Cargo pants were first developed for the British armed services in the 1930s. During the 1990s, the trouser enjoyed a resurgence thanks to the Boys and Girls brand, but they quickly faded away. Cargo pants are making a comeback, thanks to high-end brands putting them back into the spotlight through the fashion industry.
Are Cargo Pants Business Casual
There’s no disputing that these 6+ pocket cousins of the chino are comfy to wear, but are they appropriate for business? It all depends on your industry and whether or not your employer permits it. Avoid them at work unless you need 14 pockets on your pants to hold supplies.
How to Identify Cargo Pants
Cargo pants are basic khaki pants with two or more pockets, and they may or may not come with a canvas or drawstring belt. They’re great for outdoor work or keeping a mid-afternoon snack, and they’re both comfy and stylish. Cargo pockets aren’t as inconspicuous as hip pockets on most pants. Instead, they protrude in an unattractive manner and are frequently secured with large buttons or zippers. Simply put, cargo pants are defined as one that has a pocket below the hip pocket.
What about skirts? Cargo can also come in the form of a skirt, which should be avoided the same way as Cargo pants at the workplace.
What You Should Wear Instead
Business Casual for Men
For men, the distinction between professional and business casual is usually defined by whether or not they wear a tie. However, because every office is distinct, there might be a wide range of what counts as business casual. As a result, from head to toe, there are some broad guidelines worth addressing.
Men should stick to a variety of polo shirts and button-downs. Long-sleeved collared shirts are often the most suited. The absence of a tie makes it a more relaxed appearance than a more official office, even if it does not feel like the most casual alternative.
Button-downs or short-sleeved polo shirts are other options for your office during the warmer months.
Jackets and Blazers
While they are not always a requirement, adding a jacket or well-cut blazer to your everyday business outfit provides a professional touch. It may be helpful if you’re concerned that a button-down shirt alone makes you appear too casual for work.
Stick to simple colors like blue, black, and grey when choosing a coat. Having a blazer on hand is a fantastic idea for formal situations, and it may be the most refined appearance for a job interview.
Sweaters or sweater vests are permitted in the majority of offices. In the winter, chunky-knit sweaters are ideal, but in the summer, choose for fine-knit sweaters that may be worn over shirts or button-downs with the collar exposed for a more iconic men’s business casual style.
Nice Pants or Slacks
Although some offices allow jeans, adhering to dress slacks and chino pants, also referred to as khakis, will keep you in compliance with your dress code. Khakis are an exceptionally versatile piece of clothing in a business casual look, as they may be worn with both formal and informal shirts.
While it mainly depends on how daring your office is, try to keep neutral or plain-colored pants, such as dark-toned, tan, grey, and black. Avoid wearing bright-colored bottoms (neon yellow is not usually the most professional hue). Include a belt in similar neutral tones at all times.
Loafers or formal shoes are usually appropriate. Sandals should be avoided. There aren’t many color rules, but try to keep everything as professional and polished as possible.
Business Casual for Women
Women’s business casual outfits vary a lot based on where they work, their profession, how they work, and what time of year it is. However, w omen’s standard business casual generally consists of the following staples:
To the Knee Dresses and Skirts
While the tightness and length of skirts and dresses may vary based on the office, skirts and dresses that go to a point below the knee or knee-length skirts are always a safe pick while dressed for a job. Dresses and skirts that are excessively tight, too low, or too dressy should be avoided. There aren’t many color limits when it comes to business casual.
Pants that are tailored or have a wide leg, chinos, and suit pants are all acceptable options. Jeans can be worn in some offices, but ensure you verify your office’s dress code requirements beforehand. Although brightly colored or printed pants are frequently appropriate, assessing your workplace’s atmosphere ahead is a good idea.
Blazers are an iconic professional essential that appears to be a universal feature of a suitable dress code for men and women working in the offices. Having various blue, grey, black, and other colored blazers in your closet is beneficial. Brightly colored blazers are great, but ensure they’re flexible enough to wear with various outfits.
Button-downs and Blouses
The individual’s office dress code primarily determines the specifics of the top. An excellent fitted, flowing, and ironed blouse or button-down, on the other hand, is always appropriate.
When it comes to women’s business casual style, flats, loafers, or closed-toe heels, are usually the order of the day. While the specifics of the shoe (whether stiletto, open-toed, or otherwise) are left to the staff’s discretion, choosing one of the aforementioned is always a safe bet.
Are Jeans Business Casual?
In a nutshell, the answer is no. You’re generally better off sticking to khakis or dressier pants and not taking any chances. However, given the wide range of vocations, corporate cultures, and progressive offices, even jeans are debatable.
In general, it is safer to stick to the side of professionalism and avoid wearing jeans. However, many companies permit jeans, so verify your industry’s dress code ahead of time. If you’re lucky enough to work in a more casual environment where you can wear jeans, stick to dark-wash, tailored jeans. Avoid jeans with prints, holes, rips, or embroidery, as well as those with a light wash.