Business dress code, Smart Casual, Business Casual, Dress down. We are often requested to dress to a certain dress code at work but it's not always clearly defined and can leave us somewhat confused. So let's unravel the one dress code that gives us the biggest headache!
As an Image Consultant, I am frequently asked for advice on the Business Casual dress code. Many men are comfortable in the formal (Business Dress) dress code where it is clear that a suit, shirt & tie are required. Similarly, a charity dress down day provides them with no real challenges as all the boundaries have been removed for that day.
However, when it comes to Business Casual, so many find it challenging to put this look together. I can tell you that Business Casual means less formal than Business Dress yet must still be appropriate for the business environment. It does not mean untidy or scruffy or casual.
So here are some tips on how to achieve an acceptable Business Casual look;
Ensure your clothes are complimentary for your colouring and your build. They must also be current and appropriate for your working environment. Adhering to all of these rules will help you become a well dressed man.
You must be well groomed. Clean shaven with a neat and tidy haircut is essential. Your finger nails must be of a reasonable length and clean. (maybe sounds crazy but you'd be surprised at the how many men have dirty finger nails!)
Maintenance of your clothes is highly important. If you don't like using an iron on your shirts, use a Dry Cleaning service on them instead. You must ensure you change your clothes and shoes daily as they need to be freshened and rested.
Make sure you are pleasant to be around; good personal hygiene is paramount.
So let's put this into practice; here are some tips on how to create acceptable Business Casual outfits;
- you can do away with the formal suit and opt for a smart jacket and trousers
- a soft collared shirt is acceptable and a tie is optional
- a suit teamed with a smart t-shirt or polo shirt is acceptable
- alternatively, a smart shirt and tie with trousers and no jacket is also acceptable for Business Casual
- you must always wear smart shoes, trainer style footwear and sandals are not acceptable
So now you have all the rules and best tips for achieving your Business Casual look. If you would like to find out more, visit your local Style & Image Consultant.