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The preferred dress codes of many businesses in America have seen a sharp decline in formality over the last few decades. In some cases, ”casual Friday” has taken over much of the work week and one can even find office workers in certain departments in jeans and t-shirts most of the time. When meeting clients and interacting with higher-ups isn’t part of the job description, keeping the business look in your employees’ closets can be difficult. What does the term ”business casual” mean to modern workers?
For women, business casual is a style of dress that is more conservative than ordinary casual wear. Coverage is a key component of business casual dress in that hemlines should never be shorter than the knee and necklines shouldn’t expose cleavage. Stockings may or may not be a part of your workplace’s identity and it is usually best to err on the side of ”too formal” if you’re unsure. While beige, black and navy are always go-to essentials for pants, skirts and jackets, you can also toss on a bit of color in a scarf, belt or other accessory without losing your corporate look.
For men, ”business casual” often means you can forgo the suit and tie in favor of a jacket or shirt and tie. Khakis, loafers and polos can also be part of a man’s work wardrobe. Knit pullovers, sweaters and turtlenecks all look great under a wool jacket during the cooler months and keep a man looking pulled-together. Whenever in doubt, check out what your boss is wearing, and remember to dress for the position you want, not the one you have.