Business casual is a ambiguous term that is usually regarded as mere casual wear but with added smart elements of a smart jacket, worn with a pair of khaki trousers, black-collared shirts with oxfords, or dress slacks. It is frequently confused with business attire but there is a huge difference between the two. Unlike professional attire, business casual clothes are suitable for all circumstances and all kinds of business, from boardrooms to luncheons and barbecues. A business suit is a traditional business suit with pockets and buttons, black trousers are the classic dress trousers, slacks are also appropriate for informal occasions. A t-shirt and a pair of conservatively-cut jeans or dress slacks, a sports jacket or blazer are business casual clothes.
The current trend in business casual attire is presenting elegant, well-tailored, and practical clothes that can be worn casually to a business meeting or conference. Wearing a single-breasted blouse with an understated neckline, black trousers, black shoes, a blazer, and a cashmere sweater creates a look that is very business-like but is not overly trendy. Ties should be simple, no-colored, plain, and polished. Silk ties are appropriate if you are attending an office party or meeting with colleagues. They can be replaced with silk bow ties or fancy silk scarves, if desired.
Colors are typically muted and neutral for business casual dress. The business casual dress code is typically a lot more relaxed than for dress or corporate casual. Colors like black and white are generally favored as they are seen as neutral colors, thus making them more universally acceptable. Colors can be more vivid or cooler depending upon the occasion. For instance, you would typically find brighter shades of red and orange in business casual dress than you would for a formal occasion.
For jeans business casual, you would typically wear a dress shirt with a jacket and tie. Jeans are appropriate for jeans business casual attire because they tend to have a button fly, so they will not become buttoned up all the way. You can choose from either dark or light colored denim. If you are wearing khakis, khaki jeans are again appropriate. They can be replaced by other darker or lighter colored jeans if you desire.
If you are wearing a skirt, it is appropriate for you to wear pants that are slacks. Typically, however, you will wear dress business casual dress codes for skirts that are shorter, such as mid-calf or knee length, and that are of the same color as your business dress shirt. However, if you are a woman who is going to be wearing a skirt with a short jacket, it is not appropriate to wear a blazer. Instead, you will typically wear a dressy blazer with a pair of khaki pants.
The business professional who is going to be in the office on a daily basis is typically expected to wear business casual attire. The reason for this is that most employers expect their employees to dress professional in order to portray a sense of professionalism. For women, it is even more important to dress business casual in order to project a professional image. Women who are wearing dress shoes are typically seen as being less professional than those who are not. Thus, it is imperative that women who wear business casual dress shoes as their footwear in the workplace, must ensure that their dress shoes match their shoes.