The terms “business casual” and “business professional” are often used interchangeably, with many men assuming they refer to the same style. There’s no denying the fact that both styles share some similarities in terms of looks and function. However, business casual and business professional are two unique styles with their own characteristics. To learn more about about the nuances between business casual and business professional, keep reading.
Business Professional lives up to its namesake by featuring a more formal and professional look. It’s often worn by office workers, many of whom are required to wear it as part of their company’s dress code.
There’s no single right way to create a business professional look, although most revolve around a suit (trousers with matching jacket or coat), along with a necktie, wristwatch and matching footwear. Of course, you should also pay attention to your grooming habits, as this will influence your business professional appearance. Ideally, you should maintain a clean, shaven face, with your hair properly styled.
On the other side of the fence is business casual. Unlike its business professional counterpart, this style is not 100% formal. Rather, it maintains a delicate balance between formal and casual. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can wear jeans and a t-shirt. When dressing in business casual, you need to embrace at least some formal elements in your outfit. Jeans, for instance, are perfectly fine when paired with a button-up shirt and blazer.
Many companies are jumping on board with business casual, as it creates a clean appearance without the overbearing characteristics of business professional.
Here are some tips on how to create a business casual look:
- Don’t go overboard with your shoes. Boots and even some non-formal shoes are perfectly acceptable for business casual.
- Always press or iron your clothes before heading out the door. Just because it has the word “casual” in it doesn’t mean it’s okay to wear wrinkled clothes in a business casual outfit.
- Choose dark colors. While there’s no rule stating that you must wear dark colors in business casual attire, this is a great all-around choice due its natural formal look.
- Wear a blazer. One of the easiest ways to turn an everyday casual outfit into a business casual outfit is to wear a blazer.
- Tuck in your shirt. When your shirt is left untucked, it’s next-to-impossible to create a business casual look, so always tuck your shirt into your pants’ waistline.