Casual Business Dress… An Oxymoron
Article by Expert Image Consultant, Sandy Dumont
Casual Business Dress… an Oxymoron
Your Image: A Business Casualty
Casual dress denotes a casual attitude. Conducting business in casual attire not only puts you at a disadvantage when dealing with others, it might also slow down your output. Body language changes as a person changes from business to casual clothing. Take a look at one of your colleagues when s/he is sitting at the computer in casual attire. The posture is likely to be more slouching. Then check your colleague’s posture at the computer when in dynamic business attire. Rarely is the posture slouching in a business suit.
As the attire gets more casual, even colors change. Earthy, sporty colors show up in casual attire. Colors that evoke images of country weekend rather than boardroom. Even the line of clothing makes a statement. The popular raglan sleeve of sports shirts suggests sloping shoulders, an indication of insecurity or being burdened with too much work. As an image consultant, I can only label corporate casual a “busines casualty.”
Casual Friday. . .doomed for vintage metal shirts failure
The last time a “national costume” was abandoned overnight was at the time of the French Revolution. The elite dared not be seen in costly silks and fragile pastels. Fabrics and colors quickly changed to earthy tones and burlaps. However, ruffles and stockings remained, just as they did in America. Not long afterward, the business suit as we know it today was invented by the Americans. It was designed to flatter a man’s figure and make him appear more confident and powerful. Image Consultants would applaud! It was noted that military uniforms with their epaulette shoulders, gave an air of confidence and authority, so padded shoulders were featured. Shoulder lapels literally pointed outward, suggesting broad shoulders, and forming the top part of an inverted triangle; the bottom portion being formed by buttons at the midriff. Broad shoulders and a slim torso were not the only result of this clever ‘line.’ Unlike snug military costumes, these new costumes easily camouflaged any bulging midriffs.
And in case you have any doubts about the inherent power that a business suit has, consider this. American women also consider it very sexy.