When you think of business casual, images of men in blue jeans or khakis with a tucked-in collared shirt probably come to mind. It’s an ensemble that’s so common that many people don’t even think of it as business casual anymore. But there are a few nuances to the traditional business casual look that not everyone is aware of. You see, the key to successfully pulling off any style is understanding its ins and outs.
The world of fashion can be quite complex at times, but once you break it down, everything makes sense again. If you’re struggling to understand what exactly goes into different dress codes like business casual for men, read on to get the 411 on everything you need to know!
What Is Business Casual?
Business casual is a catch-all term that describes any type of dress that’s not as formal as a suit but is still more dressed up than casual clothes like jeans. And it varies by city and industry. A casual Ad Exec in LA dresss try differently than a casual Web Designer in Seoul.
It’s typically used for offices that don’t require suits but still want to maintain a level of professionalism. It’s a broad term since every office is different, but it can help you understand what’s expected of you when you enter a new workplace. Generally, business casual for men means a collared shirt, nice pants (not jeans usually), and maybe even a loose fitting tie if you’re meeting with clients. There are no hard and fast rules, though, so you’ll want to check with your company to get specifics.
How To Achieve The Look
There are a few key elements to the traditional business casual look. The first is the type of shirt you choose. Traditionally, a collared shirt with a button-down collar is the way to go. You can find these in many different varieties, depending on what you’re looking for. The second is the type of pants you wear. Khakis, chinos, or cotton pants are common options. You don’t want to wear jeans or pants with visible denim since they’re more casual.
When To Wear It
Business casual is ideal for meetings and client dinners, as well as the occasional lunch on the company’s dime. Many offices have a casual Friday policy where employees can dress down. If your office has that, business casual is a great option. If you’re interviewing for a new job, you should definitely dress up. Interviewers tend to be very strict about what’s appropriate, so you’ll want to knock it out of the park. In general, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of overdressing. It’s much better to show up looking too formal than not formal enough.
What’s Not Allowed
One of the biggest misconceptions about business casual is that you can wear whatever you want as long as it’s casual. This isn’t the case though. It’s important to note that there are some things that aren’t allowed when it comes to business casual. Keep these rules in mind to avoid ending up with a bad reputation for your dress code.
No streetwear of any kind. This includes hoodies, sneakers, vests, jeans, etc. Denim is also often not allowed when dressing up for work.
No overly casual fabrics like fleece. This includes cardigans, pants, sweaters, and of course sweatpants are a big no-no. Only use fabrics that are meant for business settings.
Often No short-sleeved shirts. This includes t-shirts, polos, and other casual shirts. Shirt sleeves should hit above your wrist. Although in the summer and in some places, a cll fitting polo or short sleeved button up shirt is allowed. Again there are no hard and fast rules.
No visible tattoos. This one is very specific to each company, but it’s important to know that visible tattoos are frowned upon in many offices.
At the end of the day, dressing up is an important part of your career. It shows clients and your boss that you’re serious about what you do. Business casual is the easiest way to get that done while still being comfortable. It’s a great look for people in all kinds of professions, but it’s especially useful if you’re in a creative field like marketing or design. With that in mind, go out and find your perfect business casual look! Now that you understand what business casual is and how to pull it off, you can go out and confidently wear whatever you want! From jeans and t-shirts to button-ups and ties, there are plenty of options that fall under the business casual label.