As a free soul and a fashion addict, I could never really reconcile with the demands of dress codes. Still, having people’s jobs oftentimes depend on the right attire, and people being sure that one cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure, makes the dress code a thing to be reckoned with.

Now, from your guys’ questions, I understand there is quite a confusion between what smart casual and business casual is. Well, as fashion extends its boundaries, dress codes become more and more narrow-fielded. Smart Casual is more common in Europe than in America but it’s gaining popularity as well. The key is to this code is to pick a business outfit and then replace some items with more casual alternatives.  Smart casual dress is a step up from business casual, but not as dressy as formal work attire. Smart casual implies that employees have kicked their dressing up a notch from business casual in a smart and well-pulled-together look. This dress code can be thought of as ‘dressed down smart’.

Smart casual dress codes are followed in workplaces such as academia and workplaces that serve customers but don’t need to create the impression of competence and reliability as lawyers and financial advisers need to do. Business casual tends to require a more conservative style of dress while smart casual can be more fashion-forward.Presenters at business conferences, where attendees attend casually dressed, often wear smart casual clothing. Smart casual should make you look sharp, stylish and neatly put together. This is your opportunity to pair denim with a cool blazer. Trousers, vests and ties are other great options to bring into the mix. If you are resorting to denim, make sure there are no holes – they should look somewhat dressy.

Business Casual refers to a relaxed version of business attire.  It’s more casual than your traditional power business attire that’s very formal and uncomfortable to wear. If they say to dress business casual, break it down to simpler terms: dress business, but be casual. This can mean dress pants and a nicely fitted blouse. Could be a collared shirt and khakis. When it comes to jeans, opinions differ. Some consider that jeans have their rightful place in the business casual, other think they don’t, unless it’s Friday! Khakis or skirts for women are commonly worn. Business casual attire is what an average person would wear to an average office on an average day. This will vary depending on your job and age, but think dress shirts and blouses, khakis, knee-length skirts and dresses, and (sometimes) a nice, non-ripped pair of jeans. They key is looking professional and cleaned up without looking too uncomfortable or stuffy, so there’s no need for a full-on suit here. Business Casual is the most common dress code for office jobs in America and it’s what you would think of when you think ‘relaxed but corporate’. The key to this dress code is to think of a casual outfit and then add in dressier items.


You May Also Like