What is Business Casual?

A contemporary twist on the classic office suit, business casual means serious business. The term “casual” gives some wiggle room for experiment as this look veers away from the strict formal office suit and bends to a relaxed version without looking sloppy.

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When to wear a business casual attire?

The business casual attire is explicitly worn in the office. Most corporate offices still put a strict dress code on their employees. Sporting a business casual attire on a big job interview also gives a great first impression. The same goes for a meeting or if you are trying to close a deal with a huge client. When worn correctly, a business casual look gives this air of sophistication, which translates to power and control.

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What to wear in a business casual attire?

The business casual look mainly depends on the type of office that you work in. If you are in the tech industry, styles are more relaxed. If you work in a law firm, styles sway more to the business side. But whatever your business industry is, the safest basics are a dress shirt (tucked in, yes), dress pants or chinos, a complimenting tie, a leather belt and a pair of Oxford shoes. Remember that all the leather you put in your outfit should compliment each other. And complimenting doesn’t mean they have to have matching colors. It only means they shouldn’t be clashing or painful to look at. Give your basic look some character by throwing on a blazer, a sports coat or wool topcoat for the colder months. If it is your first day at the office, remember it’s better to be an overdressed professional than looking horribly underdressed.

Business Casual Fabrics and Color Palettes

In a corporate setting, fabrics are limited to smooth textures and less patterns. Colors are always dark – black, navy blue, dark brown and olive green. Think of business casual as a toned down version of the strict and formal suit and tie business attire, rather than a toned up smart casual wear. When people describe your business casual outfit, they should be commenting on your good taste and not on the bits and pieces that complete your look.

business casual color

Business Casual Dos and Don’ts
  • Do wear clothes that are neatly pressed and fits perfectly.
  • Do wear dark socks, it is not acceptable for a business casual outfit to have your skin showing when you sit.
  • Do invest on at least 2-3 pieces of blazer, sports coats or topcoat. These are classics that will go along way in your wardrobe.
  • Don’t wear bright colors.
  • Don’t wear jeans or denim jackets, that’s too casual.
  • Don’t wear a suit, save it for more formal business events.

So you’ve crafted your perfect business casual wardrobe and need some ideas on how to wear it.

No matter what level of business casual your job has, I got you covered with these 3 essential business casual outfit formulas.

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Business Casual
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