When I think of business casual, the first thing that comes to mind is a v-neck sweater, corduroy pants and a pair of relaxed dress shoes. For many years it was seen as a necessity to dress in a manner that conveyed a company as strictly professional but, as time progressed, many fashion experts have argued that the boom of “eBusiness” is where the origins of the notorious business casual emerged. Now, personally, I am a fan of business casual 100% but, my tastes are much more modern and I prefer a slimmer fit cut then that of an ill fitting one that looks horrible in my opinion.
My people argue what was the exact thing that cultivated business casual, although, many do agree that it was around the start of eBusiness. Some people
“credit Levi Strauss’s invention of the Dockers brand in 1986 with the rise in acceptable business casual attire for men, while Gutierrez and Freese (1999) argue that dressing down for businesses can be attributed “to the high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley of California that . . . hired primarily people from blue-collar backgrounds . . . [who] were more comfortable in the casual clothing they had worn all their lives” (p. 33).
Whatever the case may be, business casual attire did demonstrate and incredible surge in acceptance. Some say all but most conservative business in the U.S were relaxing their dress codes to at least once a week. While some companies limited this relaxed dress code to Fridays, some firms have even gone to say that they allowed employees to wear a t shirt and jeans as along as it seemed neat. Business casual originally had a specific look it was going for but as time progressed, the term business casual can mean many different things to different people as seen in the following.
The two unwritten rules that most employees who interacted with clients were expected to follow were (1) keep it neat and (2) dress to match the client’s attire. Sabath (2008) suggests that “the real definition of business-casual dress is wearing clothes that will allow professionals to represent their organizations if they are called to a last-minute client meeting, without feeling obliged to apologize for their appearance,”
Although it was demonstrated that business casual attire did create a laxness in the workplace and those companies that allowed casual attire in the workplace did enjoy around a 40% increase in productivity; it is to be noted that all good things must come to an end. Around the year 2002 many business began to return to the use of formal attire in the workplace.Many employees have stated that after being promoted, they began to believe that they were no longer being taken seriously due to their business casual attire which then coerced them to switch back over to formal attire. Business then began to once again require that employees wear formal attire in the workplace area. Employers spew blame at the employees who took business casual out of proportion. Whatever the case may be business casual attire has fallen from its once high position, however I do believe that there is a slight possibility that business casual attire may rise to prominence again; it all depends on how the future business decide to run.