We’re pursuing our series on the modern men style guide by looking at the relaxed but often confusing casual business attire. After the casual and smart casual attire, business casual requires a touch of formality to be appropriate for the office. The style has dramatically evolved over the years, however, as people tend to dress increasingly more casual for work. Not sure to know what’s appropriate? Keep reading.
How To Dress Casual For The Office
In your career, you’ll most certainly be invited to dress casually for work from time to time. It’s usually for the end of the week on casual Friday or for an after-hours drink with your colleagues.
Business casual is quite frankly an ambiguous style. Its definition and meaning can vary significantly depending on your office culture and the people that you’ll be meeting. It’s thus to know exactly what to wear and how to dress appropriately.
In general, business casual means a slightly more relaxed version of your usual business attire. If your daily work outfit is a suit and tie, you can probably leave your tie at home on Fridays and roll up your sleeves. You can take things further in some companies and swap your suit trousers for chinos or mix them with a jacket of a different colour.
A key principle to keep in mind when thinking about your business casual outfit is to always consider how you usually dress the rest of the time in the office. Take it down a notch but don’t go too far. Your style is a reflection of your personality at work, so you want to make sure that your outfit stays consistent with who you are.
Understanding business casual mean in different companies
Because business casual means different things for different industries, we asked fashion advisors tips for specific companies. You can organise them in 3 broad categories:
If you work in a bank or a law firm: This is the most formal sector. Your style should remain very conservative. You might leave your tie at home, but keep the jacket on, at least for the first half of the day. Jeans should be avoided, except if you’re meeting your colleagues for an after-work drink at the bar. You should explore collections from brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna and Tom Ford.
If you work in marketing or sales: You have more room to play with styles and colours. If you’re starting in a new company, observe first how your colleagues dress before exploring more audacious combinations as you get a good sense of your organisation culture. Turn your attention towards Ralph Lauren and Burberry to find the perfect outfit.
If you work in a startup: This is the least formal office culture. You will probably rarely be asked to dress business casual at all, except when meeting clients or investors. Make sure to wear something elegant that shows that you cared.