Business casual is a very ambiguous term that’s generally thought of as casual dress code adopted for professional, white-collar workplaces but with certain key elements of a nice lounge suit in traditional formal wear. The term is often used interchangeably with business attire, even though in truth business casual attire is often far more casual than formal. Many professional business men prefer to use business casual attire on occasion but it is also very flexible and can be dressed up or down as the mood moves or the particular occasion requires. You may consider a business casual dress shirt with a casual jacket for a casual lunch meeting, or a dark blue suit with a white shirt for an evening office affair.
It’s important to remember that “business casual dress” isn’t always that simple. To get a precise look you should know what types of attire you should be looking for, when and where. The idea isn’t to look like you’re ready for an office party, but rather to look like you could hang out with friends or family (or even do some work if the mood takes you there!) Most business casual dress codes follow a similar basic principle, though there are certain things to keep in mind depending on the type of business casual dress you decide to wear. The following are some tips that will help you get the most out of your business casual dress.
As with many types of business casual clothing, the most important aspect of business casual is your footwear. If possible, you should try to coordinate your shoes, belt, and socks so that your shoes match. The days of wearing loafers or tennis shoes with a suit or other business attire are gone, though the urge to stick to this old fashion is quite strong. Instead, pair your business shoes with a nice dress pant or dressy trouser in a style that coordinates with your shoes.
When it comes to clothing, it’s easy to mix and match. This is one of the hallmarks of business casual, and a great way to get a lot of variety in your wardrobe. While jeans are always a great choice for dress codes, it’s also acceptable to wear a skirt or even a dress shirt with your jeans. For example, a skirt can be paired with a pencil skirt, which is a practical type of top that goes perfectly with a blouse or t-shirt. Jeans are also acceptable in the workplace with a dress shirt and a blouse or tank top, and can also be worn with leggings, as long as they are not too form fitting.
Another option for business casual is dress shirts. If you want to dress down and don’t have to worry about sticking to a specific code, a dress shirt is just right for those days when you just want to relax and feel comfortable. Dress shirts come in a variety of styles, including button-down collars, rolled necklines, and casual dress styles like crew necks and V-neck t-shirts. There are also dressier versions of business casual shirts such as polo shirts and slacks, which are slightly more dressy but still follow the basic rules. Polo shirts and slacks can also be worn with a dress pants set, which shows a smart business-like side while still being comfortable enough to wear to work. For women, a skirt is always a good choice, and business shirts can be worn with a dress pants ensemble for a fun, carefree look.
The final piece in the business casual wardrobe is a blazer. Blazers are very easy to pair with a variety of different clothing pieces, and they are often an excellent choice for work wear or casual occasions. A blazer can be paired with a tailored shirt or even a skirt for a more formal look, and there are plenty of cute printed blazers available if you are having trouble thinking of something more unique. A blazer can be worn with a casual jacket or sweater for a warm Winter day outfit, and they can also be worn with a dress shirt and a blazer for a more dressy and formal look.