Business casual is a term used to describe a type of office dress code or clothing style that is a little more casual than traditional business wear. Many employers adopt this dress code in an effort to allow employees to feel more comfortable on the job and to have more freedom of expression through their choice of attire. Although business casual is casual, it also doesn't mean that anything goes.
1) Ask for specific expectations: If you're not sure what your company's policy is, ask the HR rep. Dress more conservatively on the first day if you have no other coworkers to benchmark your attire against.
Business casual is often thrown out there to describe how your employer thinks you should dress at work. The problem is that the expectations of individual companies often differ. For example, one company might want you to dress in business attire, minus a suit coat and tie, while another company may encourage you to wear khakis or jeans. When you are told to dress business casual, it is best to ask for details. Ask if your employer has an employee handbook that more clearly delineates the company's business casual policy.
2) Observe other employees: Look around and see what the other employees are wearing; this is a good gauge of what your employer expects when they say business casual.
3) Dress formally for interviews: If you're going on an interview and you don't know what your interviewer expects you to wear, the standard is business formal. Remember, it's better to be overdressed than underdressed.
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.
If no clothing type is specified, and the company you're interviewing for is outside the sectors listed above, stick with business casual.
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