Business casual is an ambiguous term, usually understood as casual office dress code with elements of a smart professional lounge wear but with subtle yet smart aspects of a good classic black suit. When used in a workplace setting it usually indicates a relaxed and casual ambiance. The term has different meanings to different people. For some business casual attire is the same old thing, i.e. a polo shirt, linen pants, a belt, and leather shoes with dress loafers.
For others however, business casual attire means a slightly different version of the above mentioned wardrobe. It is a more relaxed version that still conveys a professional businesslike look and image, but without being too dressed down. It is about time that business casual environment started conveying smart, well dressed look to employees and employers. And that’s exactly where the idea of dress codes comes in. Dress codes in the business casual environment help us distinguish between the two parties – employers and employees.
Most business casual environment doesn’t have any specific dress codes, as both parties, employers and employees, can be a part of any given occasion. But still there are certain things that always need to be taken into consideration when dressing employees and employers. For instance, when wearing a jacket in a business casual environment; you should keep your jacket tucked into your waistcoat. It is also advised that you wear a tie with a suit and keep simple neckties on, preferably thin ties with silk ties, as silk ties tend to show dirt on a collar better than thin neckties do.
As for footwear, try to wear boots that don’t have laces. They should be in neutral colors like black or brown or even try and wear socks that are in the same color. If you have to wear a tie, then don’t choose a too small one as this draws attention to the tie. It is advisable to wear trousers on a normal basis so that your casual clothing won’t get in the way with your professional appearance. When wearing trousers, you can even opt for pleated or pinstriped trouser to give you an extra edge. And if you must wear dress shirts with ties, then don’t wear a striped shirt or one with loud prints, since they can be seen as having an attitude.
Apart from that, a basic black or dark coloured suit with a plain white shirt is considered to be a very casual outfit. On top of that, it is always advisable to pair your outfit with a good pair of jeans and chinos. There is no rule that says that you can’t mix a pair of dress slacks with a pair of denim trousers. You can do so and bring out the best of both the outfits – a smart business outfit and a casual but smart look.
On your first day at work, you don’t need to feel stiff and uncomfortable. So don’t try to be like everyone else – go ahead and wear a business casual dress code, so that you can let your unique personality shine through. If you must have accessories with your outfit, then go ahead and wear a tie bag with your jacket, or a silver pen case, or perhaps a handkerchief. Remember that it is all about how you carry yourself and how comfortable you are in your clothing. So, it’s about time you changed the way you dress.