Do you consider this men's shirt business casual?

Note that the dude in the photo is wearing jeans. I am interested only in the shirt (which would be untucked, as pictured, but paired with non-jean casual pants).

The shirt-wearer has no contact with co-workers but no customers in a cubicle-style job.

shirt in question

Nope. That’s casual casual.

Notably, it won’t be tucked in, and it has two pockets with flaps.

If we’re going by a strict ‘law office’ or bureaucracy definition, then that’s pretty casual, and I would expect that the person wearing it would get a friendly unofficial tutorial on appropriate business wear and representing the institution in a professional manner.

If it’s anywhere more laid back, like retail or parts of the tech sector, that’s totally appropriate business casual.

I do. So it’s probably not.

Huh. Including the jeans, that’s exactly what I wear to work (civilian office on military base).

Depends on the job, really:

If he’s just a paper pusher in a cubicle farm who doesn’t deal with customers, I say as long as he’s not wearing a “Party Naked” t-shirt, who cares?

If he’s a paralegal or manning a teller window at Bank of America, that’s not appropriate.

If he’s selling electronics or managing a bodega, that’s just right.

The answer to the question is…no.

But, yeah, a lot of us wear stuff like that to “business” workplaces. That could have been any of the guys in Engineering, Quality, Sales, or Purchasing at my last workplace.

But not Finance. Those guys were strict!

Business casual still requires a tucked in shirt. And I’d never consider a shirt with flapped pockets like that business casual unless it was worn by a cowboy wrangling pigs or something.

Business casual is basically khakis with a polo/button down shirt with the top button unbuttoned. Still need a belt and still needs to be tucked. The ONLY possible exception to the tuck rule is if you are wearing a fitted polo and the shirt doesn’t hang past your pockets. And that’s a bit iffy.

It’s bowling casual.

I have no idea if I’m being put on or not. Can’t have flap buttons and still be business casual? Has to be tucked in? That shirt is more formal than 95% of the men wear at any place I’ve worked in 30 years, and I’ve rarely heard anyone chewed out for being too casual, even for customer contact positions.

It’s clean, well-fitting, doesn’t have messages or logos, hangs smooth, and is button-down. That pretty much makes it something you’d wear to a wedding in my field. I can’t imagine working someplace that would be uptight about such a thing. Heck, I can’t imagine working someplace where anyone would even notice such a thing.

Then you have a terrible imagination.

It’s fine for business casual at a lot of places, provided it’s tucked in. I don’t like it at all, though.

Business casual is too wide a term to be meaningful. It can mean anything from “no holes in your jeans” to “you don’t have to wear a suit jacket.” This shirt seems on the low end of the scale. I would avoid it if I was or hoped to be on a management track, but depending on the workplace it might be fine for technical positions or a job you just didn’t care much about.

As a manager I wouldn’t expect anyone to get formally reprimanded for a shirt like this, but it would make me think you didn’t expect to go far in the company and I may balk at including you in higher profile meetings or projects.

Also, it’s just screaming out for some flames at the bottom and a pukka shell necklace.


Any shirt that isn’t straight across the bottom, is designed to be tucked in. Untucked, for this shirt, totally undoes any association with ‘business’.

It’s a casual shirt but that doesn’t mean it’s inappropriate for the office. Some offices are “just plain casual”, no “business” qualifier. As mentioned most tech and engineering jobs. That would be a perfectly fine shirt for the men in my office, we do most external communication via phone and email so most days there’s nobody to dress up for. So we wear jeans all the time. But, if an email goes out that clients will be visiting, then you see everyone’s pressed khakis and good shoes.

MOST places I’ve worked that would be fine. One place I worked (in an office in a cubicle) you’d be on the best dressed list. Its really variable depending on industry, geographic location, and role in the company.

its more douchebag formal IMHO.

At our place this is close to the guidelines for business and business casual.

The actual document is six pages with lots of illustrations. This is for corporate staff. For store personnel, the guidelines are even more detailed. The IT folks have a separate code, but IT managers must adhere to the corporate guidelines. This is at a giant global retailer. Until seven years ago business attire was required. It was a huge deal to change to business casual.

I used to work at a giant global telecoms firm fifteen years ago and business attire was required every day, except for Fridays in the summer, when business casual was allowed. The last year I was there they went to [business] casual Fridays all year 'round. Now they are business casual every day except for Sales and Service who are still in business attire. Exception to the exception: there are some Silicon Valley customers who don’t ALLOW business attire on site. The sales reps who visit them change into khakis and sport shirts for those calls.

My wife works for a huge insurance company. Their idea of business casual in practice would get you turned away at security in our company. However their documented policy is very similar to ours. Basically non-compliance is the norm.

That shirt may be acceptable for some work environments, but it would not be considered business casual in most offices I’ve worked in. Like others have mentioned, some office environments are okay with casual dress. But that does not consequently make all work acceptable clothes into business casual attire. Sometimes a casual shirt is just a casual shirt, especially if worn untucked. Really, if that’s considered business casual, what is “casual”? A T-shirt?

Yep, a t-shirt.

Generally, if it has a collar, it passes. (for men) - so polo shirts, hawaiian shirts, camp shirts all are ok. For women, its even harder because women wear lots of shirts with various necklines that don’t have collars, but are perfectly ok.