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In Praise of Business Casual

JFWR

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If #3 is BC, would that same guy look so badly out of place showing up in #1?

If jeans are permitted, is #2 BC?
It seemed the working criteria for "business casual" was shirt + non-jean slacks + leather shoes, sans jacket.

In so much as both 1 and 2 are wearing jackets, this would seem to disqualify it as business casual under this definition. Likewise, #2 would be excluded also for the reason of wearing jeans.

Of course, there is no accepted definition of business casual. But if the above definition is taken as a given, then only #3 is business casual.

Generally speaking, business casual is the type of thing that is spelled out in individual company rulebooks on what they consider appropriate attire, say, when "casual Fridays" are instituted. Those rules tend to be what we've sort of agreed upon is the mark of "business casual". Given that "business casual" is usually considered the lowest formality you can go, but not in any sense defining how formal you can decide to be so long as it is more formal, you could wear the other outfits in a BC environment because BC only is a limit on the low, not on the high, unless they mandate exclusive BC wear.

If you are asking if someone would seem "out of place", the answer is: no. I don't think #2 would be out of place; I would imagine #1 would be more out of place, if only because it is a strange combination to include a denim shirt with a suit. I also tend to think that jacket looks a bit too too formal with the peak lapels.
 

Herders_Gulch

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Of course, there is no accepted definition of business casual. But if the above definition is taken as a given, then only #3 is business casual.
I found an article from the Society for Human Resource Management that aligns to the definition of business casual given above:

“Men: Relaxed slacks or khakis; collared shirts, including polos; sweaters; loafers; boots.”

Compare business professional:

”Men: Tailored slacks; sport jacket or blazer; button-down shirt; tie; dress shoes.”


If this is the standard, I would prefer to wear #1, and lose the jacket periodically to look like #3.

HR manuals are basically codified bad style.
 

JFWR

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I found an article from the Society for Human Resource Management that aligns to the definition of business casual given above:

“Men: Relaxed slacks or khakis; collared shirts, including polos; sweaters; loafers; boots.”

Compare business professional:

”Men: Tailored slacks; sport jacket or blazer; button-down shirt; tie; dress shoes.”


If this is the standard, I would prefer to wear #1, and lose the jacket periodically to look like #3.

HR manuals are basically codified bad style.
Yes they are.

I also find it somewhat odd, as I imagine most men consider loafers as a type of dress shoe.

If I were to answer which look I think looks coolest, I'd probably go with #2, though again, I think the jacket is a bit on the formal side for wearing with jeans.

I'd honestly be a bit hesitant to wear a denim shirt in general.
 

Herders_Gulch

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I'd honestly be a bit hesitant to wear a denim shirt in general.
I never used to wear denim or chambray shirts, but I added a few recently. My company has a “dress your day” policy, so I would probably try any of these looks. But the office has to open first.
 

JFWR

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I never used to wear denim or chambray shirts, but I added a few recently. My company has a “dress your day” policy, so I would probably try any of these looks. But the office has to open first.
I mean, if I were to choose, I'd go with #2. I think it looks the nicest. Again: bit of a formal jacket, though. I'd go notch lapel instead.
 

Mirage-

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I find it weird you worry this much about denim shirts. In my mind they can be barely more casual than linen shirts, depending on the specific details (e.g. if you get one with french placket, which hides all that puckering). And in any case, sure, they are casual with respect to poplins, but imo nowadays no one would object to you wearing one in a BC office. If polos are fine, surely so are denim shirts?

Playboy vibe is what makes those looks good.
We'll have to agree to disagree on this.

If you define business casual as broadly as “a shirt paired with trousers”, then sure many of the outfits that I posted qualify.

But business casual, as practiced, is an aesthetic beyond that.
Such as? How would you define it?
Is #3 not BC? Because I think it is, and I also think it looks good. Sure, #1 looks arguably better (I also am not a fan of peak lapels with the rest), but that doesn't mean #3 is bad. In fact could well be the same day as sometimes people remove their jackets (most people, apparently, immediately once in their office, which kind of begs the question why bother with one at all).

And the main difference is that the person in question is a good dresser, cares about clothes, and has quality items. While the hypothetical office worker we dread has no interest in clothes, wears cheap ones, pairs them badly, and badly (= not) tailored e.g. orphaned suit trousers that are too skinny and way too long (I swear, most suit wearers I meet in public transport seem not to know you can have your trousers hemmed), instead of properly tailored dress slacks. With cheap fake/corrected-leather shoes, possibly with sneaker sole.
DWW often claimed that once you drop the jacket you're better off not wearing CM at all, but some other aesthetic. I think the looks you posted prove that's false (assuming we all agree they are still CM) although that doesn't mean you can just drop the jacket and keep everything the same, which I agree generally looks bad - you very well might have to make some adjustments.

For example, I think once you drop the jacket, it helps to change the usual shirt colours: the usual pale blues/pinks don't work as well, will indeed feel like you forgot a jacket, with the possible exception of white mostly in the summer (probably in linen). Dark tones, especially navy-ish such as denim, work much better as they replace the dark block of colour that the missing jacket usually holds, and they also don't immediately remind to the eye the absence of something since it is not a solidified tradition to wear them with business clothes. Non-plain shirts, whether in pattern or better yet texture (linen, denim, chambray) also work better by adding some surface interest.

Btw what I personally dread more than bad BC, is pretend-business formal, i.e. the above office worker has a meeting and decides to don a tie. Sans jacket. As if the tie could single-handedly formalize an entire informal (and/or just bad) outfit.
 
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PORCAMOSRL

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I went to a 30th birthday party on Sunday at a swanky restaurant near Napoli, Italy

I didn't realize it was supposed to be such a formal affair, so, was a little underdressed but nothing too major

Every. Single. Man. Was. Wearing:

A suit jacket
Suit trousers
White t-shirt or dress shirt
Sneakers
 

ter1413

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ridgerider

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And eBay Ive gotten a shit ton of nice looking used ties mainly from Brooks Brothers, Rooster etc for less than $10 I only spend $$ if I want Grenadine or something fancy.
Same here. If you wait long enough, you can get some really nice ones, barely worn, for next to nothing,
 

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