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Fashion in the modern workplace is ever-evolving. Nowadays, you’ll likely find specific industries discarding the iconic business suit and heels for a more relaxed look.
Gone are the days of strict everyday professional dressing as more and more companies have adopted a business casual approach.
Additionally, the tech revolution brought on by tech giants has reinvented the idea of workplace dressing. It’s pretty common now to find working professionals wearing a mixture of blazers and casual chinos with open polo shirts on a Monday.
However, despite this relaxed approach, there seem to be specific unwritten rules about what business casual really constitutes.
Often, whether golf clothes, shirts, and pants can be considered as business casual dressing for the purposes of work pops up. So can we consider golf clothes, shirts, and pants as business casual?
Most golf clothes, shirts, or pants can be included in the definition of business casual with a few tweaks here and there.
Even with this clear answer that golf attire is business casual, there is a lot of confusion about how exactly to dress in business casual. So in this guide, I will go over the meaning and history of business casual to help you get a better idea of how you can wear your golf clothes to work.
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What is Business Casual?
The main problem with defining how to dress business casual is the lack of a concrete definition. It’s a grey area that most people find hard to understand.
Finding the sweet spot is sometimes challenging and can become frustrating as organizations adopt a business casual dress code or its newer variations like the “smart casual.”
However, some unwritten rules apply to most offices.
Most business casual outfits should have no jeans, shorts, short dresses/ skirts for women. Ties for men are optional, and you could have a rotation of button-downs or blouses.
In essence, business casual dressing is more focused on “don’ts” as opposed to “do’s.”
History & Meaning Of Business Casual
The 1990s was when the idea of business casual became mainstream. However, the roots of business casual attire can be traced as far back as Hawaii in 1962.
The practice of Casual Fridays was originally called Aloha Fridays.
More specifically, the Hawaiian shirt, also referred to as the Aloha shirt, was promoted by the Hawaiian Fashion Guild in 1962 as a way to support the State’s garment by the Hawaiian Fashion Guild.
A few years later, the president of the Hawaiian Fashion Guild began a campaign to introduce Aloha Friday to companies in the State. Employees were allowed and encouraged to wear the shirt a few Fridays a year.
By 1970 wearing Hawaiian shirts had become acceptable any day or the working week, and the practice spread to eastern California.
As the ’90s rolled by previously hard-line standards of office fashion became somewhat more flexible. Even though the practice was not as widespread back then, workplace fashion began to consider comfort as a priority, although sometimes at the expense of looking good. (Think baggy-oversized 90’s suits and burlap sacks with collars and cuffs)
Thankfully business casual attire nowadays is not only comfortable but looks good too.
Can You Wear Golf Pants To Work?
Golf pants might be designed for playing golf, but they are also versatile. Most golf pants look like regular chinos or trousers but tend to be more lightweight and comfortable.
If anything, they’re a much better trouser alternative to include in your business casual attire, especially when the weather is hot.
You can wear golf pants to work for most occasions and most people won’t even notice. Golf pants are very similar to dress pants so you shouldn’t have a problem using them interchangeably.
What’s the difference between golf pants and regular pants?
Generally, regular pants are made using heavier materials. Regular pants are intended for formal wear with thicker material, more cuffs, and can sometimes have pleats.
Golf plants, on the other hand, are thinner and made with less material. They have a more athletic fit making them a perfect business casual option for the office.
Do You Have To Tuck In Your Golf Shirt For Business Casual?
Whether you’ve paired your golf shirt with a blazer or sweater, you should always have your shirt tucked in for business casual attire.
The last thing you want to do is look untidy in a meeting or in front of their work colleagues or clients.
How to Dress Business Casual
Let’s take a look at how to dress business casual and then you can decide for yourself if your golf clothes fit these roles or not.
Do you wear your Nike sneakers or formal shoes when dressing business casual? In formal or professional settings, it’s best to stick to a more formal pair.
I recommend you wear a solid and subtle pair of socks that blend seamlessly with your shoes. Avoid bright-colored or patterned socks when going for a business casual look.
Remember that the party is at the top.
The jury is still out on this; some consider it acceptable to wear dark denim jeans for a business casual look. Other people feel that jeans are more appropriate for smart casual.
However, there is a general consensus that normal jeans are not business casual.
Try to stick more to golf pants, chinos, khakis, or corduroy pants if you’re going into a formal environment. Always ensure that your pants are the appropriate length, avoid wearing them too high, keep your ankle hidden, and don’t let the pants bunch up around your ankles.
An acceptable belt for business casual should have a standard buckle that’s not too loud. You, however, have leeway and can wear something more casual than a plain belt.
Just be sure to match it with your shoes.
Collared shirts like golf shirts are appropriate for business casual dressing.
Sweater or Jacket (Optional)
A jacket or sweater is the perfect alternative to finish off your look. Keep in mind that a tie is off-limits in business casual dressing.
What To Look For In A Golf Shirt
If you are wanting to get a golf shirt that you can also wear at work there are a few things that you should consider.
You need to pay special attention to the length of your golf shirt because it impacts your comfort level. Since you’ll probably spend the whole day in it at work, it’s best to be as comfortable as possible.
Some golf shirts are designed to be longer than the standard types. This helps them to stay tucked in throughout the day.
I would recommend going for this type of golf shirt for a business casual look. They allow you to maintain a professional look with minimal effort.
You’ll want to avoid tight-fitting golf shirts. There’s nothing as irritating as feeling restricted while you go about your day.
However, if you’re trying to show off your physique, opt for a slim-fit golf shirt; it should give you the same effect without choking you.
What To Look For In Golf Pants
Finding a great pair of golf pants with a proper fit and a polished finish can be challenging. Additionally, you’ll have to consider how you’ll pair it when dressing business casual.
Below are a few things you need to consider when buying golf pants.
Golf pants are not meant to be slim-fit, per se. Most are loose-fitting with plenty of room to move around.
Bear in mind that this roomy design is meant to give golfers the ability to swing and move around with ease. This will also be an advantage at the office if you’re sitting for long periods.
If the pants you wear are tight or not fitted properly, it might be highly uncomfortable to spend the day in them.
It is also essential to pay attention to the length of the pants. Having too long pants looks untidy and unprofessional, and shorter pants also won’t look right.
Ensure that your ankles are covered, but the pants must also not touch the ground.
The traditional or original golf pants have large pleats and are usually very loose-fitting. However, as fashion has evolved, this traditional style has slowly shifted to more modern and slim-fit techniques.
There are many options; for example, you can opt for flat-front pants if you dislike the pleats. But keep in mind that flat front and slim-fit are two different styles, and the legroom is narrower on the slim-fit.
Like I mentioned before, golf pants have a slightly thinner material compared to standard trousers.
However, remember that golf pants are made from a variety of materials. You’ll want to avoid cotton golf pants which tend to be really heavy and can get hot if you live in a hot part of the country.
Some golf pants are made with material that wicks sweat away, this keeps your legs dry, and it’s a perfect option if you’re spending the day outside.
Golf clothes, shirts, or pants are a perfect addition to your business casual wardrobe. They are versatile, comfortable and will give you an excellent professional/casual finish.
I hope that this guide has clarified what business casual dressing entails. Next time you see or hear this phrase, there’s no longer any reason to worry about it!