YOU Magazine - December 2015 - What ''Business Casual'' Really Means
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Roy Sperr Jason Walters and Shawn Hunter     Roy Sperr Jason Walters and Shawn Hunter
NMLS: 202418/295556/348864
Equity Source Mortgage, Inc.
Phone: Roy (763) 657-2012
Phone: Shawn (763) 657-2017
Equity Source Mortgage, Inc.
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What ''Business Casual'' Really Means

What ''Business Casual'' Really Means

"You don't sell for what you're worth unless you look good."—Lady Bird Johnson

One career roadblock repeatedly stalls career advancement in almost every line of work: inappropriate dress around the workplace and at work-related events. You may be highly intelligent, well-qualified and extraordinarily capable, and still be disqualified or dismissed by leaving the "business" out of business casual.

These days, many employers tend to show a wider tolerance for business wear than in the past—ranging from formal, to "smart casual," to "casual Friday." There doesn't seem to be a firm consensus on what "business casual" means. Common definitions usually include:

FOR WOMEN: Choose short or long-sleeve tops depending on the weather or time of day instead of sleeveless. Try different combinations of tops and sweaters with a skirt or slacks. Jeans should normally be avoided as well as yoga-style pants. For footwear, boots, closed-toe or open-toe shoes that cover most of the foot are usually appropriate.

FOR MEN: Shirts and sweaters come in an endless variety of colors and patterns. Avoid Hawaiian-style prints and straight bottom shirts that don't tuck into pants. Ties are not necessary. Footwear should cover the entire foot and be clean. Slacks and corduroy pants are fine, but not jeans. Khakis and polo shirts are common. If there's any doubt, wear slacks and a button-up shirt.

FOR BOTH: Jackets or sport coats are a great accessory and can come in handy if an event turns out to be more formal than expected. Make it a practice to carry one, just in case.

Deciding what's appropriate for "business casual" dress means thinking about your industry, the size of your company, your personal interaction with customers, as well as the geography, climate, culture and average age of your workforce and clientele. It never hurts to ask a supervisor or team leader for their input. But more importantly, when you want to convey that you really mean business, make sure to look the part.

Sources: Forbes, Business Insider

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