Smart Casual, Business Casual, Business Attire, Day informal, Semi-formal – With this numerous and similar sounding dress codes it is not easy to stay on top of things. And the last thing that you want is to attract negative attention on a meeting which is less informal than you thought. “Clothes make people” – this has always been the case. We summed up the most important variations for you, so that you know which clothing style is appropriate for power lunches, garden parties and business trips:
This clothing style is demanded at less formal occasions like internal meetings without the executive floor or at loose events after work. Anyway, the word “casual” should not be given too much weight. The office look dominates definitely over the leisure-time style. Women usually have a wider scope at this wherefore the decision often is more difficult. Nonetheless, you make the right choice with a plain dress at knee-length or an elegant blazer over a blouse and thereto pleat-front trousers and pumps. The heels should not be higher than six centimetres. Men cannot go wrong with a shirt in muted colours. It is absolutely decent to wear a Button-Down instead of a shark collar. Dark suit trousers fit perfectly to this style, the tie can be omitted with the business casual look. Depending on the occasion, a fashionable polo shirt or an elegant knit pullover is also sufficient.
Other terms for this look which mean similar dresscodes are Day Informal or Tenue de Ville. This Look is worn on business trips for example and you are allowed to dress even more elegant than with the Business Casual. Men should not renounce their coat and tie. Women with long hair should go with a pinned-up hairstyle.
This expression means sophisticated leisurewear whereby it is important to find the happy medium between casual and elegant. This look is common with young companies. Women are allowed to wear a plain and tidy shirt instead of a blouse. In summertime you can even wear peep toes and cast off your cardigan unaskedly. Nonetheless big bags wit shoulder straps are inappropriate for the Smart Casual look. You should rather draw on a clutch bag. If the motto for the business dinner after work reads “Come as you are”, men should only take it literally if they have worn a suit or a knit pullover at work. But you can go without coat and tie. If you come from home you should definitely change and by no means show up in jeans and t-shirt.
This dress code is a so-called “false friend” and cannot be confused with half-formal! Different from what you might expect, this dress code requires even more elegant clothes than the Smart or Business Casual look.
Now you are steeled for all occasions and will not fall for contradictory worded dress codes anymore. Our last hint for the appropriate clothing style is: “it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed!”