When most people think of a business man, they picture a man dressed in dark suit, white shirt, a tie, and a briefcase. In short this is what formal business dress looks like. It is classic and conservative, and commonly worn by lawyers, bankers, and politicians around the world. Suits are either midnight blue or dark charcoal in colour. The dress shirt is white, the classic oxford shoes are black, and the necktie is typically navy, grey, or dark red in colour.
Although this dress code does require you to wear a tie, it is much more relaxed compared to formal business attire. Suits in any shade of gray, navy, as well as beige/tan (summer) are all acceptable. In addition, sports coats and blazers worn with off-coloured, yet complimenting, dress pants are another acceptable choice. Even more flexibility is given with the dress shirts. Most colours are acceptable as are patterns. A check-patterned shirt, solid coloured tie, navy blazer, beige dress pants, and dark brown dress shoes are a good example of someone taking advantage of the flexibility this type of business dress offers.
In short, “casual” means you can leave your tie at home. The classic pieces that make up this outfit are: long sleeve button down dress shirt (any colour & and all classic patterns), dress pants, and dress shoes (leather shoes in black and brown). A jacket is optional, although it does make an excellent addition for a chilly day days. Other alternatives to the suit jacket are sports coats, V-neck cashmere sweaters, and cardigan sweaters.
Don’t be fooled by the word “casual”. In short casual Friday is an even more dress down version of “business casual”. Collared shirts are required. Although short sleeves are acceptable they are not recommended from a sartorial point of view. Jeans can be worn as long as they are dark in colour and do not have a visible faded wash or tears. Casual brown dress shoes are a great choice, but the even more casual boat shoes and loafers also work for this dress code. The things that are not acceptable are: shorts, sandals and flip-flops, T-shirts, faded or torn jeans, excessive jewelry.
Hendrik Pohl is the owner of Tie-a-Tie.net as well as of Bows-N-Ties.com. He himself is a tie aficionado, and he turned his hobby into his job when he started the US tie retailer Bows-N-Ties.com in 2007. When he is not managing his business he freelance writes for a handful different fashion & style blogs. For more information, please visit the following guide for business dress around the globe: http://www.bows-n-ties.com/mens-fashion-tips/wrapper.php?/archives/321-Mens-Office-Dress-Codes-Around-the-Globe.html