Business Casual Dress Code

The business casual dress code for men is actaully straight forward and simple. Problems arise when men try to take poetic license and think they can pull off jeans because they think they look good.

Business Casual Dress; What it's NOT

Sometimes in order to define something it helps to declare what it's NOT. Therefore here are a couple points to consider when declaring what is NOT business casual

  • Jeans and/or Shorts are not business casual - it doesn't matter if your wearing a tie...NOT BUSINESS CASUAL!
  • Sneakers, work boots, driving shoes, slippers, mocassins....Not!
  • T-shirts (long sleeve or short)...you guessed it, not business casual!

What is Business Casual Dress Code

We'll start from the floor and work our way up

  • Leather Dress Shoes; Lace-up or Loafer
  • Business casual shoes are leather dress shoes either lace-up or loafers. See Mens Dress Shoes for specific examples. Any dress shoe shown on that page will meet business casual expectations

  • Slacks, Trousers, Khaki or Chino
  • Business casual pants are dress pants or trousers that are usually made of wool, cotton or polyester and/or some blend. If the trousers can pair nicely with a suit jacket, sport coat or blazer then they are probably acceptable. Jeans are not business casual and as stated previously, shorts are not either

  • Belt that Matches your Shoes
  • A fine leather belt that pairs well with the color or your leather shoes is an essential touch to business casual dress code

  • Dress Shirt with a Collar
  • Dress shirts are long sleeved, button up shirts with a turndown collar suitable for pairing with a tie when necessary. Short sleeved cotton polo shirts or "golf shirts" are borderline acceptable business casual dress shirts. Occasionally if the fabric is fine, the shirt is pressed and worn with pressed slacks and leather shoes, a gentleman might "pull it off" if he's not a slob. However, to be on the safe side, stick with long sleeved dress shirts.

Example: Business Casual Dress Shoes

Business Casual Dress Shoes

Example: Business Casual Pants or Slacks

Business Casual Dress Slacks

Example: Business Casual Dress Shirts

Business Casual Dress Shirts

Business Casual Two Final Points

  1. Wear Socks: Socks should be darker than your trousers
  2. Wear a T-Shirt: T-Shirt should be clean & white and always be worn with a dress shirt

That's it, quite simple actually. When in doubt, dress more conservatively. It's always a good idea to pay attention to your surroundings. Pay attention to the dress culture and what others seems to deem acceptable. Business casual is loosely defined everywhere and your best bet is to stick with the definition above until you get comfortable with your environment and figure out where the soft spots are.

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