When we hear the term ‘business casual’ for corporate office, what do we think? Do our minds immediately jump to all the other outfits in our wardrobe that we only get to wear on the weekend? Knowing the difference between business casual and weekend casual is essential because you should know how to look presentable enough to deal with your boss, clients and other employees and not stand out like a sore thumb.
Business casual can mean different things for various organisations. It is advisable to check the written dress code policy and what is permissible. Find out what that particular organization means by business casual. Is it business casual where you can wear jeans? If it is casual as in jeans, does it mean all types of jeans? More often times you will learn that ripped jeans do not qualify as business causal. Just because it’s casual doesn’t mean anything goes! If there are no written guidelines, observe what other employees in to gauge what the organization expects. If unsure, it is more than acceptable to turn up in your normal professional business suit minus the blazer / jacket and tie. Better safe than sorry.
The simplest definition of business casual is clothing items that are a little more casual than traditional business wear. It sits in the middle between traditional business wear and casual wear.
Business casual vs. weekend casual
Tucked in long-sleeved shirt. Tie is not necessary for men. Women tucked or un-tucked can go depending on the style of the top.
Pants styles such as khakis, dress pants, trousers and corduroy pants
Jeans in some organization may not be considered as business casual
Turtleneck can be worn in combination with blazer or cardigan
Clean, wrinkle free clothing and in good condition. No holes, tears, dangling thread etc
Casual and tasteful accessories
Flip flops, slippers, some sandals, athletic footwear /sneakers
Tee shirts with offensive signs, words, slogans
Skimpy or revealing clothing such as mid reefs, shorts, minis, ripped jeans, low-cut dresses with high slits
Pyjamas, yes! Even in emergencies
Limit visible piercing or clang / noisy jewelry
Hats of any sorts
Remember, even when it’s business casual it is still business as you represent the organization you are working for.