As the years pass, new and exciting trends are always coming and going. Some trends stick around and remain exciting and current, while others just fade away. When we think of what the word “professional attire” means, we gravitate to the impression of a three-piece suit with a tie and dress shoes. This is still considered professional business attire. However, with our ever-growing society of entrepreneurs and more relaxed working environments, we are seeing a switch to more casual professional attire.
From office to office, style expectations vary; although certain industries will always demand a professional look. Think finance or law for example, where suits and ties are a day-in, day-out requirement. In some ways, this makes things simpler. One can assume professional attire almost always means.
- Suits (with tie) for men, paired with a solid-colored dress shirt
- Neutral colors and conservative footwear
- Clean grooming, ironed clothes and attention paid to the details
On the other side of the spectrum is business casual. First things first, this is not casual in the way you may expect — even if we sometimes wish it was. In other words, sneakers and T-shirts do not generally apply. The key is to maintain a professional presence, even if you’re not in a suit or tie. Remember, you represent your organization, so you want to make an effort, no matter what day of the week.
- Assuming that denim is permitted (hint: don’t just check the employee handbook—look around), jeans that are well-tailored (wide leg or boot cut), in a dark wash.
- Neutrals—think black, white, navy, tan, grey, brown—which are never out of style and always boss-approved
- With business casual, your collection needs more than just a basic black dress shoe. Since you’re dressing down your threads, make your shoes stand out with a unique shades—such as brown and navy hues—or intricate detail. Style wise, stick to a loafer, oxford, derby or brogue. Depending on the outing and weather, you may also be able to get away with a dress boot, which is more casual.
With all this said, don’t stress when you’re unsure about whether to dress “professional” or “business casual.” I suggest coming up with a few go-to looks for either occasion, so when you get the memo, you know what to wear without having to run around trying to find an outfit. Either way though, in my opinion, always better to overdress than underdress.
Thanks for stopping by
| Jimmy |