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How to Dress Business Casual
Getting dressed for work used to involve a suit, shirt and tie. Then the dotcom boom arrived and a more casual dress sense crept into the workplace. Today, many offices adopt the business casual dress code, although it can still flummox the most discernible of gents. Here are a few guidelines to dressing business casual, without foregoing smartness.
Business casual shirts
• Whatever you're wearing, make sure you look clean and well-groomed. Casual dressing is no excuse for tatty, sloppy or grubby clothes.
• Endeavour to choose clothes that are just as well made as your formal clothes. Good quality material, impeccable workmanship and a superb fit will set you apart from your more casual colleagues. Buy the best you can afford.
• Business casual covers a wide spectrum of dress codes but if in doubt, choose a suit. You can dress it down by removing your tie or wearing a less formal shirt if need be.
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• The fail-safe business casual article is the navy blazer. Dress it up with smart trousers, dress it down with chinos, team with formal or casual shirts, add a top pocket handkerchief for extra flair or roll up the sleeves for relaxed panache.
• Never dress more casually than those reporting to you. Although comfortable, a pair of men's jeans and a casual shirt isn't the best way to convey authority. Always stick to smart, clean trousers and a crisp formal shirt.
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• Overdressing is always safer than underdressing. You are guaranteed to look smart and have the option of removing an item or two of clothing in order to blend in with your fellow business casual dressers.
• In the business casual workplace, never wear anything more casual than cotton chinos an a casual shirt. Men's t-shirts, shorts jeans and polos are strictly casual items that look best away from the office.
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• Don't skimp on your business casual footwear. Choose leather shoes that will stand the test of time including brogues, semi-brogues or monk shoes.
• Brown is a superb colour for business casual footwear. Brown shoes are smart, contemporary and are less severe than black shoes. They also look good with chinos or jeans.
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