1. Business casual clothing is a style that is often used in professional establishments to describe the appropriate clothing of a person.  It can be different different based on company, or the region of the country you are located.  The weather may also present different expectations for acceptable attire.  Wearing the correct types of shirts and slacks may be essential to your success in your field.  By dressing appropriately, you are able to make a good impression on the people with whom you work. 

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    When is Business Casual appropriate?

    It is best to check on the dress code of the event that you are attending before deciding on what you are going to wear.  Weddings, job fairs, and conferences often have a dress code for events during the day.  Check the information on the invitation or program of events in order to see if there is a specific attire listed.  The social importance of a person that is hosting the event may also provide you with a clue as to the attire that is expected.    Doing a little research into a company may also provide a good idea as to the expectations of your attire.  If you are unsure, wear a tie and discreetly remove it if it is unneeded.  It is always better to be slightly overdressed than slightly underdressed. 

    Shirts:

    Shirts can vary in appearance in color.  It is best to wear long sleeve shirts, especially when meeting a potential employer in a job fair.  This may change based on the weather, as it is often acceptable for you to wear short sleeves or a polo shirt when the event is going to take place in a hot environment.  Blue and white collared shirts are very safe, although it is important to wear a shirt without noticeable wear and tear damage.  Conservatively lined shirts may also be appropriate attire. 

    Pants:

    Pants may be khaki or dark colored.  They should show no wrinkles, and have little noticeable wear and tear.  Jeans are never considered to be appropriate business casual attire, as it conveys a message of unprofessional.

    Accessories:

    Accessories can include socks, shoes, ties, and jewelry.  It is important to check on the company’s expectations on accessories when it comes to attire, especially with earrings and rings.  Wedding rings and watches are generally acceptable, but earrings may be frowned upon in more conservative business places.  Socks should be worn to approximately mid-calf, so that no skin is no skin is showing while you are sitting.  The tie requirement will depend on the event that you are attending, or the company’s own policy.  Shoes can be loafers or some other type of leather shoe.  Rubber soles are often recommended, although sneakers are never appropriate.

    Purchasing:

    It is very easy to find business casual attire.  You can find it in a variety of men’s clothing sections in department stores, discount stores such as TJ Maxx or Bob’s, at the mall, or even online.  JCPenny, Macy’s, Sears, and even Wal-Mart offer a selection of business casual attire that vary in quality and price.  It may be beneficial to shop around if you are on a limited budget.  If you are just starting out, be mindful that what you are purchasing will still be appropriate in the next two to three years.

    Business casual attire is a widely accepted dress code for many events and businesses.  By ensuring that you wear the proper clothing, you can be prepared for any event that you attend.  Making the correct impression often starts with the clothes that you are wears.  Dressing appropriately can be the first step to a successful future.

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