Choosing Appropriate Business Casual Dress Codes
Business casual is an ambiguous term that is usually easily understood, however with clever stylistic elements borrowed from traditional white-collar workplace wear, accepted for more casual, white-collar workplaces such as those of many call centers. As business casual has become more vague in defining acceptable styles and materials for business attire, it has become more important to know what to wear when. Even within the business industry itself there are often differences in dress code established by region or company size. Here we’ll take a brief look at some of the more common business casual wear you’ll find in many business settings:
Casual Friday: The Friday after Thanksgiving is business casual Fridays, and a very popular time to wear a crisp white or black shirt, a matching jacket, and dark leather shoes. This ensemble was originally created as an outfit for Thanksgiving parades, where it was worn by workers who were freed from their workplace dictated dress codes the previous day. However, it has since grown to become a staple business casual outfit that works equally well for office parties and more formal holiday gatherings. In recent years, it has become particularly trendy to incorporate the “Christmas dress” into this ensemble; incorporating a tie-dyed shirt (much like the Christmas sweater) and a short-sleeved blouse with a decorative bow, can create a festive yet elegant look. With so many options available for business casual attire, it’s no wonder this is one of the most widely worn styles in business attire.
Business Casual Dress for Social Situations: When dressing for social situations, it’s important to make sure that you’re choosing clothing that’s suitable for the occasion and compliments your own personal style. This doesn’t mean that you need to choose an outrageously loud shirt and slacks, just be sure that every item of clothing you wear is suitable for the particular situation. For instance, when going out to a dinner party with colleagues, a nice casual dress that’s slightly more conservative can work very well. Likewise, you should think about what you’ll be wearing to a more formal event such as a board meeting. A crisp, business-like suit will work quite nicely, especially if you have something on your suit that will make you stand out. If you do decide to wear a bright colored, designer shirt, make sure that you keep your jacket and tie in the same dark colors as your top.
The Shirt You Don’t Wear: Whether you’re going out to a dinner party with co-workers, or you’re in charge of the company blog, business casual isn’t appropriate for every situation. If you’re in charge of the blog, be certain that you dress up a bit more than normal – and this means choosing a nice, but not over-the-top, shirt. For example, if you’re making a post for the company newsletter, your dress should be simple but professional. If you’re at a board meeting or business casual get-together with your peers, on the other hand, your dress can be a little more relaxed. For the most part, you want to look comfortable, but smart.
Dressing Your Brains: If you are the type of person who does a lot of reading in bed, then it might not be a good idea to wear your smartest business casual attire to a night out on the town. Keep in mind that you’ll probably be on your feet for quite some time, so if you have to wear boxers, make sure they aren’t too short. And if you have to wear a dress, make sure it’s a flattering length.
So there you have it. As long as you follow the basic rules of dress codes, wearing business casual isn’t all that hard. Just remember to choose your clothing wisely. Remember, if you’re wearing a nice, but still conservative t-shirt and no shoes, it’s still considered business casual. That said, you should be comfortable in it, because you’ll be standing a considerable distance from your guests!