Everything You Need To Master The Most Confusing Dress Code

The business-casual dress code is one of the most difficult to define, and that might have something to do with the fact that it's a complete oxymoron — seriously, how can one be "business" and "casual," at the same time? Plus, it depends on where you work or where you're going. For some, the look may veer more toward the uber-professional. For others, a more laid-back, less dressed up aesthetic is the norm. Either way, you've likely found yourself in front of your closet at one point or another with a giant question mark hovering over your head.

To navigate the business casual world, we've decided our definition includes looking polished, while still leaving a little wiggle room for fun via subtle ruffles, prints, and unexpected cuts. As long as your outfit adheres to your office dress code, there's no reason to not get creative. That's why we're supplying you with the essentials that will get your workwear wardrobe on track. With a collection like this, that question mark is about to disappear.

A dress this good will never let you down.
Reformation Amsterdam Dress, $218.00 Buy
A badass blazer is a must.
Tibi Luxe Tweed Tie Back Blazer, $750.00 Buy
Just because you're going business-casual doesn't mean you can't make a statement. Try a refined single earring for something subtle but sleek.
Balenciaga Logo Clip Earcuff, $280.00 Buy
Never underestimate the power of a simple (yet sturdy) black tote.
Less Bore Libe Tote, $420.00 Buy
You can't go wrong with a slim-leg trouser, especially in an unexpected color.
Warehouse Textured Slim Leg Trouser, $69.00 $27.00, Buy
Kitten heels: like high heels, minus the pain.

Topshop Tassel Mules, $68, available at Topshop.
A chic trench is a must for the transitional season.

Zara Checked Trench Coat, $99.90, available at Zara.
In addition to a computer bag, it's key to have a sleek alternative on-hand for after-work festivities, like this top-handle one, for example.
Janis Studios Darka Bag, $320.00 Buy
For those with a more classic office dress code, try a less buttoned-up take on the pencil skirt.
Give your slacks a casual twist with a more oversized fit and waist-tie detail.
Cinq à Sept Nica Pants, $395.00 Buy
Ballet flats are back, and this leather pair with a front strap has you thinking twice about those worn-in ones you've had forever.
& Other Stories Buckled Leather Ballet Flat, $125.00 Buy
A midi-ring can add some subtle sparkle to your more reserved looks.
Amarilo Faye Ring, $114.00 Buy
Add some interest to your typical button-up with some statement sleeves.
Monse Buttoned Sleeve Striped Shirt, $1,124.00 $736.00, Buy
An LBD that can take you from work to happy hour. Need we say more?
H&M Calf-length Dress, $29.99 Buy
Slip-on loafers are the mullet of the business-casual world: business in the front, party in the back.
Everlane The Modern Tassel Loafer Mule, $370.00 $165.00, Buy
If you can get away with a pair of jeans at work, stick to a dark wash with minimal distressing and a sophisticated cut.
Miu Miu Cropped Frayed High-rise Wide-leg Jeans, $895.00 Buy
A long-sleeve dress is one of the most versatile pieces you can own. Wear solo with sneakers, heels, or boots, or layer over jeans or trousers.
Ganni Beacon Long Sleeve Maxi Dress, $315.00 Buy
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