There are many people who are not sure about the definition of the ‘business casual’ dress code. You can’t blame them since there’s been an expansion of these fairly new terms when it comes to the dress code. Maybe one of the (many) reasons why people have difficulties to define this dress code is due to the fact that it sounds like an oxymoron. Really, it is very hard to put ‘business’ and ‘casual’ in the same category.
However, there is no general agreement when it comes to the definition itself. There are many factors which might change our perception of business casual, such as the industry, the size and the type of the company, the number of employees etc. Also, what in some countries is considered to be appropriate, in others would be seen as quite the opposite.
Either way, if you are standing in front of your closet with a giant question mark hovering over your head, it’s time for us to explain the definition of so-called ‘the most confusing dress code out there’. At most companies, employees are encouraged to keep up this ‘business-like’ and professional image, while still having a possibility of being more relaxed when choosing their outfits.
Therefore, looking polished, yet having some fun via fine ruffles or unexpected cuts and prints is something we consider to be business casual. Everything from sweaters or knit shirts, polo-shirts or open-collar, blouses or dress shirt, to skirt at knee-length or below, and a dress is seen as appropriate attire. Now we’ll go through all mentioned above individually and explain in details.
Dresses & skirts
Casual dresses and skirts, including skirts that are split at knee-length or below the knee, are appropriate. Bear in mind that a dress or a skirt you are wearing should fit you well. It’s suitable if you could sit in it comfortably in public. However, tight skirts and shorts are still a no-no.
Shirts, tops & blouses
Casual and dress shirts, as well as golf-type shirts, are acceptable work attire. V-sweaters with a button- down shirts below are also appropriate. Tops are a go-to thing. Turtlenecks also.
And what about footwear and shoes?
Sneakers, conservative athletic and walking shoes, boots, flats, and dress heels are acceptable for work. Also, closed toe and closed heel shoes are appropriate, in some cases even required.
When it comes to accessories…
Whether it’s jewelry or perfume it should always be in good taste. Less is more when it comes to makeup. Keep it simple and keep it natural.
Has that question above your head disappeared already? 🙂