Business Casual = HR Code for Used Car Salesman. Slacks, shortsleeve shirt with crappy tie and loafers or "nice" sneakers. You can even lose the thin white shirt and golf ball novelty tie and go for a nice striped Polo from the GAP!
I hate it, thats what we are, and I get weird comments anytime I have a jacket on at our meetings. Heaven help me when I wear an actual suit.
Glad Im in my own branch office where I can dress as professional as I feel I should. We assist people with social services, employment searching and educational & resource referrals. Im in an area with the highest per capita stats in the state for college graduates and one of the highest household incomes. If I dress in khaki dockers and a polo and attempt to tell someone with a masters my advice for their professional readiness and interview skills I would get laughed at.
It all depends on the job. To me, our standards are too low. Many have agreed.
On the topic of women: My roommate works for the same company and has been buying full and actual professional looking suits in hopes of raising the bar at her office so she can get promoted past her peers who have been there longer. Seems to be working, clothing does make a difference still!