Business casual is a term that has no exact definition. This can be a very vague term and has come to encompass a wide range of styles that were previously confined only to the work place or the business community. Business casual dress codes can be broadly divided into four different types; business casual dress code for business events, business casual dress code for private occasions, business casual dress code for formal functions, and casual dress code for casual occasions. All types are applicable to all types of social situations.
Business casual dress code for business events is one where the clothes worn to a meeting, for example a business meeting, are in keeping with the informal atmosphere and expected to be more casual than the clothes worn for other social situations. The dress code usually applies to the office environment. For instance, in a business meeting it is customary for the company representative to wear something like a business suit. However, if a business meeting takes place outside of the office, it is considered a business casual event. These events are often marked by a change of attire or a relaxed manner of dressing.
When it comes to business casual dress code for business events, the term is most commonly used in reference to the workplace. It can be used in a similar way to the term ‘business casual’ in reference to casual events at home. Some examples of businesses that use the term “business casual” include hotels, restaurants, and bars. The clothing worn by a professional business woman or professional man is expected to be in keeping with the style of professional wear and to be more casual than would be appropriate for a business meeting. Professional women and men who attend these events often have different expectations about what is acceptable to wear.
Business casual dress code for private occasions can take many forms. Some examples of private casual events would be a date or a night out on the town. In a business meeting, for example, the clothing worn is usually expected to be business-like but does not have to conform to the business casual dress code. The business casual dress code applies to the type of clothing worn and not necessarily the event itself. Although some companies still strictly enforce a dress code at work events, it is becoming less common.
At formal business meetings, however, the business casual dress code is still considered important. The reason is because a business meeting might be considered a very formal event and therefore it is assumed that the business attire worn by a professional will be at least as formal. Other factors, such as the timing of the meeting and who is giving the speech, also influence the level of formality.
A business casual dress code is also sometimes used when meeting a clientele. In a professional setting, for example, meeting a clientele outside of the work place, the business casual dress code is still applied. Meeting someone for lunch or dinner at a restaurant, for example, does not necessarily follow the same standards as meeting someone for a job interview.
One common example of business casual in the business world is to wear a business suit to an office that is used by clients. Business suits may be worn in this setting, although it is still appropriate to wear casual clothing in this setting. When meeting a client for the first time at an office, it is a good idea to have a professional casual appearance. However, it is not expected for the business woman or professional man to dress like an employee during a casual meeting. This is because the business casual dress code is still applicable.
To sum up, the meaning of business casual dress code is not exactly known but its general meaning is: casual in nature and casual in occasion. The informal nature of business attire is seen in many situations in the business such as a casual meeting or even a business meeting where there is no expectation of business.