Business attire has significantly changed over the past couple of years and too many people have forgotten its importance. And while some companies encourage employees to dress casually and freely for the sake of comfort, some are still strict on their policies and prefer a more professional and defined dress code. The latter usually applies when employees have to interact with clients, business partners and prospects on a daily basis.
That being said, a lot of conflicts arise when employees prefer to dress comfortably, or in the most contemporary styles rather than realising the importance of looking professional or more conservative. However, they have to understand that the business that employs them enforces those rules for the purpose of presenting a visual image that sends a clear message of professionalism.
But believe it or not, it’s possible to accomplish both being comfortable, and looking professional by wearing the increasingly popular casual men business attire. Unfortunately for women, there’s not really an equivalent of the casual business attire that they can take advantage of. That being said, let’s focus on the what defines the men business attire.
You can get away with wearing business casual clothes in virtually any field, including: white collar jobs, service industry jobs, at young startups and everywhere in between. However, if you’re just starting at a new job, it’s best you don’t risk it and dress up for your first day. Only when you see how everyone else around you is dressed, you can downgrade and adapt. If you still can’t tell what’s appropriate or not, ask a superior or a coworker.
When building your business casual wardrobe, you need to pick carefully in order to achieve maximum versatility with minimum effort. You’ll usually have to combine a blazer, shirt, trousers and shoes, along with some extras, such as knits, polos and a couple of accessories. However, the most important thing to pay attention to, by far, is ensuring everything fits you just right. Nothing ruins an outfit like an ill-fitted trousers, shirt or jacket.
The blazer (jacket) resembles a suit, except it’s cut more casually and can be combined with virtually anything. Your blazer should have you covered in the summer, winter and everything in between. The 3 blazers you should consider are the classic navy, the grey tweed and the beige pure cotton or linen-blend. When it comes to the shirt, you can’t go wrong with an Oxford shirt. Oxford shirts come in many colours and patterns, and you can wear them all-year round.
The trousers have become more important than ever due to the fact that suit jackets are not as popular anymore. Classic coloured trousers like navy and camel and chinos, or grey or beige will fit into virtually any look. In some workplaces, even jeans are allowed, but it’s best you still go with some more formal, denim jeans that have no rips or heavy fading. Lastly, the shoes you wear shouldn’t be anything “less” than clean cut sneakers (check with your supervisor!) or dress shoe classics if you want to play it safe.