather. Men should wear dark socks, mid-calf length so no skin is visible when you sit down.
Hose/tights are not essential for business casual, but are recommended if your skirt is knee length (rather than calf length) and in more formal environments. It will be cold in January, so it may be prudent to wear a pair of tights or hose to your visit. All your choices send a message about your judgment; if the weather is extremely cold/snowy/icey, and you wear a skirt with bare legs, you won't look like you have good judgment.