Business Casual Guidelines for Men
For many careers, dressing for the job is easy. You work with your hands, so you wear uniforms to keep your own clothes from getting destroyed. You work in administration, so you wear a suit and tie to let everyone know you mean business, and you are a force to be reckoned with. When it comes to business casual dress, it can be a bit more difficult to settle on a wardrobe that conveys a professional attitude with a casual manner. Use the guidelines below to help you manage your wardrobe for the workday.
Invest in Blazers
No matter what type of businessa you are in, it's always good to have a blazer on hand. Business casual dress means you don't have to wear a tie, but a blazer can add a polished look to just about anything. You don't necessarily have to keep it on all day, but you should always at least have one in your office to throw on for a last minute meeting or something similar.
Buttons for the Win
When you think about business dress, casual or not, buttons are sometimes the keys to success. Whether it's a dress shirt or a polo shirt, even a few buttons help add to a polished look. That doesn't mean that a Hawaiian shirt with a neon flower print is a good choice. The idea is to start, not end, the shopping with buttons in mind.
When it comes to pants, you have a wide variety of choices, as long as they aren't jeans and they don't have wrinkles. From linen to corduroy, a pair of slacks with a neutral tone, or one that matches your shirt is a good choice. Casual business is not the same as a day on the couch at home. No matter what slacks you opt for, make sure they are free of wrinkles or stains. Even khakis are a good choice for business casual.
Shoes Seal the Deal
Don't go too far into the realm of casual dress when it comes to your shoes. Tennis shoes are not acceptable business casual attire, unless your human resource manager tells you otherwise. Neither are crocs or flip flops. Casual dress day isn't Beach Bum Day. Instead, opt for loafers or Oxfords, so that you offer a polished look that may be the thing that lends the “business” portion to the rest of your outfit.
If you are trying to move up in the company, avoid going too casual. If you want to emulate the way someone else dresses, look to the guy who is the most successful, rather than the guys who are on the same level as you. Yes, you want your work shirts to be casual, but you still need to convey the message that you take your position seriously. On top of how others (like your boss) might perceive you, getting dressed for work also helps put you in the mindset of the business at hand, rather than the coming weekend.