Business casual is a ambiguous term that is usually described as a mixture of elegant, semi-formal dress code and casual, everyday wear. The distinguishing element of business casual is the relative informal nature of its dress code, which places a premium on a certain degree of flexibility and practicality. Business casual dress code applies to all business establishments regardless of their nature (i.e. office, retail, service, etc. ).
In this chapter, i llustration will be made on how business casual means different things to different people. It also means different things to different regions and industries. In the succeeding paragraphs, more examples of business casual will be illustrated with reference to various regions and industries where different types of dress codes have historically been widespread. As such, business casual can be considered a global phenomenon.
In the United States, business casual dress codes normally refer to business professional wear like a suit, a necktie, conservative watch, dress shoes, etc. The business professional dress codes normally exclude sports apparel like casual sports wear. This includes athletic shoes, sweatpants, golf clubs, tennis shoes, and so on. Moreover, business casual clothes standards do not usually apply to casual clothes for the house, like jeans and a t-shirt. They do however, imply what should be appropriate in the workplace.
In the United Kingdom, business casual attire is referred to as the “white coat and tie” look, which is associated with a conservative fashion sense and a less formal attitude. The look is more appropriate for less formal occasions and corporate events. The key to this attire is the ability to team it with either a traditional white jacket or a more casual blazer. For example, a blazer can be paired with a shirt or a t-shirt. Alternatively, this style can also be worn with a business suit that is less formal.
In the United States, business casual means dressing less formally in the workplace, though still wearing the appropriate business clothing like a suit, shirt, and trousers. This does not mean, however, that employees are allowed to wear anything they want to when going to the workplace. They are still expected to dress business casual, but not to the extent that would be considered very informal in other countries. In the United Kingdom, for example, business casual means dressing in an acceptable way while still remaining professional. A business casual employee in the UK may still wear a jacket, however, he or she will most likely wear a more conservative necktie and may not wear much else other than a simple watch or possibly some hair ties.
There are many outfit ideas for business people who want to dress business casual. A suit is always the best choice because it will match any number of different outfits. It can even be worn with a business suit to a golf course, where a business suit may be inappropriate. For lighter suits, a pair of dress trousers and a matching shirt can be worn to a job interview. A shirt-like jacket is ideal for a nice lunch with colleagues. Remember, the key is to dress appropriately so that you can effectively communicate your message to the boss or business partner.