How To Dress Business Casual In The Summer
Learning how to dress business casual in the summer requires a good sense of the workplace environment. Every business is going to be different; for some, "business casual" means no coats and a slightly loosened tie, while for others a decent pair of shorts and a polo will fly. Chances are that if dressing business casual is an option or an opportunity, guidelines will be stated in a company handbook. There are, however, a few universal principles.
- In "business casual," the emphasis should be on business. Being a little bit overdressed is always better than being underdressed, especially if the position entails meeting with clients or superiors in the company.
- Start with "business" and scale it back to casual. With most companies, business casual means no jacket and no tie (though bringing a tie in situations that might turn a bit more formal is usually a good idea, even if its just for an emergency). Collared, button-down shirts and slacks are always a stand-by to start with.
- Think light colors. Whatever the guidelines for different clothing articles might be, almost any company will not have a problem with khaki pants and a white shirt. Coloring schemes should reflect "British gentleman on an African safari," sans silly hats and hunting rifles (and of course, exotic trysts).
- Think light materials. Wearing too much polyester in the summer is a sure way to start sweating; pit stains typically distract from presentations, and not in a good way. Cotton is the safest bet.
The biggest mistake that can be made in dressing business casual during the summer is to assume that the heat justifies under dressing. While more businesses are relaxing on footwear in the summer, allowing sandals and flip-flops, unfettered feet might rouse a chewing-out, or worse; start with dress shoes until a more relaxed policy is disclosed.