Business Casual Suits for Work

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In today’s business world, times have changed when it comes to what business attire men and women wear. It had always been quite easy, with men wearing a basic business suit, shirt and tie and women wearing dresses and suits. Through the years, dress codes have changed. Choosing what to wear to work may be a confusing process.

In 1966, something happened. Hawaii paved the way to more casual wear and casual Fridays. A company started making Hawaiian shirts to wear on “Aloha Fridays.” This trend spread to mainland America and dress attire began to change, some a little too casual. This “too casual” look caused companies to take the opportunity to get involved in producing casual options of pants and shirts, giving companies the option of allowing business casual attire for their employees. It was still confusing to know what actual business casual attire was, but the definition, “No Suit, But Also No Jeans,” made it more clear-cut for employees.

Some casual business attire worn in the white collar working world (for those who have customer contact) are:

Men:

  1. Long Sleeve Dress Shirt
  2. Blazer/Sport Coat/Sweater
  3. Trousers
  4. Neckwear
  5. Shoes/Boots

Women:

  1. Short or Long Sleeve Top
  2. Cardigan
  3. Skirts or Trousers
  4. Open-toe Shoes

Men can choose shirts in various pastel colors, or basic white and can be worn with a tie, or with an open button at the top, for a more casual look. A blazer or sport coat, either single or double breasted, can be added to give a more finished look. Navy is classic, but other colors can be worn, as long as they are subtle colors and/or patterns. There are various colors of trousers to choose, with the basic colors being navy, black grey or charcoal. A tie can be added, but is not necessary. If attending an important meeting, you may want to add one. Some days, sweaters can be worn in place of a blazer for a more casual business look.

Women can choose suits, either with a skirt or pants, for a more finished look, if attending meetings. A closed-toe shoe may be more appropriate to wear with this type of attire. With your suit, a nice classic top, not low-cut, can be worn in a choice of colors.

For business casual in a job in the Service Industry, where there is not much customer contact, the option of not wearing a sports jacket, tie or dress shirt is more feasible. Polo shirts and casual shoes may be worn, but jeans should not be an option. Women can also wear more casual type pants and shoes. Neatness is the key.

Some companies won’t allow business casual attire, but will allow casual Fridays, where employees may be even permitted to wear jeans.

When starting a new job, it’s better to appear overdressed, then see what other employees are wearing, whether it’s conservative or business casual attire. Your shopping can then begin.

Now you are ready to dress like a Combatant Gentlemen!