What is Business Casual and are there Advantages for a Company?

More and more businesses are switching to a more relaxed dress code. This can be a tricky task. When I really think about the idea of it, business casual is quite a subjective term. My idea of it may be slacks and a nice shirt and others may be a golf shirt and khaki shorts. I have good definition if any of your employees have a different idea than you. Also, weighing the advantages may help you decide if this is right for your office. I hope you enjoy Cathy’s Tuesday Tip! ~Cathy

What is Business Casual?

Business casual should go something like this…

Like I mentioned before, this is subjective. Not only do individuals have their own ideas about business casual but most businesses also have different takes on what is expected.

For Men
Men should wear khakis or causal slacks and either a polo or button down. No tie or coat is necessary.

For Women
Women should wear a casual dress or skirt, slacks, and a more casual top.
Pass on the cabana shirt and flip flops.

Unacceptable Attire
Cabana shirts aside, let’s talk seriously about what not to wear. Business Casual is a confusing term. It could mean either, business of casual, right? There are, indeed, a few guidelines that should be followed. T-shirts sweatpants, spandex, sundresses and flip-flops are typically frowned upon. Most offices do define what their idea of business casual is, though.

Accessories are a wonderful addition to any outfit. Pairing the right necklace or belt could spice up a casual outfit or dress down more of business look. You can really use these to bring out your personal style.

Business Casual Advantages

-Morale could increase due to employees feeling more comfortable.
-Business casual is less expensive than dressing more on the formal side.
-It could reduce the time it takes for employees to decide what to wear each day.
-Employees can express themselves by wearing attire that shows who they are.
-This could eliminate status barriers in the work place.

Business Casual Disadvantages

-It could have negative effects of morale.
-Some work relationships could be damaged because employees could feel like they are on the same level. Respect for the higher ups could decrease.
-This less formal attire may appear unprofessional to some customers
-The attitude of employees may become casual as well.

A few thoughts to keep in mind while working in a business casual environment…

If you are new to this type of environment be sure to observe what others wear before stepping out in your idea of business casual. Always dress more formal for interviews even if the office is known to be business casual. Try to stay classy. If you are allowed to wear jeans on Friday, be sure they are clean and pressed. Leave the jeans with perfectly placed holes for the weekend. Also, be sure you aren’t wearing anything too revealing. Lastly, check you calendar before dressing laid back. They entire office may be able to dress a little more relaxed but if you show up to a meeting dressed less formal than the others in the meeting it could look very unprofessional.

I hope you enjoyed Cathy’s Tuesday Tip this week. To view more of Cathy’s Tuesday Tips, visit our blog.

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