Business casual is a ambiguous term, often understood to be a synonym for office dress, but with elements of a refined black-office wear, typically interpreted for casual work environments. The term has multiple applications, depending on who is speaking and where. It has come to be associated with a host of professions, including but not limited to: service industries (waiter, waitress, etc. ), sales and marketing professionals (cashier, shelf-keeper, etc. ), office personnel (waiter, cleaner, etc.
Office attire traditionally has been expected to be business casual, but with the rise of the “service industry,” business casual dress codes have taken on an edge. Service industries tend to be less formal than other types of businesses (though there are always exceptions), so business attire is not expected to be pristine, but rather business-appropriate. Service industries also tend to employ men more than women, so the wear of business attire can be more conservative, as compared to attire for sales and marketing professionals. Service employees, however, tend to wear more dressy attire, as they are usually less concerned about impressing co-workers.
There are many examples of business casual clothes that are appropriate for service industry jobs, but it is not necessary for a person working in this field to follow the same dress code as anyone else. A professional dress code is a very important guideline when dressing for work, but it is not necessary to dress exactly like everyone else. For example, a business casual dress code might have a business suit with a nice shirt, but it might also include sport shorts, dress loafers, and a nice sports jacket. These types of clothes can easily be combined to create a casual look. Another good example is jeans, which can be both casual and professional. Jeans allow workers to easily make the transition from office clothes to their home clothes, as they tend to be comfortable to wear in both situations.
It is also possible for business casual dress codes to be more flexible. This means that employees who want to wear lighter clothing or something more fashionable may be able to do so without having their uniforms changed. An example of this would be a woman who wears a professional business suit to work might be able to wear a white or gray blouse over her business suit to keep a more professional look, but she can also wear a button down shirt under the suit. The same concept can be applied to skirts and pants. A skirt worn with a business suit can simply be left off for casual occasions, but if it is necessary to wear pants to work, a nice pair of slacks can be brought in from the dry cleaners. One can even dress up skirts with skirts!
Even though there are many variations on the business casual dress code, the basic premise behind the code still has not changed much. It still makes sense to dress in layers, and it still makes sense to use the proper clothing depending on the occasion. The only real difference is that the variations of business casual clothing are becoming more colorful and interesting.
If you have never considered business casual during a job interview, you should consider doing so. Most employers do not expect their employees to dress business casual during an interview. In fact, most people who try to wear this type of attire in an interview are immediately rejected. Try wearing a skirt paired with a nice blouse for a very professional look that will still make an impression. The next time you are asked to dress business casual during a job interview, think about how your outfit ideas can change things up and make an impression for you and your employer.