In General...

Bill Gates in business-casual attire.

In contrast with the dress code of many blue-collar and service workers, business-casual dress is not a uniform. In contrast to business informal, there is no generally accepted definition of business casual wear; its interpretation differs widely among organizations and is often a cause of confusion.

The New York Times cites job search engine's definition:

"In general, business casual means dressing professionally, looking relaxed yet neat and pulled together."

An employment counseling office at an American university defines business casual dress as a middle ground between business formal wear and street wear. The following are examples of appropriate workplace apparel from some organizations with a business-casual dress code:

  • for women: A reasonable length skirt (not mini-skirt) or full-length trousers of a non-jeans material combined with a top (such as a dress shirt, polo, or sweater set) is considered acceptable. An informal dress with appropriate skirt length is also acceptable.
  • for men: A combination of collared shirt (such as a dress shirt or polo shirt), cotton trousers(such as khakis) with a belt, and dress shoes (such as loafers) with socks is generally acceptable
  • Unacceptable for either gender: gym clothes, rumpled or ripped clothing, miniskirts, underwear as outerwear, inappropriately revealing attire such as bare midriffs, and flip-flops. Many corporations also frown upon open-toed shoes and any shorts.

Neckties and cufflinks are not required for business casual dress. Business casual dress should be able to accommodate a tie if needed, however. Of the 33% of men who wear a necktie to work, 60% wear a necktie occasionally, while only 18% wear them all the time.

Business casual. (2010, March 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:52, March 17, 2010, from

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