Business Casual vs. Business Formal

closeup stack of folded mens dress shirts, solid white, plaid, solid blue

Are you interviewing for a position, starting a new job, or just brushing up on the rules of the average workplace? One thing that will benefit you in all these situations and more is understanding the language of dress codes--specifically, the difference between business casual and business formal. Let's take a closer look!

The Basics of Businesswear

The most important thing to remember about any dress code is that your professional wardrobe reflects your values, your company, and your dedication as an employee. Different positions have different rules about what is appropriate to wear. In many cases, the standards may not be strict--but you still want to appear professional, reliable, knowledgeable, and organized. You also want to avoid any logos or images that may be considered offensive, no matter how casual your company's dress code may be.

Now, let's get into the specifics: business casual vs. business formal.

Casual vs. Formal: For Men

Business casual attire for men is comfortable without being too casual. Although a tie is optional, you'll still want to choose long-sleeved button-down shirts with collars, and don't forget the leather shoes and belt.

Business formal describes a stricter wardrobe. Choose a solid-colored suit, a conservative tie, and dark socks with leather shoes.

Casual vs. Formal: For Women

Business casual attire for women gives you a little more freedom to play with your wardrobe. Solid colors are best, but you can try some patterns, as long as the clothing has the appropriate style for your workplace, of course. You can also choose between pants and a skirt depending on your mood.

Business formal generally requires a solid-colored suit and a coordinated blouse. Remember to go light on makeup, jewelry, and perfume until you fully understand the expectations in your workplace.

Are you looking for more wardrobe tips? Need business casual or business formal attire? Contact us today!