We have many cheap clothes such as black dresses in mini length, more conservative ones in midi length, and the ultimate in evening apparel in maxi length. Unlike jeans, which have their origins in blue collar workwear and can appear too casual, chinos, from military uniform, are almost never out of order. These make the perfect dresses for fall and winter, as they help keep their wearer's comfortable, snug and warm. Slub-Knit Tee Dress for Women. Those who are interviewing for a job in business, banking and wealth management, politics, academia, engineering, or health sectors should dress business formal unless otherwise instructed.
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Confusingly, business-casual is also a dress code — one that is as baffling as its inherently contradictory moniker. Which oxymoron came up with that not-too-smart idea? In a world where Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg can rock up to the office in jeans, a T-shirt and sliders, the very concept of business-casual can seem as relevant as Myspace.
You still ought to dress up — just not as far. Business-casual was born in Silicon Valley in the s. It was the product of small, self-contained, predominantly male companies that prioritised results rather than process, and spent more time in front of computer screens than other humans. The roots of Casual Friday have been traced back, possibly apocryphally, to 19th-century Brits who donned tweed suits before catching the train to their country estates for the weekend. That clarified matters — but only to an extent.
Even as late as , the Chicago Tribune newspaper was declaring: Like its name, business-casual in its strictest sense has been a mixed bag. Then as now, tech companies were perceived as cutting edge; desperate to be seen as adopting best business practices and generally look hip, other companies quickly followed no suit.
Business-casual is taking over the world. Even banks are buying in: This brings us perhaps to a working definition of business-casual in this non-conformist era: Sure, a blazer worn as a separate is less formal than a full suit.
However, keep in mind that a double-breasted, gold-buttoned number is still way too stuffy for smart-casual.
Aim for something more relaxed: A slightly shorter length also reads more casual, not to mention contemporary. Italian brands such as Boglioli, Barena and Aspesi have this game on lock, but you can find solid examples at the premium end of the high street with the likes of Reiss and J. If even the most relaxed form of tailoring feels too uptight, a shawl-collar cardigan is a viable business-casual alternative. Just avoid chunky ribbing, outdoorsy toggles or folksy patterns — you are still there to work after all.
With its connotations of military and therefore uniform , a lightweight bomber can do double duty as a blazer. The key here is opting for a dark colour such as navy, in a less utilitarian fabric like wool, cotton or linen instead of the usual shiny nylon.
You might want to balance the casualness of these options out with a smarter button-up shirt rather than a T-shirt, and trousers or chinos instead of jeans. A crew-neck style is eminently more modern, and sportier. On a similar note, you could also deploy a knitted bomber or zip-up track top.
In the same way that a rigidly tailored blazer is smart-casual overkill, a stiff-collared Jermyn Street shirt is too, well, stiff. A soft-collared button-down is a much better option, in a fabric such as Oxford rather than shiny poplin. Again, button-down shirts can look a little bit too stock photo; swapping Oxford cloth for chambray or denim adds a touch of ranch-hand roughness, and visual interest. A grandad or collarless shirt meanwhile looks modern , and not like you forgot your tie.
This can also be worn under a blazer as an alternative to a traditional button-down. Finding the right kind to wear with a blazer can be tricky: Swapping the shirt with a T-shirt, or the brogues with trainers, will also adjust the levels. Something beefier, more textured and less suit-like will lend itself more naturally to being worn with casual pieces and fabrics, such as denim. A flat front and roll-ups skew more casual; pleats and creases, smarter.
Tapering will prevent them looking too dad-like. And thanks to the athleisure revolution, you can now get trousers and chinos with a jogger-style drawstring waist, making them more casual, contemporary and comfortable. These look best with an untucked shirt, polo or T-shirt. On the other side of the athleisure coin, you can get dressier joggers that are more like trousers with a tailored waistband, no cuff at the ankle and even pleats or creases.
But unless your game is tight, and your office dress code lax, play it safe with some actual trousers. Most style guides will typically tell you to buy dark blue jeans, preferably in unwashed selvedge denim.
Black and navy is also a surprisingly sophisticated colour combination. Avoid jeans with too much extraneous detailing and stay off the ripped knee bandwagon; a clean, modern pair will fit more seamlessly into your minimalist, normcore uniform. As with chinos, turn-ups will make any jean, and indeed outfit, instantly more casual. Brogues will therefore put you on a solid, smart-casual footing, but a chunky Derby can look more contemporary, and carries a hint of Dr.
Like T-shirts, trainers can be tricky in a smart-casual context. As with any shoe, the other consideration is sleekness. Trainers are already inherently casual, so while you can get away with a chunky dress shoe, a high-top will be way too informal.
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