Managers, executives, C-Level, business owners, university heads
To convey an authoritative, credible, yet approachable appearance in an environment where the dress code is relaxed
Professional conferences or conventions
Formal group training
Interviewing for companies that have a relaxed dress code
Elegant casual / semi-formal dress is used by many of the same industries that prefer business formal style. Employees of these businesses and industries may dress business formal for presentations or client meetings, but dress semi-formally for daily office work. In many industries, however, semi-formal style is the highest level of dress.
Elegant casual / semi formal for women typically calls for pants suits or dresses. If a woman chooses to wear a dress, it should have solid, small-scale, or pinstriped pattern. In warm weather, a woman may wear a short-sleeved dress, but she should be sure that her legs are well-groomed (although if meeting conservative clients, sheer hosiery are strongly recommended). In cooler weather, women may choose sleeved dresses or short sleeved dresses worn with light-weight sweaters. Sheer hosiery are appropriate.
For men, elegant causal / semi-formal always involves wearing a jacket. For example, a man may wear a well-fitting 2- or 3- button suit without a tie, a sports coat / slacks combination, or a blazer / khaki / tie combination.
For both men and women, fabrics and accessories should all be of equally high quality. A woman who selects and wears a beautiful suit, but accessorizes with a chunky, plastic necklace will not achieve the look she is seeking. Likewise, a man who selects a fine jacket and handsome tie, accompanied by worn, scuffed shoes will detract from the polished, professional look he wants to project. Attention to detail is important if you are to look your best.
Stay tuned for our next post - Level 3: Making Basic Business Casual Work for You