Basics of business casual dress code

While business casual may seem like an easy to select dress code, this is not the case. Instead, business casual wear can be confusing. This is mainly because the business casual dress code varies from one company to another and from one industry to another. With no one concrete definition, business casuals can be said to be attires that are less formal than traditional office clothing. This article seeks to helps the reader understand the basics of business casual wear.

Business casual wear for men

Men’s business casual attire should comprise chinos or dress slacks, dress shoes, dark socks, and a button-down shirt. Avoid polo shirts while going for interviews. Also, avoid shorts and athletic wear. Below is a list of business casual

  • Sweaters
  • A range of ties
  • Brown or black leather belt
  • Black or brown leather shoes
  • Button-down shirts or long cotton sleeve shirts
  • Cotton or wool pants, gabardine and Khaki

Business Casual wear for women

The correct business casual clothes for women comprise of, a blouse, a dress or skirt, slacks, a jacket, hosiery and twinset and shoes with closed toes. While peep-toe shoes and sandals can be acceptable at some organizations, flip-flops can never be business casual attire. Some other business casual outfits that women should include in their wardrobe include;

  • Cardigans, Twinsets, polo/knit shirts and Sweaters
  • Corduroy, twill, Khaki or conservative-length skirts or cotton pants
  • Go for solid colours rather than bold or busy patterns.

Gender-neutral business casual

There also exists business casual outfits that are generally neutral. If you aren’t comfortable conforming to the men’s or women’s business casual attire above you can try out the options below;

  • Loafers, Boots or dress sneaker made of canvas or leather
  • Khakis, slacks and other non-denim pants
  • Button-down shirt or a sweater

Outfits to avoid as business casual dress code

  • Sandals or Flip-flops
  • Tennis shoes or Athletic sneakers
  • Wrinkled or stained clothing
  • Too loose or oversized clothing
  • Clothes that have holes such as distressed jeans
  • Bright colours, including neon
  • Too short or too tight clothing’s
  • Clothes containing large text or logos
  • Strapless shirts or Tank tops
  • Clashing mismatched colours
  • Shorts skirts or shorts
  • Strapless shirts or Tank tops
  • Lycra or Spandex
  • Low-cut tops or backless tops

Tips while dressing business casual outfits

Beware of casual Fridays

Some companies, as part of their policy, only allow their employees to wear casually on Fridays. Observe what other employees who have been in the organization for more extended periods wear as their business casual Friday attire. This will help you not to wander too far from the organizations acceptable Friday casual wear.  Imitating the company’s management’s dress code can significantly help. Do not dress clothes with offensive language, images, unprofessional logos and affiliations with particular political groups.

If you have any religious or medical dress requirements communicate to the HR

If it will not be possible to meet your employer’s dress code guidelines due to a medical condition or a religious requirement, ensure that you communicate this on your first day of work to the human resource department. This will ensure you don’t get penalized for having a differing dress code with the rest of the employees.

Overdress for the interview

When selecting interview attire, overdress other than underdressing. Even if you find out that the company accepts business casual dress codes, for the initial in-person interview preferably wear a full suit. This will ensure you make a positive first impression.

Consult the official dress code of your company

Different employers define business casual differently; you may find that what was acceptable in your former organization may not be permitted in your new organization. For instance, you may find out polo tees, open-toed shoes and jeans are acceptable in some companies while in others only long-sleeved shirts, non-denim pants and closed-toes shoes are permitted. Other companies permit brightly and patterned prints, while in others only solid-coloured and dark clothes are allowed. It is also essential to know employers expectations in specific situations such as when representing the company in trade shows, networking events or conferences.

In conclusion, choosing the appropriate business casual dress code can be a daunting task, especially if you are a new employee. However, with this article, you have the right guidance to help you while selecting the proper business casual attire. An important point you should also note is to always buy quality attire by purchasing from reputable fashion stores. Online reviews, including, reviews about fashion shops will help you identify reliable fashion shops such as berrylook tops.