The Difference Between Casual, Business Casual, and Business Professional
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The Difference Between Casual, Business Casual, and Business Professional

The term "business-casual" seems like an oxymoron to some people and I often find others not understanding the real differences between casual, business casual and business professional clothing.

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The Difference Between Casual, Business Casual, and Business Professional

Business attire is generally formal, while casual wear can mean anything from unbuttoning a button to a comfy pair of sweat pants…or like most sorority girls, a pair of Nike shorts and a ‘giant, definitely too big for us’ t-shirt.

In the business world, however, a fine but definitive line is drawn between business professional and business-casual attire. For those of you looking for a job around Fayetteville, the beginning of the school year is the perfect time to apply. Here are a few clothing tips to help rock your interview.

Business Casual: — n 

a style of casual clothing worn by business people at work instead of more formal attire 

             Business casual is crisp, neat, and should look appropriate. It should not look you’re going to a themed function, or your end of the year formal. Business casual is classic, but if you tend to be more of a fashionista girl, then business casual is when I like to pair more trendy clothing. The main basics are khaki or dark dress pants, neatly pressed, and a pressed long-sleeved, buttoned solid shirt is safe for both men and women. Women can wear cardigans and sweaters. For the trendy gals, this is when I like to change things up. I like to pair palazzo pants with matching cardigans or blazers, pencil skirts with peplum tops, and then go ahead and add a trendy sock bun to top off your outfit. So chic! Polo and golf shirts are appropriate if you know the environment will be casual. While wearing business casual attire, it’s okay to have tops and bottoms with different patterns, fabrics and colors paired together, as long as it flattering together.

Business Professional: — n 

a style of clothing appropriate for an interview for a professional job and to wear to work in a professional office environment   

While there are no rules in fashion, there are rules for fashion in the workplace. Business professional attire should always be worn for interviews.  Wear colors based on a neutral color palette like black, navy, cream, charcoal or grey. You can’t go wrong with these shades. Unfortunately, the bright pink and lime green won’t work this time. Although, when I pick out outfits for myself, I like to add color. The best way to do this for the workplace is with your accessories. Think simple, sleek and chic. No statement necklaces. I love ‘em, but just not for the office. Just adding a little touch of color with earrings or a delicate necklace can make an outfit complete. All suits and skirts should be fitted close to the body, but not too tight. Your jacket and bottom half should match, same fabric and color, always. This is what makes it business professional attire. Skirts should be no shorter than right above the knee. Think pencil skirts, they are fabulous and flattering (there’s nothing better than that). Blouses should be freshly pressed and ALWAYS tucked in. Tops should also be conservative. Do not show too much skin. Wear heels or flats in a neutral color. If you go for the heels, don't wear anything higher than 5 inches. And no wedges, y’all. Wedges are not heels…they just aren’t. Those are strictly for weekend nights, especially the giant platforms…eek!

With sharing these tips, I hope I cleared up some confusing with business attire. There’s nothing worse than a poorly put together outfit, in my opinion. First impressions mean everything! Good luck with job searching and interviews in the future, Razorbacks. 

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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