Business casual is an ambiguous term, often regarded as semi-formal, business casual dress code, but with certain key elements of a proper lounge suit in traditional, white-collar workplace wear. As a casual dress code, business casual clothes are tailored to allow a free and easy movement of the human body, and are not stiff or structured. They often include dark suits and dress shoes (with a cocked or notched cuff for the conservative wearer) and are tailored to be comfortably loose fitting and slightly informal. Today business casual has undergone a sea change and has evolved into a stylish and modern fashion trend with new prints, fabrics, cuts and textures to cater to a variety of clientele.
Business casual attire should ideally be a mixture of the following items: a dark-colored shirt with a conservative neckline; dress trousers (reversed tie and pencil skirt), and slacks with a belt. There should be sufficient space on the belt to leave ample room for movement. Shoes should be simple and appropriate, such as mules, sandals, loafers, and dress shoes. Formal attire should be kept as simple as possible. For example, there is no need for you to wear ties with a suit during office meetings.
The days of pinstripes and solid color shirts are long gone. Now, one can wear a colorful polo shirt with patterned pants for a more relaxed look. In this type of business casual environment, it is advisable to wear dress shirts with a more casual material such as cotton or chambray. Wear shades of gray instead of black. Gray and white are considered to be color schemes that suggest professionalism.
Casual wear does not have to be boring or bland. It can be fun and flirty just as long as one adheres to the basics of business casual attire. Formal attire should be kept simple and worn just to give off a professional look. One can choose, skirts, blouses, and trousers in interesting patterns and colors.
Formal business attire can include smart casual Friday, also referred to as dress slacks. This type of attire is appropriate for the work place or an executive office. One can choose from a variety of colors such as gray, white, gray-blue, beige, green, black, navy blue, olive, or khaki. Some employers have a specific dress code. If so, it would be good to check first with your supervisor to be certain that you are allowed to wear a certain style of slacks and shirt.
Some companies allow a certain style of dress code but require employees to dress in business casual attire. Companies that do not specify a dress code may opt to let employees choose their own style of jeans. They may have their own jeans provided or they can simply order them. It would be best to ask if this option is available.