Business casual is an ambiguous term, often described as professional or corporate casual dress, but with certain aspects of a proper business suit from more traditional formal wear, adapted for more casual white collar workplaces. Initially the term was simply used to describe the wider range of clothing that could be classified under the heading of business casual, in keeping with the broader definition of the term ‘business casual’. But as business casual has become much more specific in recent years, it is increasingly being used to distinguish different types of dress codes that are applied in different business environments. One of the most common types of business casual dress is the ‘casual shirt and tie’ worn by many professionals today. This article will discuss the various different forms of business casual dress that might be encountered in the workplace.
For many companies, business casual dress codes are flexible and relative to the nature of their operations and clients. Some companies have a very strict dress code, applying a uniform business style to all employees and visitors. Other companies may choose to adopt a more flexible approach, allowing some leeway in business casual clothing style depending on the environment and the nature of their business relationships with other companies. A good example of this would be a landscaping company that might choose to employ a more laid back style of dress when dealing with clients that are not permanent employees. On the other hand, a construction company might choose to enforce a stricter business casual dress code so that their employees were seen as ‘professional’ in the eyes of the public.
For many professionals working in more traditional industries, business casual environments can be highly restrictive, demanding exactly the same type of dress (or a similar type of wear) that would be expected of them in a professional environment. These workers would likely wear a more conservative business casual outfit, consisting of dark or light colored business clothing, conservative neckties, dress shoes and casual socks. In such an instance, any item that was too revealing would be deemed inappropriate. Likewise, women would also be expected to wear conservative business attire, including but not limited to skirts, blouses, and pant suits. They would also be expected to wear appropriate sports attire (which may not be business casual).
However, business casual dress codes can also have their place in an exciting new business culture where a variety of styles and options are often encouraged. There are now many stylish clothes available for men and women that make them feel less like business people and more like trendy socialites! In many cases, you can purchase high end business casual clothing at a fraction of the price of your average attire. This has made it much easier for busy professionals to look great without spending a fortune!
If you’re unsure about how to dress code in a less formal environment, ask yourself what would make you feel comfortable and welcome at a job interview. Evaluate what attributes you think will help you get the job done and remember to keep these in mind when shopping for appropriate business casual dress code clothing. Will a business casual dress code make you and your co-workers feel more relaxed and confident? Will it make you and your coworkers seem more approachable by other employees?
Will a business casual attire improve your chances of landing a promotion? If you’re competing against other candidates who are dressed in business attire, you need to make sure that you stand out from the crowd. You don’t have to be the first candidate to apply for the promotion; however, being different from the others is one sure way to differentiate yourself from the rest! Remember to choose clothing that flatters your body type and is a good fit. In addition, choose colors that will make you stand out among your colleagues and choose a style of suit that is flattering to your figure.