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What Is Business Casual Dress Code in a Restaurant?

Stay Away from Flip-Flops

Summer is a dangerous time; it's easy for women to get too relaxed with their dress, and this is especially true about shoes. Flip-flops run rampant, and this will easily get you run out of a restaurant that enforces its dress code. Any shoe that can pass for a slipper is a “don’t.” The same goes for any shoe that looks like a variant on a running shoe. What is appropriate? Your standard pump, slingback, peep toe or summer sandal all are winners. Ballet flats are perfectly apropos if you’re looking for maximum comfort.

Choose Slacks Wisely

A great-fitting pair of classic trousers, linen slacks or cotton or wool blends will never steer you wrong. Jeans can be suitable if they are a darker wash, not too embellished, not too tight and definitely not distressed. Think “appropriateness,” which brings up the shorts conundrum. Some restaurants have a no-shorts policy, which is very clear. Those that aren’t so strict may tolerate shorts if they are not too short, and if paired with a more conservative blouse, shirt or jacket. But tread carefully. If your overall vibe is that you’re about to hit the beach, you are not dressed properly. But if you look like a woman who is relaxed, but can still be taken seriously, you’ve probably hit the mark.

Dress to Impress

This is a great time of year to flaunt your cute summer dresses. A sleeved sheath style, shirt dress, wrap or flared dress that hits right around the knee is your best choice. To stay on the safe side, if your dress has skinny spaghetti straps or a halter neckline, you may want to add another layer on top, such as a cropped cardigan or jacket. Avoid sky-high minis, dresses that are so tight that they ride up high on your hips when seated, any dress that looks like a beach coverup, romper styles or a dress that shows too much cleavage.

Use a Jacket to Pull Your Look Together

Wearing a jacket immediately gives a woman a more polished appearance, whether worn with skirt, slacks or over a dress. Casual tank tops, sheer revealing tops or baggy, worn T-shirts, are probably not going to cut it at a restaurant with a business casual dress code. Don more refined tops, like tailored dress shirts, pretty blouses, cardigans, and funky belted or zippered jackets to channel the sophisticate you aspire to be.

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