Business Dress Dilemma – Choosing Between Causal and Formal Work Wear

The increase in popularity of casual work wear can be traced back to the time when dot com businesses started popping up in the USA and UK and CEOs and business executives, who were becoming younger each year, deemed casual clothing, even as informal as caps and T shirts, acceptable office wear. The premise was that people are more productive if they’re comfortable. By the start of the nineties, less than a quarter of all companies had some sort of casual wear policy and by the end almost ninety percent of companies had embraced a casual wear policy. Even large multinationals, such as Coco Cola and General Motors, now have a casual dress code.   

However, some stoic employers have resisted conforming to the casual approach and have kept their dress code strictly ‘pin-stripes and ties’ professional. Casual Fridays are considered a compromise between the two dress codes, yet some companies believe that employees are less productive on this day because of the holiday atmosphere casual wear gives to the workplace. In general, companies with a casual policy prefer their employees to dress ‘business causal’ which means that jeans and revealing clothing is a definite no-no, while cotton trousers, polo neck shirts  and semi-casual dresses make the work wear grade.  

As far as employee’s attitudes go, they also tend to be in two camps. Many believe in “dressing for success”, while others think that people have a right to express their personality through their fashion at work, by having dreadlocks and displaying tattoos. As company policies have become even more sensitive to the cultural and religious beliefs of their work force, it has become even trickier to enforce dress codes and criticise people for the way they choose to dress. The generation gap between employees also poses a problem, as younger bosses and employees are more comfortable with casual work wear, while the older generations often deem it ‘inappropriate’.

An argument in favour of formal work wear, such as suits and jackets, is that it not only looks smarter than most casual wear, but is also more flattering. The moulded designs hide a multitude of sins and bring out people’s best assets, tastefully. Yet, clothing and uniform companies have managed to combine the best of both worlds, by creating fashionable and flattering casual work wear lines. This might just be the right compromise for companies who can’t solve the work wear dilemma, as well as for employees who wish to have a choice. Instead of enforcing rules for formal wear, an office could have basic guidelines for what type of casual clothes are appropriate. Alternatively, they could invest in custom made casual work wear, such as jackets embroidered with the company logo, to supply to the staff.

How Difficult it is to Stick to Business Dress-Code!

The current article is dedicated to all modern-thinking business women who are able to find time for shopping and following fashion despite all the harshes in the business world. I know how difficult it is to be in fashion and to attract partners not going beyond the boundaries of common business dress-code. We have to wear clothes only of particular faded colors (brown, black, whine, beige). No bright dresses,no gaudy accessories. We have to be modest, but self-confident. According to modern pattern of thinking a business woman may achieve success in her field, but she should not show it off.

Well, you see, that it’s very hard to correspond to overall requirements and stick to your own style and fashion views. Business dress-code is something intangible. It should be worked out by numerous tries, and no one will teach you how to survive.

If you are successful, you can afford luxury accessories. Why not spend a thousand dollars on a handbag? Imagine, that you will be a happy owner of a Fendi handbag. It is expensive, but Italian fashion house is respectful and can underline your independence. You can recognize Fendi handbags at once. Fendi handbags have a very outstanding logo on them. You surely remember two letter F in gold. The other recognizable feature is high-quality leather. I let myself say that Fendi handbags are really masterpieces in the world of accessories for present-day business women. Besides it you can choose any other quality item, which suits to your look. You don’t need to look like a monster to scare your competitors and to show them your power. A clever business shark can hide its teeth. You can hide them with the help of Fendi accessories. They look lightweight, but solid. They are of different design, so that you will be able to wear them not only in office, but also for going out.

Great Tips on Business Dress and Business Casual For Men

Adhering to a business casual dress code often poses a challenge for many men. You want to be comfortable and relaxed, yet still maintain a professional look. On the contrary, when maintaining a business dress etiquette, where do you draw the line on incorporating sportswear? Whether you’re a young professional just starting to build your wardrobe, or are well seasoned in the business world and want to add new inspiration to your men’s apparel, you’re in luck. Discover the differences between business dress and business casual for men and how to incorporate the appropriate style for your situation.

What to wear: Every work environment is different. What may be considered appropriate for business casual in some work spaces, may be too casual for others. Your best bet? Check out what your co-workers and leaders are wearing. You don’t have to copy their style, but it will give you an idea of how to dress business casual.

  • Suits and suit separates: A fine suit is the prime differentiating factor between business dress and business casual. The standard business dress code always requires a tie. A suit made from fine materials, well-fitting dress shirt, and silk tie are go-to items for business dress. However, make sure your suit, shirts and ties are clean and pressed each time you wear them. Wearing fine clothes that sport stains, rips or tears can be worse than not adhering to a business dress code at all. And in most cases, you can remove your jacket once you’re in the office or a meeting.
  • Dress trousers and khakis: Dress trousers are always suitable for any business casual dress code. Depending on your work environment, khakis will most likely be considered appropriate business casual apparel. Pair either with a sportshirt or turtleneck, sportcoat and leather shoes for a professional yet comfortable look.
  • Dress shirts: Dress shirts balance the look of your outfit and visually complement your accessories. For a business casual dress code, try pairing a pinpoint dress shirt with tweed trousers, penny loafers, a leather belt and cashmere scarf, and you’ll look instantly dashing. When adhering to a business dress code, a point collar is the most versatile for business or dress. Button-down collars look best with a sportcoat and khaki pants; they are not typically worn with a suit. Also, look for dress shirts that come in wrinkle-free and stain resistant materials. They’ll keep you looking fresh even during your busy travel schedule.
  • Shoes: Shoes are a versatile category. Many dress shoes that can be worn with a suit, can also be paired with your business casual attire. Tuxedo shoes, or black patent leather dress shoes, are too dressy for the office and should be reserved for black tie affairs. Historically, sneakers have been too casual, although designers are coming out with more sophisticated styles that may be appropriate for your work setting. Choose a pair of shoes that offer clean, crisp lines and are made from genuine leather. Be sure to treat them with a leather protector and clean them regularly, as a shoddy pair of shoes can instantly spoil an entire outfit.
  • Briefcase/laptop bag: A distressed leather mail carrier style bag, messenger bag and laptop case in subdued shades is acceptable for a business casual work environment. For business dress, however, a briefcase is best. Look for a classic case in a versatile shade such as cognac, burgundy or black.

What not to wear: Be forewarned in case you were debating wearing any of the following to work:

  • Obnoxious t-shirts: Wearing a soft tee shirt made from finely woven cotton underneath a V neck sweater is perfectly fine for business casual apparel. However, wearing your Spring Break tee from 1999 is not. Prominently displayed logos can look tacky as well. Save the raucous bachelor shirts for weekend use only.
  • Jerseys of any kind: Absolutely not. No. Not ever. A basketball, football, baseball, or any other kind of sports jersey is never appropriate for the office. The same goes with baseball caps, giant finger gloves, track jackets, or any other sports apparel you’re tempted to wear on a day when you’re not feeling so fresh. Others will notice your lack of effort and inappropriate attire immediately.
  • Sandals: While flip-flops have a charming, beach-hippie sort of appeal, you should avoid wearing them in a business casual work environment. No matter the designer or materials, they are simply too casual for the office.