A Guide to Dressing for Business Casual
Business casual is often an ambiguous term, sometimes used interchangeably with business attire, yet with smartly different elements of a properly formal lounge suit, traditionally from more traditional, white-collar workplaces to more casual beach-and-beach venues. Many a business meeting has begun in an office cafeteria, and the unfortunate tendency of the less than professional-looking employees who fill the cafeteria eventually spills out onto the company floor in office attire that is more often than not quite as unattractive as the company cafeteria trays. Business casual attire is neither frowned upon nor required, yet its appropriate use is crucial to the success of any business. With such stark differences between business casual and business attire, one would be wise to adopt a strategy of adopting a blend of the two. Successful business casual attire combines the elements of both casual and business attire to create an image of well-being and ease of effort while performing business.
When selecting a business casual dress, make sure your clothing choices are more relaxed than those of the office wear. White or beige trousers are suitable for most business casual dress codes. Remember to select solid colors if you are going to be wearing a colorful shirt or a sweater, as these can draw attention away from your more professional clothes. Also, try to find clothing in solid colors that will still allow you the freedom to choose your accessories, such as neckties and belts. If you are wearing a tie, make sure it is less formal than the tie worn by your colleagues. If you are required to wear a jacket, select a less stiff one, such as a v-necked, less formal one.
When you are selecting formal attire for a formal networking occasion, make sure that the formality of your clothing is balanced with a sense of looseness. If you have chosen to wear khakis or darker pants, you might wear a button down shirt that reveals your collarbone. If you are going to wear a more formal shirt, put it on with a belt so that your waistline is hidden, while keeping your tie knotless.
Another important thing to remember when you want to wear business casual attire is to choose a variety of colors and textures that will allow you to move around in your office. For example, if you usually wear a t-shirt with khaki pants, you should wear a Jean with a bit of stretch in the mid-section. This will allow you to show off your abs or have a slimmer look without being too dressed up. You should also avoid choosing solid colors, especially when you are going to be wearing a patterned shirt. Black is a good color to choose for this type of clothing, although many companies dress up their female employees in neon pink. Although pink is considered a fun color for weddings, it can be too girly for a work environment.
Even though it is perfectly acceptable to dress casually at a job interview or meeting with your supervisors, you should dress more formally when you are meeting with the media or speaking with other clients. You should always dress business-appropriate for a professional appearance. Even though you might not be asked to dress formally when you go to a social event like a dinner party, you should still dress appropriately. Women should always dress conservatively, while men should dress more casually.
Dressing casually is a fun way to make sure that your wardrobe is always changing, allowing you to adapt to your current job and new roles. However, you do need to remember that your business casual dress code can also make it easier for you to accidentally violate the code. To avoid getting in trouble, make sure that you know what the rules are and follow them.