This is an excerpt from the book First Impressions Last about Business Casual:
There are events, activities, and invitations that list the dress code as Business Casual. This category is also listed in employee handbooks and needs to be carefully defined as most have no idea what this means. How much business needs to be worked in? How casual is too casual? Even those who work in the fashion industry do not understand what Business Casual is and need it defined for them. When Business Casual needs to be clarified for those that create fashion, it is obvious that this is trickier than most, much less a human resources person that is writing dress code.
That fact that you can wear Business Casual clothing does not mean you give up and just throw on a t-shirt and pair of yoga pants with flip flops. NO! This is never acceptable, even on the weekend. Business Casual means taking the Everyday Professional look down one notch and there are just as many options from dresses to skirts, trousers to denim. The general rule for Business Casual is this – that outfit that you were not sure that you could wear for Everyday Professional fits in the Business Casual category.
Follow these easy steps:
Make sure that your look is working for you rather than you, working for it. Don’t put things on that need any type of adjustment through the day. That will drive you crazy. Casual also means easy to deal with.
The opportunity to wear Business Casual should offer the chance to ease back on the throttle, just a bit, and be more relaxed. Stressing over possible wardrobe malfunctions shouldn’t be part of the plan.
If you are not sure that an outfit is appropriate for Business Casual, it is not. Do not look like you have given up or just do not care.