What Is A “Business Casual” Dress Code?

Congratulations! You got the job! Your new boss tells you to dress “business casual” on your first day…and the confusion sets in. The phrase business casual has become difficult to define in recent years. Typically, business casual means a type of attire worn by business people that is less formal than a business suit. A simple enough definition, but with a struggling economy many people have been forced to change career paths or re-enter the workforce after many years out of work. Brushing up on business casual basics can help prepare you for your new job.

Why is this issue of what to wear or what not to wear so important? When you come to work each day, you are not only presenting yourself as a competent, professional, and reliable worker. You are also representing the company you work for. Understanding your company’s culture, or core values and image, is essential in knowing how to come to work dressed appropriately.

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DO: wear clothes that are tidy, clean, and conservative.

DON’T: Wear flip flops, jeans, or revealing attire (spaghetti straps, low pants, and plunging necklines).

Ladies, the following attire would be considered business casual:  a collared shirt, blouse or sweater, paired with dress slacks or a knee length skirt. Always wear knee highs with slacks and hose with skirts. Gentleman:  try a button down or polo paired with slacks or khaki pants. Business casual shoes should always be close toed.