Decoding Business Casual
March 31, 2023

Decoding Business Casual

What Does Business Casual Mean?

What’s the most common style challenge professional men find themselves in? Understanding what to possibly wear in a business casual workplace.
Gone are the days when men are required to wear a suit and tie to work every day. Most workplaces are loosening up their dress codes.
While this has been a welcome change, it has left many people trying to wrap their minds around business casual.


What is Business Casual?

Unlike stricter dress codes like black tie, business casual is very loosely defined and different offices will interpret it differently. 
Find out what business casual means at your job. Look around at what  people are wearing and consider your office style as a whole. 
Are most people in sports coats and button-up shirts? Then your place probably leans on the business side. Are there more guys in jeans, sneakers and polos? Your place probably falls closer to the casual side of the scale.


The ‘More Means More Casual’ Rule

How do you figure out if something is too casual? 

The MORE details a piece of clothing has, the MORE casual it is. 

Think graphic tee vs the plan white tee. The simpler, more minimal the design, the more formal it will be.

The MORE colourful, the MORE casual.

When it comes to formality, neutral colours come off more professional and formal. Case in point - a light blue suit is more casual than a dark navy suit.

The MORE trendy, the MORE casual.

Items that rank higher in the formal scale tend to be more classic, timeless designs. Floral print shirts and athleisure pants can be safely placed in the casual section.


Let’s say you work in a standard 9-to-5 office that requires business casual attire. Here’s what your outfits for the week might look like:

Style Tips: Avoid these clichés

No: Tees Yes: Polo Shirts

The right polo shirt is your business casual secret weapon. It’s “dressier” than a t-shirt but more comfortable than a button-up.Plus, it works well under your jackets. Avoid polos made of pique cotton with huge logos, go for one with a more luxurious feel.

No: Gingham Shirt Yes: Striped Shirt

A striped shirt is always a better option if you want a break from solids. A fine striped shirt looks solid and professional from a distance. Up close, as the stripes become apparent, you subtly stand out without going overboard.

No: Chinos Yes: Cotton Dress Pants

The casualness of chinos cotton and the way it moves and folds makes it miss the mark when you want to look sharp and professional. Instead, go for wrinkle-resistant cotton blend pants that delivers the sharpness of wool trousers with the comfort of a chino.

No: Backpack Yes: Leather Messenger

Canvas backpacks make you look sloppy and unprofessional. Their straps can be unforgiving on nice tailoring like your blazer or sports jacket. Choose a smart looking leather messenger instead. Most come with multiple compartments to keep you organised on the go and the leather exterior naturally gives it a smart, classic look.

No matter what level of business casual your job is, we’re confident you will crush it now with your solid understanding of what business casual means.