As long as you owned a shirt and tie, dressing for the office was once an effortless task that could be carried out with ease. However, along came dress-down Friday and a more relaxed business casual dress code was born. For some, this was (or is) great news; unless, of course, you have no idea what business casual actually is. Luckily for you, we have put together this definitive guide to ensure you look stylish and professional at all times.
So what is it?
To master this way of dressing, the biggest task is to understand what it really means. Broadly speaking, like the name suggests, business casual is a mixture of typical business attire with casual classics. Favoured by offices across the globe, it essentially allows workers to show off their style and personality whilst still remaining smart.
What can you wear?
Not to be confused with smart-casual (which is less business-like and more forgiving in the casual department), business casual for men favours more formal pieces without being too uptight. In a nutshell, when putting together an outfit, you don’t want to seem to seem too stiff (suit, tie and shoes), nor do you want to go to the other extreme (jeans, T-shirt and trainers). To meet in the middle, we suggest pairing a separate jacket or blazer with a button-down shirt, chinos and Chelsea boots.
What can’t you wear?
Strictly speaking, jeans, trainers and shorts are not seen as suitable; however it really comes down to the rules of your workplace. Those who are part of start-ups or have a job in the creative industry may find they can dress considerably more relaxed than those who work in finance. Check before you head to the office and you’ll save yourself the trouble of embarrassment. Oh, and ditch the tie.
Now you’re aware of what you can and can’t wear, your job is to find out what look works best for your environment. Be sure to keep a balance between business and casual, and remember, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. If you’re still a little confused, take a look at these three fail-safe business casual outfits below:
*Not all of these items are now in stock*