If you’ve recently started a new job that has “business casual” listed as the dress code, if your office has just decided to make the switch to business casual, or if you’ve been working in a business casual setting for forever and have a new chambray shirt you’re considering rocking to work, then you might find yourself wondering if chambray shirts are considered business casual.
Without giving away too much at the start of this article, the answer to the question is yes, they can be business casual. Of course, some chambray shirts are more appropriate for a business casual setting than others, and how to best style a chambray women's blouse for the office will depend on the specifics of your office’s dress code and overall vibe. After all, business casual is a spectrum, with some industries and offices falling more on the “business” side and others falling more on the “casual side," which can lead to some uncertainty when getting ready for work in the morning.
The good news is that chambray shirts usually tend to be great choices for business casual office settings. Read on for tips for choosing the best chambray tops for your workplace and for inspiration on how to style them.
The trick to choosing a top for a business casual setting is picking one that looks polished without worrying about it looking too formal. You can always add a top layer if needed, depending on what’s on your agenda for the day (more on this later!). Chambray is a lightweight cotton fabric that’s often light blue. It can look a bit like linen and a bit like denim, depending on the specific top. Chambray is very much on-trend right now and is universally flattering, so finding the right chambray work-appropriate top is likely to complete some of your favorite office looks.
When picking a chambray shirt for a business casual dress code, you’ll want to opt for the women's oxford shirt. So, look for a chambray top with a collar and classic buttons down the front. Long sleeve or quarter length sleeves are also ideal for the office. You can also go for a chambray top with a stand collar.
Another great chambray top option for the workplace is chambray A-line long sleeve tunic tops. The tunic style can make your outfit feel a bit elevated, which is perfect for some business casual office settings.
In short, you’ll want to stick with chambray tops with a modest neckline and polished touches, like a button-down front.
As we mentioned above, your office might lean more toward the business side or more toward the casual side of business casual. If that's the case, you might be totally comfortable wearing your chambray top as-is, or you might want to add a blazer or cashmere open-front sweater layer.
Wear your chambray top with dress pants like black straight-leg chino pants or khaki boot cut chino pants, or with office-appropriate velvet or corduroy women's pants. For the most part, you’ll want to avoid wearing your chambray top with denim or linen bottoms for the office since this will likely feel a bit too casual.
You can also wear your chambray top tucked into a khaki skirt or cotton pencil skirt with tights. Since chambray is a pretty breezy material, stick to skirts or skorts that feel a bit sturdier to ensure you’re creating looks with a polished and streamlined silhouette. Complete any of these outfits with ballet flats, loafers, or slingbacks for office-ready outfits that are on point for anything on your agenda.
If you work in a business casual setting, chambray tops are a great choice for year-round wear. That’s because this material is durable yet airy enough for the warmer months. Simply add a women’s sweater or blazer layer and an infinity scarf in the fall or winter, or if your office tends to blast arctic AC all day.
Remember that for days you have important client meetings or big work events, you’ll want to dress your chambray up a bit by wearing your most professional-looking bottoms and adding the appropriate layers.
Chambray tops can be a great addition to your work wardrobe, regardless of the specifics of your office’s particular business casual dress code. By choosing the right top and accessorizing as needed, you can make these tops look as professional as needed.