Business casual dress is frequently confused with corporate casual dress code, which is a much narrower term that describes business attire worn at the office or at the workplace. Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, they have significant differences that differentiate them. Company casual dress is normally business wear that is acceptable in the office or in a business environment that is considered to be casual by industry standards. It is a form of dress that leaves much of the traditional fabric of standard business dress behind, and gives the employee a much more casual look that is both comfortable and professional. Many companies still use the old school office dress code, which dates back to the 1950s and is still widely applied.
But business casual dress does not mean that it has to be less formal than standard business attire. Instead, business casual dress has evolved to include a variety of less formal styles that are suitable for a wide range of situations. It can be dressy or casual, depending on the circumstances. It is much less formal than business casual wear, and yet it can still convey a certain air of sophistication and a willingness to put yourself in a compromising situation if the need arises – it just happens to be in a more subtle way. Here are some examples of how business casual dress can evolve.
Business casual dress shoes are probably the easiest things to incorporate into your overall look. They can be dressed up or down to whatever level you are comfortable wearing them down to. Your shoes can be stylish or less so; depending on what you are wearing underneath them. Work boots or slippers are great for a casual dress shoe, and a pair of dress shoes with an oxfords or lace-up back can make a more formally business type look. You can also add a belt and a tie under your jacket for a more tailored look, or choose a more casually elegant belt that is less obviously tied with your tie. For men, a plain pair of dress shoes with a simple tie is perfectly acceptable, as long as they are not too form-fitting.
When it comes to pants, a lot of the current discussion revolves around the idea of fashionability versus function. Fashionability refers to how comfortable they are, while functionality refers to how well they actually fit your body. For many workplaces, fashionability pants are seen as the more functional option because they are more flexible and allow for greater range of motion than do the more rigid or stiffened pants that are more traditionally seen as workplace attire. Formal business slacks, on the other hand, are seen as being less fashionable since they are usually made of leather, a material that some people find uncomfortable.
One thing about business casual wear is that it tends to be much less structured than traditional office attire. Workplaces can be less formal than they once were, which means employees can be more creative in their attire. People can be less stiff and wear clothing that may not necessarily be considered to be business casual. This can include things like jeans and sports jerseys for employees who are active on sports teams. On the flip side, frilly skirts and dresses are not appropriate for all workplaces, especially those that are more formal.
The idea that business clothing should be less formal is not unique to Friday. Most employers prefer that their workers dress casual so they can get by with fewer rules. It is also important for employers to remember that the rules will change from workplace to workplace. The rule against smoking in the workplace is not always enforced on Friday, which means employees may be more comfortable smoking in the break room or at home on a Friday than they would be if they worked in an environment where smoking is prohibited.