Business Casual Dress Code

In business, there are different types of dress codes. If your organization aims to allow your employees to work comfortably in the workplace yet still project a professional image for your customers, potential employees and community visitors, you may want to establish a business casual dress code.

Here are some general approaches in creating a professional yet casual dress code for your office.

Choose which casual clothes are recommended – Not all casual clothing are suitable for the office, especially those that may not be appropriate for a professional appearance at work such as beachwear, club wear, and exercise gear. Also clothing that would reveal too much cleavage, back, chest, feet, stomach or underwear is not appropriate for a place of business. Jeans are generally not allowed.

Emphasize "presentability" – Inform your employees that even though you are advocating a casual dress code, they should make sure that they are wearing pressed and unwrinkled clothes. This creates a positive look to your work environment. Other acceptable and presentable wears include those that have your company logo on it, as well those that shows sports teams, universities, and fashion brand names. Meanwhile, torn, dirty, or frayed clothing should be unacceptable. You should also consider not allowing clothing that has words, terms, or pictures that may be offensive to other employees.

Slacks and pants – Pants that are similar to Dockers and other related "dressy" brands are recommended in a business environment. Jeans, sweatpants, Bermuda shorts, bib overalls, leggings, and any spandex and similar form-fitting pants are not allowed.

Skirts and dresses – Casual dresses and skirts, as well as skirts that are split at or below the knee, are acceptable. The length should be enough for the woman to sit comfortably in public, usually several inches below the knee. Skirted suits are also allowed. Meanwhile, short and tight skirts are inappropriate for work, as well as sun dresses and spaghetti-strap dresses.

Provide a "dress down day" – Certain days, usually on Fridays, can be declared dress down days. This means that jeans and other more casual clothing are allowed. However, continue to impose restrictions on some undesirable clothes such as those that are potentially offensive to other employees.

Shirts and tops – Casual shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, golf-type shirts, and turtlenecks are among the ideal business casual attire for work. Most suit jackets and sport jackets are also good for office, as long as these do not violate previous guidelines. Meanwhile, tank tops, midriff tops, halter tops, sweatshirts, and t-shirts without another blouse or jacket on top are not allowed for work.

Shoes and footwear – Conservative athletic or walking shoes, loafers, clogs, sneakers, boots, flats, dress heels, and leather deck-type footwear are appropriate for the office. Stockings may not be worn during hot weather. Meanwhile, flashy athletic shoes, thongs, flip-flops, slippers, and any shoes with an open toe are not acceptable in the office.

Accessories – Jewelry should be in good taste, with limited body piercing. Also, remind your employees not to wear too much perfume or make-up, as some co-employees could have allergies to the chemicals contained in them. Meanwhile, hats are not appropriate in the office, but head covers that are required for religious purposes or to honor cultural traditions should be allowed.

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