In business terms, business casual is a vague ambiguously defined category of modern corporate dress code normally regarded as business casual wear but whose smart elements are more closely adapted to a proper office suit, for instance, tailored khakis or a linen jacket with dress shoes. To the casual observer, business casual may simply be any type of business attire whose dress codes indicate a degree of informality and social gravity. But because business casual dress codes have evolved over time to accommodate changing business needs, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish business casual from regular office attire in an organizational environment. To help clarify the differentiation, business casual and office attire can be neatly separated into three distinct categories: business casual, executive casual, and professional casual. The three are not mutually exclusive: there are instances where one or more of these three can be mixed with each other, as in the case of certain designer suits.
When it comes to business casual dress, it’s essential to make sure that your outfit project a professional look. If you are meeting clients or business partners, you’ll obviously need to look professional to be able to effectively communicate your message. But make sure that your clothing doesn’t project an air of casualness just to impress your guests!
One important piece of business casual attire that can project an air of sophistication is a darkly-coloured suit or blouse. Black is a timeless colour that never goes out of fashion, so feel free to wear a dark-colored suit or blouse under the lighter shade of your office top. If you are in a business casual environment, it is even more important to pair your outerwear with conservative shoes and handbags. If you are wearing a dress shirt, make sure you wear conservative neckties (not too dressy, yet not too casual) and your tie should be plain, without any decorative frills.
To better understand business casual attire, it helps to know what separates business attire from other forms of dress codes. When you dress casually in a workplace, you are not formally serving a client or colleague, therefore you don’t need to wear a jacket with a tie. If you are meeting a client, however, you have every right to wear a jacket or coat with a nice necktie and a briefcase.
Another thing to remember is that business attire is meant to project a professional appearance. If you’re dressing casually in order to meet clients or make a presentation, think about what kind of look you want to come off as. Many businesses go by a more ‘professional’ look, which includes business casual clothing with a professional look dress shirts and slacks. You can also choose colours that go with your professional appearance such as navy blue or black for men, or olive green or khaki for women.
Flip-flops are a great option for both men and women. If you’re wearing a casual top and jeans, wear a pair of flip-flops or sandals to match. Flip-flops are made specifically for wearing beach-style and you’ll find many different designs and colours available for both ladies and men. If you want to look good in casual clothing, but you prefer something more formal, don’t worry – there’s a great selection of great business clothing to choose from!