Dressing Up With Business Casual Clothing
Business casual is an ambiguous term, usually described as professional or casual wear with subtle, smart aspects of a formal lounge attire but with elements of a white-collar workplace. The original term was given in reaction to the highly dressy environment associated with corporate boardrooms in England in the twentieth century. In more recent times business casual has come to refer to the more casual elements that are all-inclusive of a work environment. This is not to say that business casual dress has abandoned style entirely – quite the contrary, it is just becoming more refined and appropriate for a more modern business world. The most common types of business casual wear include:
The three-piece wardrobe has been the definitive business casual shirt and trousers combination for many years, and this remains highly popular. It is probably best suited for casual, more relaxed occasions. Shirt length is now more akin to a v-neck, rather than the longer traditional necktie-tie combo.
There has been a tendency towards less form-fitting clothes in recent years, especially in the UK. This is not as big a trend as it used to be in the US, when companies allowed jeans on their premises. However, business casual trousers are not always closely-suited to jeans, which can look untidy in the long run if they are worn too loosely. Some companies allow double-coloured jeans, with the colour of the jeans matching that of the shirt. This helps to create a tidy appearance.
As business casual dress has become less formal, it has also become less likely to be worn by women who do not have a full, slinky figure. Instead of wearing pencil skirts and ankle boots, women may choose skirts that are less stiff, with the knee rolled up and bare feet. Women may also choose to wear trousers and a shirt with less formal attire, as well as a more casual blouse and cardigan. In the past, men were more likely to wear khaki-like work trousers paired with a colourful, patterned shirt; these days, more masculine clothing is being worn. T-shirts, with either a casual or sporty print, are worn more often by men.
Companies also differ in how they implement dress codes. For instance, in some workplaces, the dress code may be more relaxed. Informal suits with smart loafers are common place, and employees are encouraged to wear the office uniform (a polo-neck shirt with a conservative tie) for the office on days when they are not working. More formal business casual dress codes can be observed at lunch breaks and evenings out with colleagues. Informal wear is more appropriate for informal occasions, such as weddings and funerals, where business attire is not required.
Business dress can mean different things to different people. Business casual does not mean you have to wear the same thing every day. While it’s important to dress in an appropriate way to work, it’s also important to look good while you work! Wearing the right business clothing will not only make you look more professional, but you’ll feel great too!