If you’re an aspiring professional, college student or even a seasoned veteran of the business world, you’ve probably heard the term “business casual” before. This term is frequently used, and can even be disguised as phrases such as “casual Fridays” or “dress-down Friday.” Even though it is a frequently used term, there are still a lot of misconceptions about what it truly means. Here are three of those misconceptions debunked:
- Business casual is the same as cocktail attire—This is often a mistake people make, and though overdressing is always better than underdressing for a work-related event, there are distinct differences between the two. Cocktail attire generally consists of knee length dresses for women and a dark business suit and tie for men, while business casual entails a skirt/pants and a knit sweater/open-collar shirt for women and khakis/slacks and a casual button-down for men.
- It is always okay to wear jeans to a business casual event—There is some wiggle room with this particular misconception based on what your company’s dress code is and the location your event is being held at. If you work for a small non-profit company that is having an event for your donors at a casual restaurant, it is probably safe to wear jeans, but if you work for a fortune 500 company that is hosting an event for your stockholders, jeans should not be your only option.
- Bright colors are not allowed—Colors are a seasonal thing in the business world. Brighter colors are worn in the spring and summer while more neutral colors are acceptable in the fall and winter. If there is an event that calls for business casual in the spring or summer, then it is okay to wear brighter colors than you would in the fall and winter.