Casual smart fashion

Business Casual: woman in sleeveless top (left), women in trousers and skirt (right).

A man in what can be considered as men's Business Casual, 2010

For the albums, see Business Casual (Beep Beep album) and Business Casual (Chromeo album).

Business casual is an ambiguously defined dress code that has been adopted by many professional and white-collar workplaces in Western countries. It entails neat yet casual attire and is generally more casual than informal attire but more formal than casual or smart casual attire. Casual Fridays preceded widespread acceptance of business casual attire in many offices.


There is no generally agreed definition of "business casual". One definition of business casual states that it includes khaki pants, slacks, and skirts, as well as short-sleeved polo shirts and long-sleeved shirts, but excludes jeans, tennis shoes, tight or short skirts, T-shirts, and sweatshirts.[1] Another source, an American university careers service, states that business casual consists of neutral colors more towards the dark shades of black, gray, navy, but can include white and off white, and reminds that the clothing should be pressed and have clean, crisp seams.[2] The "Dress for Success" advice from the University of Toronto sums up business casual as "a classic, clean cut, and put together look where a full suit is not required," which means slacks, khakis, or skirts; blouses, polo shirts, or shirts with collar but no necktie; some sweaters; and closed-toe shoes.[3] The Canadian university ends with the warning that "it is not clothing you would wear to a club or for athletic purposes.... Don’t let the word casual mislead you. You still need to look professional."[3]

Another author wrote in the Financial Times that "Ordinarily business casual for guys seems fairly clear. It is a pair of chinos, a blazer and a good shirt, no tie."[4]

A BBC article suggested that a "safe global standard" consists of "a button down shirt," "jackets or blazers, khaki or gray slacks, and leather shoes."[5] It warned, however, that great variation exists between countries and regions within countries.[5] A U.S. menswear retailer advises men to wear a collared shirt, chinos, navy blazer, and brown shoes, while making sure to look "clean and well-groomed."[6]

A contributor to Forbes asked her Facebook friends to define business casual, and found an apparent consensus on "For men: trousers/khakis and a shirt with a collar. For women: trousers/knee-length skirt and a blouse or shirt with a collar. No jeans. No athletic wear." A response to that was "I disagree. No khakis." She states that "there’s a lack of consensus in what actually defines a business casual wardrobe. All most casual smart fashion people know is they don’t want to see too much smart of a colleague’s body, including feet."[7]


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