Business Professional Vs Business Casual Suits – What To Wear And When

Casual suits for men

Business VS Casual Suits

Do you know the difference between business suits and business casual suits? Do you know when the appropriate time to wear either one is? Well luckily for you, we are here give you a quick rundown of business casual suits.

Unless you have been living under a rock your entire life you should know the difference between professional and casual. However, in the business world, things can get a bit tricky. With so many different terms for men’s apparel, it can be a little confusing.




What is a business professional attire


Business Casual Suits


The term business professional generally refers to attire such as dark-colored suits with long sleeved collared shirts, pressed suit pants, leather belts, ties, leather lace-up shoes and suit jackets. Minimal jewelry such as a watch is acceptable. This is the type of attire that is most often worn by professions such as lawyers and in financial environments like stock brokerages and banks. It is also the code one should follow when attending more somber occasions outside the office like funerals and court appearances.

While there are plenty of other professions that adhere to business professional attire, there are many that don’t follow such a strict dress codes and opt for their employees to wear what is referred to as business casual attire. This, in most cases, means that you can do away with the full suit and opt for more comfortable ensembles that include items like collared button down shirts without the tie, khaki pants or pressed slacks and loafers in brown or black. If your office is extremely casual you might be lucky enough to get away with wearing jeans but only if they are in good shape and nothing trendy like acid washed or distressed jeans.  Again jewelry should be kept to a minimum with a watch or perhaps a ring or bracelet.

If your office is extremely casual you might be lucky enough to get away with wearing jeans but only if they are in good shape and nothing trendy like acid washed or distressed jeans.  Again jewelry should be kept to a minimum with a watch or perhaps a ring or bracelet.


What are business casual suits

Business casual suits tend to be less fitted and have more color options than traditional stuffy business suits. They are often made of lighter weight, less structured fabrics. Let’s face it, they are just more comfortable for most men to wear. They can also be worn to more places. Social gatherings after work, a daytime wedding, out to dinner with your partner or business functions outside the office where you still need to look professional.



Business casual suits do not mean faded jeans, sports jackets, and t-shirts with prints, even on casual Fridays. No matter what the dress code, you should always be well put together with an outfit that is free of wrinkles and stains, nothing distressed or torn or kitschy.

Try pairing khaki’s with a colored dress shirt and leave the tie at home. You can select a jacket of a neutral color for contrast. You might also try light cotton slacks or corduroys with a button up cardigan sweater and tie. This look keeps you comfortable and still the right level of professional for the office. 

Dressing a bit better than those around you is never a bad thing. It is far better to stand out for the right reasons than the wrong reasons. If you are in a suit, removing your jacket and tie is a better option than not having them when you need them.


business suits for men

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How to accessorize your business casual suits?

You never want to be over accessorized whether you are wearing classic business attire or going casual. If you choose to go without a tie, try adding a pocket square for a punch of color and pattern that complements your ensemble.

Ditch the standard black belt for something a little more contemporary. Donning a leather belt in a color like oxblood or camel can really add some style to your outfit. If you prefer not to wear the belt, adding suspenders to your look will still keep you looking sharp and professional.

Jewelry like a classic gold watch with a leather strap that matches your shoes or belt is a great option. You want your own personal style to be as much a part of your look as possible. Keeping your accessories in the same color group keeps your look pulled together and clean. Pinky rings and bracelets are completely acceptable options for the business casual look and show that you have style and sophistication even when you are laid back.

Leather satchels or “man bags” are a great way to keep everything you need within reach and still look professional. Try selecting a bag in color other than the standard brown or black. Adding a pop of color to your wardrobe in this fashion works for men just as well as it does for the ladies. It says that you have the know-how and confidence to rock a bold color. In addition, it speaks volumes about your style without ever having to say a word.


Common Questions About Business Attire

What is the definition of business attire?

Normally business attire applies to the clothes that agents and employees wear to work. In the working environment, various constants of the rule of business attire are expected and the model. Dress codes range from classical and formal to smart casual, business casual, and casual.

What does professional business attire mean?

Business professional is similar to business formal. You may wear a blazer or suit jacket, button down shirt, suit vest, suit pants, a tie and dress shoes.

khaki business professional

Are khakis business professional?

Appropriate business casual dress typically includes khakis. They can be combined with great other colors.  Try pairing khaki trousers with a navy shirt, a blazer, and black leather shoes.

Are vests business casual?

Indeed they are business casual attire. When combined with matching suit slacks, white or colored dress shirts, black leather shoes or a pair of loafers, and a tie is optional. This sleek look allows a man freedom of movement.  They are often a favorite look of men that need to look sharp while still being able to keep up in a fast-paced office.

Are corduroy pants business casual?corduroy pants

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Khakis, dress pants, trousers and corduroy pants are viewed as business casual attire however jeans are normally not viewed as business casual.

What is the smart casual dress?


Smart Casual Dress


The “smart casual” dress code is a level up from “business casual,” but not as restrictive  as “boardroom attire.” It’s elegant and professional — yet still informal.

What does it mean to dress smartly?


Smart Casual

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Smart casual” implies trousers (not jeans), sharp shoes, and a classic collar shirt. Additionally, a jacket and an elegant tie with a handkerchief that matches the tie will be a plus.

Which shoes can be worn with your business casual suit?


Shoes to wear with Business Casual suits

While the black lace-up leather shoe has long been a staple of the business world’s attire, more casual options like loafers in lighter colors of camel and cream are great choices. You can also try pairing your more relaxed looks with oxfords, derbies, and brogues. Squared toes shoes had their day but are no longer considered an option for this casual look. You will also want to stay away from sandals with open toes, track or athletic shoes and flip-flops are never the right choices.




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