It’s not always clear what truly “business casual dress” is. In general, Oxford Dictionary describes the word as “a form of clothing that is less formal than usual business wear, but is still supposed to scatter a professional and businesslike impact.” But what does that mean from a normal viewpoint? Style and fashion are subjective, but it’s still an important distinction to be able to make in the professional mode.
If you stick too hard on the “business” factor, you could see yourself feeling stuffy, overwhelmed, and exaggerating the “casual” part which is hardly standard, either. You don’t wish to find yourself ashamed and looking casual in flip-flops or pants.” It is necessarily important to know dress codes, recognize what they mean, and pursue them.”
argued Darlene Price, president of Well Said, Inc., and writer of “Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.” “Staffs must comply with company standards. Usually, that means keeping a professional appearance at work, at customer sites, and any other professions.” Price argued during her 20-plus years being an executive coach, one of the most common job roadblocks she has seen is inappropriate dress in the office.
Price said to Business Insider, Many intelligent, qualified, powerful men and women are usually often ineligible or dismissed since they don’t sell for what they’re credited. They’ve abandoned the ‘business’ out of ‘business casual’ and the lack of efficient appearance hesitates them. It’s depressing since clothing surely does not govern one’s actual competence and reliability; it does, however, impact others’ vision of those qualities — and that reality influences career chances.
The issue is, that many people don’t have an obvious understanding of the various dress codes today. For instance, there is no firm agreement on the meaning of the term “business casual.” Price argued, “It depends on many factors such as the industry, number of employees, size of the company, amount of communication between staffs and customers, location, culture, geographical region, and the average age of the workforce,”.
At most offices, however, the “business casual” dress code heartens staff to project a “professional, business-like illusion while delighting from the advantage of more casual and comfy clothing.” Standard business casual dress includes a dress shirt, slacks or khakis typically, or blouse, open-collar or polo shirt, alternative tie or seasonal sport coat, a cloth or skirt at knee-length or below, a bespoke blazer, knit sweater or shirt, and loafers or dress shoes that mask all or most of the foot. If you are interested in starting your own business, we suggest you read the article “How to start a Business? Learn Important Steps“.
What Is Business Casual Clothing?
In the developing field of fashion in the workplace, business casual could vary from a mixture of blazers and work-appropriate shirts to button-downs and heels.
The major problem with explaining how to dress business casual is the lack of an across-the-board description. This could become exasperating as more offices embrace a business-casual dress code or newer dress code forms like “smart casual.” Moreover, some unstated rules apply to most workplaces.
Business casual is usually described as no jeans, no shorts, no short dresses or skirts for women, voluntary ties for men, and a revolve of button-downs or blouses. Business casual dressing is more about preventing a list of “don’ts” than pursuing a list of “dos” and could differ slightly depending on preference, style, and gender.
Business Casual for Men
The line between professional and business casual for men usually depends on tie-or-no-tie. But every workplace is different, and there can still be a wide variety of what can or cannot count as business casual. Subsequently, some general rules are still worth naming—from head to toe.
For men, hold to a range of collared shirts and long-sleeved button-downs. Typically, collared shirts that are long-sleeved are the more suitable. Although it might not feel like the most casual option, the lack of a tie gives away a more moderate appearance than a suit-and-tie combination.
As a second option, short-sleeved polos or button-downs might also work for your workplace in warmer weather, but be certain to see others and check with HR if you’re doubted.
- Jackets and Blazers
While not always critical, wearing a well-cut blazer or jacket can add a professional touch to your run-of-the-mill office combo. Your jacket or blazer could be of use if you have an important presentation or event and are anxious that your button-down shirt by itself makes you seem too casual for the event. It’s usually safe to hold to patternless blazers in simple colors, including grey, black, and blue. Owning a go-to blazer on-hand for formal events like job meetings is a great idea.
Most offices allow for sweaters or sweater vests. Well-knit sweaters might be suitable during the winter, but generally, hold to fine-knit sweaters that go over button-downs or shirts, leaving the collar viewable for one of the more classic men’s business-casual appearances.
- Slacks or Nice Pants
Some developing offices permit jeans, but wearing dress slacks or chinos (frequently known as khakis) will certify you’re well within your dress code ideals. A pair of khakis could be an incredibly versatile tool in a business casual dress, as they can suit formal and informal shirts.
Although it depends on how adventuresome your office is, try to hold to plain or neutral-colored pants such as dark-toned black, grey, or tan colors. Never use bright-colored bottoms (neon yellow isn’t always much professional). Always wear a belt in similarly neutral colors.
Loafers or dress shoes are always suitable. Don’t wear sandals and sneakers. There aren’t too many regulations about color, but maintain it as professional and elegant as possible. Men can be on the safe side with khakis, non-athletic shoes, and a button-down shirt.
Business Casual for Women
Women’s business casual clothing can differ depending on the place, profession, office style, and time of the year. Moreover, ideal business casual for women Is likely to be an assortment of the following staples.
- Dresses and To-the-Knee Skirts
Although the length and tightness might differ depending on your office, dresses, and skirts that come to knee-length (or below) are always a sure bet when dressing for the career. Don’t wear skirts and dresses that are too tight, too low, or too formal. Regarding color, business casual doesn’t have too many limitations.
Wide-leg pants, dress pants, chinos, tailored or suit pants are always suitable. For specific offices, jeans might be worn, but ensure to observe your office’s dress code policies in advance. Printed pants or flashy colors can sometimes be suitable, but it can still be pleasant to gauge your office’s atmosphere in advance.
Appropriate for both men and women in the workplace, blazers are a conventional professional staple that looks to be a universal factor of a suitable dress code. Keeping a revolve of black, grey, blue, and other colored blazers in your locker is excellent. Flashy colored-blazers may be fun, but they are still adaptable enough to wear with various outfits.
- Blouses and Button-Downs
The details of the appropriate tops depend mainly on the specific office dress code (or the person). Still, a beautifully fitted, flowy, and ironed blouse or button-down is most of the time a suitable option. Try to use brand logos to a minimum.
Closed-toe heels, flats, or loafers are usually the order of the day in the matter of women’s business-casual fashion. While the details of the shoe (whether stiletto, open-toed or other) are left up to the staff or job, it is always good to select one of the above (sandals and sneakers are typically frowned on).
Women can be on the safe side with a simple blouse-pant combo and closed-toe shows. Knee-length dresses and skirts are also usually suitable.