Business Casual Dress Code Essentials and Why You Should Be Concerned

Business casuals are outfits than are not completely formal wear, but can still be worn appropriately in an office atmosphere. Hence comfort is one of most important factors in business casual dress code. This is one aspect of personal presentation to get right as it can affect your chances of getting a promotion, being taken more seriously at work and even the amount of bonus heading your way. After all first impressions can make lasting impressions!

Every office has its own business casual dress code, which one must enquire with the concerned department before joining.

Business casuals for women would include formal Capri pants with semi formal full sleeves or ¾ sleeve shirts. Make sure that these Capri pants are not denim but a lighter shaded cotton pants. The pants must also not be too tight or extremely loose, choose a size that looks good on you, and doesn’t appear a casual wear.

Women can also wear a formal corduroy pants with semi formal collared shirts. Footwear that goes best with any business casual would be semi formal boots that have a closed mouth towards the front and with or without straps towards the back.

Business casuals for men include the very famous cotton trousers or khakis. Try to include much of the light colored cotton pants, instead of the usual dark ones. Shirts to be worn with these trousers would be collared semi formal shirts in plain dark colors that match with the color of the trousers. To give a more relaxed look to your entire attire, try to wear a dark colored shirt with a light colored trouser or vice versa.

Another option for a business casual wear for men would be a pair of jeans that goes very well with an inner plain colored t-shirt and a formal or semi formal jacket. This office wear looks extremely well, but during a hot weather the jacket could be a little uncomfortable. Foot wear for men would include a suede and leather shoes in dark colors. Refrain from wearing sneakers, or any other kind of casual footwear.

Great Tips on Business Dress and Business Casual For Men

Adhering to a business casual dress code often poses a challenge for many men. You want to be comfortable and relaxed, yet still maintain a professional look. On the contrary, when maintaining a business dress etiquette, where do you draw the line on incorporating sportswear? Whether you’re a young professional just starting to build your wardrobe, or are well seasoned in the business world and want to add new inspiration to your men’s apparel, you’re in luck. Discover the differences between business dress and business casual for men and how to incorporate the appropriate style for your situation.

What to wear: Every work environment is different. What may be considered appropriate for business casual in some work spaces, may be too casual for others. Your best bet? Check out what your co-workers and leaders are wearing. You don’t have to copy their style, but it will give you an idea of how to dress business casual.

Suits and suit separates: A fine suit is the prime differentiating factor between business dress and business casual. The standard business dress code always requires a tie. A suit made from fine materials, well-fitting dress shirt, and silk tie are go-to items for business dress. However, make sure your suit, shirts and ties are clean and pressed each time you wear them. Wearing fine clothes that sport stains, rips or tears can be worse than not adhering to a business dress code at all. And in most cases, you can remove your jacket once you’re in the office or a meeting.
Dress trousers and khakis: Dress trousers are always suitable for any business casual dress code. Depending on your work environment, khakis will most likely be considered appropriate business casual apparel. Pair either with a sportshirt or turtleneck, sportcoat and leather shoes for a professional yet comfortable look.
Dress shirts: Dress shirts balance the look of your outfit and visually complement your accessories. For a business casual dress code, try pairing a pinpoint dress shirt with tweed trousers, penny loafers, a leather belt and cashmere scarf, and you’ll look instantly dashing. When adhering to a business dress code, a point collar is the most versatile for business or dress. Button-down collars look best with a sportcoat and khaki pants; they are not typically worn with a suit. Also, look for dress shirts that come in wrinkle-free and stain resistant materials. They’ll keep you looking fresh even during your busy travel schedule.
Shoes: Shoes are a versatile category. Many dress shoes that can be worn with a suit, can also be paired with your business casual attire. Tuxedo shoes, or black patent leather dress shoes, are too dressy for the office and should be reserved for black tie affairs. Historically, sneakers have been too casual, although designers are coming out with more sophisticated styles that may be appropriate for your work setting. Choose a pair of shoes that offer clean, crisp lines and are made from genuine leather. Be sure to treat them with a leather protector and clean them regularly, as a shoddy pair of shoes can instantly spoil an entire outfit.
Briefcase/laptop bag: A distressed leather mail carrier style bag, messenger bag and laptop case in subdued shades is acceptable for a business casual work environment. For business dress, however, a briefcase is best. Look for a classic case in a versatile shade such as cognac, burgundy or black.

What not to wear: Be forewarned in case you were debating wearing any of the following to work:

Obnoxious t-shirts: Wearing a soft tee shirt made from finely woven cotton underneath a V neck sweater is perfectly fine for business casual apparel. However, wearing your Spring Break tee from 1999 is not. Prominently displayed logos can look tacky as well. Save the raucous bachelor shirts for weekend use only.
Jerseys of any kind: Absolutely not. No. Not ever. A basketball, football, baseball, or any other kind of sports jersey is never appropriate for the office. The same goes with baseball caps, giant finger gloves, track jackets, or any other sports apparel you’re tempted to wear on a day when you’re not feeling so fresh. Others will notice your lack of effort and inappropriate attire immediately.
Sandals: While flip-flops have a charming, beach-hippie sort of appeal, you should avoid wearing them in a business casual work environment. No matter the designer or materials, they are simply too casual for the office.

Business Casual Clothing

In general, business casual means to dress professionally and have the image of a relaxed man, half-way the distance between formal clothes and what you wear on the street. Suits for job sites where you need the image of a businessman and at the same time you can get advantage of comfortable clothes. It is ideal for those moments when you accidentally meet with a client, with a business partner and you need to look dressed business.

Tie: in general is not required for business-casual. If you are in doubt, you can count. Never hurts to be well-dressed – this also is like making a compliment to the host. You can wear a tie and walk through room – if no one is wearing one, you take it off discreetly.

Shirt: it is considered to be better dressed when wearing a long sleeve shirt than a short-sleeved, even in the middle of summer. White t-shirt with collar can be a good choice when you’re at an event outdoors – in an open location.

Pants: cotton, synthetic, wool or dock, as long as they’re clean and well-ironed. No need to look ready for a photo shoot but if you think about blue-jeans, gym pants, bermuda, short pants or cycling pants, you are not on the right track.

Socks – wear them in dark colors and long enough so you don’t see any skin when you sit down.

Shoes – match their color with the belt and always wear leather shoes. Forget about sandals or running shoes, when you wear a smart-casual outfit, no matter how tempting it would seem.

Facial hair – if you wear a beard or mustache, develop yourself a habit of keeping them impeccable. But there are industries in which you really should reconsider this habit.

Jewelry – always wear a good quality watch. If you choose to wear other jewelry, choose to be discreet – and ..

Business Casual – 3 Ways to Look Sharp in Men’s Business Casual

Men, when it comes to dressing for work you’ve had it easy until recently Men’s clothing has evolved over the years to a look that fits men’s body types and activities, and makes most men look great.

Most men look good in a suit, and the traditional colors for business, such as a navy or grey suit with a white or blue shirt, compliment most men’s skin, hair and eye colors.

Then along came business casual and a new generation of men in the workplace, and the old rules no longer apply. Putting together all the elements isn’t as easy as coordinating a suit. It’s more difficult to dress in casual mode and look good.

1. Every industry has a dress code. Do you work in a conservative industry, such as finance or insurance? You most likely need to wear a suit when meeting clients, and dress down only on casual Fridays.

On the other hand, if you work in creative industries, such as advertising or design companies, it’s fine to have a bit of an edge. But you have to tailor your looks to a work environment, and choose clothes that suit your body type, coloring and personality.

And if you work in a high-tech, such as a software design company, the look is very casual. But you still have to look neat and clean. Grungy is not a business casual look!

2. Look at the people above you, and your clients. What are they wearing? If your boss or manager wears a suit most days, despite the casual dress code, you should probably do the same. Remember that you should be dressing for the job you aspire to, not the job you have now.

How do your clients dress? Dress to make them feel comfortable. If they are dressed very casually, you can match them, but be sure to be clean and neat. Sloppy and grungy are not business casual looks!

3. When in doubt, dress up. A common rule for business is to dress in traditional business attire for important meetings with outside business people. They still expect to see a business suit or jacket when a business deal is closed. Wearing a suit to meet a new client, or for a job interview, shows respect. Wear traditional business clothing when conducting business overseas.

If you are staying in the office, you can wear a sweater and casual pants. But jeans are only allowed in the most relaxed environments. Check with your human resources department if you aren’t sure what’s allowed.

Putting together a polished, professional business wardrobe takes time and thought.

Do you know the biggest business wardrobe mistakes? Find out with this free report: