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  • Writer's pictureZsofi Klein

Business casual in our “New Normal”

Now that we are slowly getting back to in-person meetings and in-office workdays, the question ”what to wear” comes more often compared to the previous two years, which many of us spent in our home-offices.

Just like the new way of office work is being called “New Normal” or “Smart work”, referring that a lot had changed compared to pre-Covid times, many of the old rules of business dress-codes don’t apply either.

Business casual is normally defined as the outfit, that allows us to be comfortable but also ensures that we are appropriate at any (work) time. Although the definition is a bit blurry, I haven’t found any better yet and the unclarity reflects exactly the high variety of interpretations, which exist around business casual. What is really accepted and welcomed in a certain work environment as “business casual” diverts a lot, depending on the line of operation, the geographic and economic embeddedness of the business or the corporate culture itself.

What we could observe – independently from the field of operation- that business casual trends have evolved a lot. In nutshell: they get even more relaxed, compared to 2020.

What are the novelties?

Jeans are welcome!

More and more business lines and office environment accept dark jeans, especially if it is combined with shirt and blazer. To mimic more elegant styles, it makes a good sense to choose trouser silhouettes, or even the currently trending flare style. Ripped or distressed fabrics are … only in startups, skinny or slim fits need to be smartened up with longer shirts.

Colors and patterns to express your personality

For those, who like to opt for bold colors or daring patterns, there is great news. The era of black or blue basics combined with neutral shades is over. Until the colors or patterns that one wears don’t distract, they are appreciated. Tastes differ, however, I would always recommend to wear only one bold color accompanied by neutral ones for the important business occasions.

What stays?


Around a decade ago sneakers more and more appeared in office environment and pairing them up with trouser suits was a bit of a rebellion-brand. The sneakers get full acceptance most probably in 2018, when Emma Thompson received her honor for Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire at the Buckingham Palace and she was wearing a pair of white sneakers for the occasion.

Many say that pumps will again take over after the sneaker-decade, some votes on loafers or oxfords. Nevertheless, a more relaxed attitude surely stays.

What did you experience regarding business-casual lately? Is it getting more casual at your environment or does it go back to “strict” style?

Photo: Getty Images

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