Business Casual Clothing

Casual wear is acceptable in some businesses in the Western world. In the USA, 43% of non self employed works wear casual business clothing. Casual street wear comes in at 28%, followed by uniforms at 19%, with 9% going for informal business attire.

Business casual examples

Generally, business casual means to dress professionally, but looking relaxed, whilst still neat and pulled together. They are a middle ground between formal wear and street wear.
Business men's casual clothing is usually a pair of grey or black cotton trousers with a belt, and a coloured long sleeved shirt or polo shirt, with no suit jacket. Shirts must have a collar, and be tucked into trousers.

For women, it is often a pair of dark trousers, which are fairly loose in the leg, or a reasonable length skirt (so not a mini skirt), and a white or coloured shirt, not necessarily with long sleeves. A dress of an appropriate length may also be worn.

Gym clothes, rumpled or ripped clothing, mini skirts, underwear as outerwear, revealing outfits which display midriffs etc, and flip flops are not acceptable. Many companies also do not like open toed shoes, or shorts. Neck ties and cufflinks are not required for business casual wear, but shirts should be able to accommodate a tie if needed, therefore people can go from the office to meeting clients without changing their whole outfit. Only 33% of men wear a tie to work, and 60% wear one occasionally. 18% wear one on every working day.


Jeans are not usually tolerated in work environments, although if they are a smart black pair and the company is fairly relaxed this can often be fine. If they are worn with a shirt also, then this makes the outfit look more sophisticated.


With further regards to footwear, trainers are never acceptable, and are more for sports or casual wear. Women have a big choice of shoes they can opt for, from boots, to flat shoes or high heels. As long as they are black, navy or brown, and are smart and not too dressy, they should be fine. Also heels should not be too high. Men must wear leather shoes with dark socks going up to the mid calf.


Women can carry a small to medium simple hand bag, often black leather is the best choice. It should be more structured and firm than floppy. Avoid glitter, tassels and bold prints. Canvas and straw are not appropriate. Jewellery and scarves, if kept simple are fine, and one wrist watch also. Steer clear of extreme styles and colours. Make up should be simple and natural.
Men should never wear earrings or other visible piercings, and one wrist watch is acceptable. Scarves are also suitable, but should be removed once at work. A briefcase for either gender is also common in office and formal environments. Facial hair should be kept to a minimum, otherwise well groomed.

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