One definition of business casual states that it includes khaki pants, slacks, and skirts, as well as short-sleeved polo shirts and long-sleeved shirts, but excludes, tennis shoes, tight or short skirts, t-shirts, and sweatshirts". Another source, an American university careers service, states that business casual consist of neutral colors more towards the dark shades of black, grey, navy, but can include white and off white, and reminds that the clothing should be pressed and have clean, crisp seams.
Another author wrote in the Financial Times that "Ordinarily business casual for guys seems fairly clear. All most people know is they don’t want to see too much of a colleague’s body, including feet."
General acceptance of business casual was preceded by Casual Fridays.
How to Dress Business Casual
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Three Methods:Business Casual for MenBusiness Casual for WomenLearning Your Company’s Policy
Business casual is a term used to describe a type of office dress code or clothing style that is a little more casual than traditional business wear. Although business casual is casual, it also doesn't mean that anything goes.
Business Casual for Men
1 Choose shirts that have collars, such as long-sleeve button down shirts. Twill, herringbone, and broadcloth patterns are more formal and nice to use if sprucing up. Hawaiian and other irregular patterns are considered too casual.
Pants, trousers and corduroy pants. V-neck sweaters work best if wearing a a collar.
Turtlenecks can be worn in combination with a blazer for a sleek look and a little bit of novelty.
If you want to wear a suit coat and still look business casual, dress it down with khakis instead of suit pants.
4 Select formal leather shoes, and don’t forget the dress socks. No skinny-trousers allowed, even for Europeans.
Business Casual for Women
1 Remember that skirts and dresses are acceptable as long as the hem falls just above the knees.
As with men, black and grey are more formal, making for a safer bet.
Avoid low-cut dresses or those with high slits.
Avoid dresses (especially) and skirts that are more skin-tight.
2 Opt for pants such as khakis, corduroy pants, linen pants or dress pants.
No jeans, unless otherwise noted. Avoid flip flops, sandals and sneakers.
Heels are okay, so long as they aren't too conspicuous.
5 Complete the business casual look. Ask if your employer has an employee handbook that more clearly delineates the company's business casual policy.
2 Observe other employees. this is a good gauge of what your employer expects when they say business casual.
3 Dress formally for interviews. Remember, it's better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Those who are interviewing for a job in business, banking and wealth management, politics, academia, or health sectors should dress business formal unless otherwise instructed.
If no clothing type is specified, and the company you're interviewing for is outside the sectors listed above, stick with business casual.
Abstain from wearing clothes that are too tight and clothes that are overall too revealing.
While business casual by any standard is less dressy than business formal, it is still important to remember that you are dressing for work. This means that you should still look well put together by making sure your clothes are ironed, clean, and free of holes.
Remember that business casual still means business and you should look presentable enough to deal with your boss, clients and your fellow employees.
If you have a tattoo, try your best to cover it up.
At most companies, however, the "business casual" dress code encourages employees to project a "professional, business-like image while enjoying the advantage of more casual and relaxed clothing," Price explains.
Appropriate business casual dress typically includes slacks or khakis, dress shirt or blouse, open-collar or polo shirt, optional tie or seasonal sport coat, a dress or skirt at knee-length or below, a tailored blazer, knit shirt or sweater, and loafers or dress shoes that cover all or most of the foot.
Below are examples of appropriate "business casual" outfits.
Dressing "business casual" means staying professional with full coverage and neutral colors. First, is the workplace business formal or business casual? If it's business casual, is that "casual" as in "pantyhose not required with that skirt," or "casual" as in jeans? With all the business-casual work environments out there -- in 2006, 60 percent of respondents to a human-resources study said they dressed casually at least one work day a week -- you'd think there would be some sort of standard definition of what "business casual" means [source: Armour]. Clearly, though, with more and more companies implementing dress codes or eliminating "business casual" entirely due to employees' inappropriate attire, some explanation is required [source: Armour].
In this article, we'll define "business casual" as it applies to the female worker. Granted that look says, “I didn’t want to wear jeans but I didn’t want to wear black dress trousers and a white shirt so here’s my compromise.”
So there’s a lack of consensus in what actually defines a business casual wardrobe.