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last job I worked a while ago we had casual Fridays, jeans and a polo shirt were acceptable. After a while they gave us a company polos - so I wore them every day with khaki's Mon-Thu (and later others followed) and my own polo with jeans on Friday.
Occasionally the boss might mention for a first client meeting to wear "a shirt" - which was code for business pants and a long sleeve business shirt and a tie.
No jacket though - rare in Singapore except for directors, lawyers, all Japanese office workers and visitors who don't know any better - which is sensible in the heat here.
"Business casual" here is definitely no more then the company polo with khakis.
After Japan the place I see business jackets most worn is Aus (even more than UK/USA), and really no idea why they will even walk around in 40+ degree Melbourne dry heat wearing the damn things; yes I know they're a backwards lot but that's just insane.
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So, my idea of business casual is dress pants, belt, a nice shirt, no tie, and nice shoes. But if the event were during work hours any day but Friday, I'd likely show up in a suit, even if you told me business casual.
That's because I wear a suit 4 days a week and Friday is my "casual" day in which I wear a quality pair of jeans, dress shoes, button up long sleeve shirt, a jacket, and sometimes even a tie. Compared to some people I know, my casual day is more formal than their opinion of being dressed up. That is because of the customers I see on a day to day basis. I always need to look professional.
If it was stressed that I should not overdress because of whatever reason, I'd likely ditch the tie and jacket at my desk. Otherwise, I'm wearing a suit and making you feel awkward.
Depends on where you work, I suppose. "Busoness casual" is, following the usual usage of those terms, an oxymoron and thus undefined. And "undefined" means that it means whatever whoever runs the place means.
For me it's jeans and T-shirts every day, regardless of their policy. It has been since I started work in 1983. Formal attire is when the T-shirt isn't stained. It just goes well with the pony tail and Snuffy Smith beard.
Like so many things in the world today, people like to keep it ambiguous to "keep options open". Most events I have been to state "business casual", and the majority are always dressed "business attire" (suits). Generally, those are the folks who "try harder" to make a good impression. Generally, the nearer one is to the end of his career, the less dressed up he gets; while the younger, aggressive types dress fancier. It truly depends on how much desire exists to impress others.
Most sources agree on many things, however. Jeans are not acceptable, nor are t-shirts. Pants should be neat and pressed, Khakis are acceptable. Dress shoes. The shirt should be button-down and pressed, but you can sometimes get by with a polo. Tie is optional; jacket is optional. A suit, while not "business casual", does not constitute "formal" either: formal is always tuxedo.
Generally, the nearer one is to the end of his career, the less dressed up he gets; while the younger, aggressive types dress fancier.
This works for me at 63. I wear jeans and a graphics t-shirt and nobody questions me. I work hard and help people every chance I get, so I think personality may also soften any reaction. Even among the young, only supervisors or higher dress for success on Fridays.
Technically, I suppose you are correct. I have always just thought of tuxedos as having tails or not; tails being formal with tailless being semi-formal. I suppose true formal involves specific attire for specific times of the day, but in general, in the USA, the average tuxedo (without tails) is as about as fancy as anyone gets other than perhaps a groom and his groomsmen.
In a business context a suit is considered formal business attire. Tuxedos are not appropriate business attire, that's for formal social occasions, you'd look ridiculous running around the office in a tux.
In any case, tuxedos are archaic and need to die. Don't even get me started on white tie and, horror of horrors, opera slippers. It's like the wealthy are making fun of themselves.
The only bit of this outdated fashion worth keeping is the dress boot. And speaking of which, I wish that women would bring back oxford boots and saddle shoes and throw those stupid pumps away. For that matter, I don't see why they can't wear oxfords the same as men.
Many business functions occur in the evening in the context of a social gathering (though those events are in no way optional). Those "parties" are frequently "formal", or more appropriately "black-tie".
You have some very strong opinions about the subject of attire. I think that is wonderful and perhaps personally agree on some points; however, be advised that the world will NOT bend to fit your whims, but a path to success usually consists of altering behavior to fit the established standards.
You're right about that, and if I was angling for a management position I'd conform and accept my fate as a stuffed suit. Being a back-end programmer, though, I'm a step ahead just by doing laundry on a semi-regular basis.
But fashions change, none more slowly than formal men's fashion but it does change over time, and usually due to the old being rejected for the new. So we don't wear hats anymore and vests are endangered, though both were essentially required for much of the 20th Century. So, someone has to get opinionated and push boundaries once in a while or we'd still be wearing waistcoats with fobs dangling about.
business casual for me is Jeans that hopefully have been washed in the last three months. Button up shirt which is untucked. Decent shoes and a watch. Gotta have the watch so I can pretend to look at it sigh and leave.
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