What is Business Casual?


Finally you got a job! You’ve done the hard part. You found a job, scaled through the interview process and accepted an offer. Now you just need to make a great first impression on your employers and your co-workers. 

A big aspect of your first impression will be how you dress. For example here at Style Vitae we dress business casual. But what is business casual? You might not know what is expected of you. What percentage of business casual is “business” and what percentage is “casual?” What should you wear on the first day of your new job?

One thing is definitely sure, wearing shorts and a t-shirt is definitely too casual, but wearing a full suit and a tie, is too formal. When in doubt, it’s better to tilt to the side of dressing too formally, rather than too casually. But where do we draw the line?

For men, what is considered appropriate business casual attire is dress pants or chinos, a shirt with or without a tie, dark socks, and dress shoes. Avoid wearing polo shirts to an interview, even if they are acceptable for the job in question. Do not wear jeans or shorts.

What you should know;

Look Before You Leap: If you are new to a job, avoid dressing too casual until you understand the company standards. You should check with HR or a colleague to determine what exactly business casual means for your company.

Consider Your Calendar: If you’re meeting with clients or scheduling a business lunch or meeting, dress on the formal side. This should be done out of to respect the people you’re meeting with; save the casual comfort for a time when you’ll be in the office all day.

Consistency: If you wear professional and conservative outfits Monday through Thursday, don’t show up Friday looking unrecognizable. If your office has “casual Fridays”, you can dress down a bit. It’s acceptable at many companies, for instance, to wear jeans. But I’ll advice you opt for your best jeans, not a pair with stains or ripped cuffs. 

Your casual Friday outfit should still be formal enough that you can comfortably go to a surprise meeting with your boss or client.


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