Is business casual okay for an interview?

You have scored a job interview, but forgot to ask about the dress code. With no idea what to wear to the big interview, you may think the default is to wear business casual attire. In many cases, this is actually incorrect.

Business casual is risky for a job interview.

What is business casual?

Let’s start out with a definition of what business casual is, so we are all on the same page. Business casual for men is generally considered as being a collared shirt with slacks and closed shoes. Your shirt may be short sleeved and it may even be a polo shirt. You do not wear a tie. Some even consider jeans as being appropriate for business casual attire. The idea is to be neat, but not dressed up.

It may be too informal

For a professional or office job interview, business casual is likely to be much too informal. You would be better off in a suit. It is always better to be overdressed rather than underdressed, especially when you want to make a good impression on your interviewer.

If you do decide to wear business casual, take pains to look sharp. Polish your shoes, avoid jeans and ensure you are clean-shaven.

When should you wear business casual to an interview?

Wear business casual if they have specified that this is the dress code. If you do not get the chance to ask, it is best to err on the side of caution and dress a little more formally than business casual. However, some interviews may be perfectly suited to neat but casual attire. A young startup company or a hip coffee house would be examples of this.

How to dress for a wedding reception

Dressing for a wedding reception is easier than you may think. All a man needs to do is wear a nice suit, which will be appropriate for the vast majority of weddings.

Follow the dress code

Some invitations will specify a dress code, for example, black tie or smart casual. This is your number one clue as to what to wear. If no dress code is specified, it is safest to ask the host what the dress code is. This is especially important in a non-traditional setting such as a beach wedding. In the case that you are unable to find out the dress code, it is most conservative to assume that the dress code is cocktail for an evening wedding.

The default wedding outfit

A safe option for a wedding is to wear a dark colored suit (black, navy and dark grey are all acceptable), a crisp white shirt, a tie, and black or brown polished dress shoes. This is what you should wear if the invitation says “cocktail” or “business casual”.

The black tie wedding outfit

Black tie is the most formal mode of dress you are likely to encounter in your life. Yes, there is white tie which is a step above black tie, but you are unlikely to ever be required to dress in white tie.

Your black tie wedding outfit should consist of a black tuxedo, black dress shoes, a white shirt and a black bowtie. You should wear a black waistcoat under your suit jacket.

A cummerbund (sash around the waist) is technically an acceptable alternative to a waistcoat, but these are rarely worn anymore. Never wear both a waistcoat and a cummerbund.

Technically, “semi formal” means the same as “black tie”, but often the host will write “semi formal” on the dress code while meaning something a little closer to cocktail wear. It is best to check with the host to ensure you are not overdressed or underdressed to the wedding.

Black tie
Black tie is the most formal dress code you are likely to encounter for a wedding reception.

Is it a daytime wedding?

For a daytime wedding, the dress code is more relaxed than that of an evening wedding. During the day, the dress code is usually lounge suit. Do not wear a tuxedo to a daytime wedding, unless the dress code specifies that it is a black tie event.

How to dress for a funeral

Your outfit is unlikely to be your top priority when you are attending a funeral. You should have a basic funeral outfit to wear, and you can recycle this outfit for every funeral you go to.

Wear black

Wearing black to a funeral is expected. It may be a cliche, but it is what you are required to do. Sometimes it may be the case that a color is specified on the invitation. For example, if the favorite color of the deceased was yellow, then everyone may be asked to wear yellow. If no instructions are provided, wear black and other dark colors. The exception to the rule is, of course, your shirt. Do not wear a black shirt.

Be conservative

A funeral is not the time to try out a brand new look that just came off the catwalk. Wear something conversative and predictable. Do not worry about injecting some of your own personal style into your funeral outfit, as you are expected to dress in a nondescript way. If you are a pallbearer, you should be even more aware of making sure you are dressed appropriately. Ensure everything is neat and uncreased.

Man in suit for funeral
Keep it simple with a plain suit and tie at a funeral.

Wear a suit

You should have a well fitting, dark colored (preferably black) suit for the occassion. Wear with a white shirt and a black tie (navy and maroon are acceptable alternatives if you do not own a black tie). It is not the time to play around with wearing unique or colorful ties or bowties. Keep it simple. Your shoes should be black and polished leather.

Do not take off your jacket for an indoor funeral ceremony, although you may remove it if you are outdoors and the weather is warm enough.

Know the traditions

Different religions have different modes of dress for a funeral. For example, as a Muslim funeral you may be required to remove your shoes. It pays to be aware of these traditions ahead of time, so that you are fully prepared for the modifications to your outfit that may be required. You would want not want to be wearing old and greying socks if you are asked to remove your shoes.


What clothes do women like men to wear?

How you dress can have a huge impact on how you are perceived. Dressing in a particular way can improve your looks immensely- no plastic surgery needed. If you are looking to impress the ladies, then follow these tips to instantly approve your appeal.

Collared shirts

You may be comfortable in your tee shirt, but dressing properly makes women swoon. Simply switching your tee shirt for a shirt with a collar can make all the difference to your appearance. You will look more respectable and more in control of your life.

Sexy shoes

Shoes are one of the first things about you that women notice. If you have a movie-star smile but are wearing crocs on your feet, then girls will not look at you twice. Invest in some sleek and classic shoes such as Oxfords or loafers, preferably in leather.

Tight jeans

A pair of tight jeans will show off your assets. Plenty of women are into men with cute bottoms. Show that you’re one of them with a pair of slim-fitting jeans that shows you off.

Leather jacket

Be the bad-boy type that she has always wanted in a luxurious leather jacket. Most outfits can only be improved with the addition of a black leather jacket. Wearing a jacket is especially an asset on a date, as you can offer for her to wear it in an act of thoughtfulness that is sure to impress.

Leather jacket guy
Drive women crazy in a leather jacket.

Facial hair

Technically, facial hair is not clothing. However, it is worth mentioning that many women love a bearded man. To some women, a full beard is attractive; to others, a stubbly five-o-clock shadow does the trick. The most important aspect of your facial hair is what suits you best. If you think you look good with a bit of chin fuzz, then go for it. Many women will approve.

How to dress for a second date

You survived the first date, but unfortunately you also wore your only suitable dinner outfit. How can you put together a stylish second date outfit in a pinch?

You need a different top

You can easily wear the same black jeans twice. Your date will be unlikely to notice, and even a sharp-eyed woman who picks up on it will not judge you too harshly for recycling your pants. However, your top needs to be completely different. A patterned shirt would be ideal. It is not as informal as a tee shirt, but is more relaxed than a suit shirt.

No runners

You are only on your second date, so you still need to put your best foot forward. This means no runners. You cannot bring out the ugly shoes until long after you are officially a couple. If you have a second pair of dress shoes that you did not wear on your first date, wear them. Otherwise, wearing the same shoes twice is permissible provided they are plain enough.


Jewelry can change your entire look from mediocre to stylish. It also provides a talking point. If there is an awkward silence, your date is likely to fill the time with asking if there is a story behind the necklace you are wearing. It also helps if there is a story, and if that story is not “my ex got it for me”.

Do not wear a watch

If you are wearing a watch, you may glance at it. This is not what you should be doing on a date, unless you are trying to convey that it is going poorly. Not wearing a watch means that the temptation to keep an eye on the time is gone, and hopefully you will be focusing on enjoying your evening instead.

How to dress for a dinner date

Don’t underestimate how important your outfit is on a dinner date. A woman will always judge you on your outfit, but dinner dates have that extra air of formality which means you will be even more harshly evaluated. On the upside, this gives you more opportunity to impress with your killer sense of style.


Dress as fancy as the restaurant

Hopefully it goes without saying that if you’re headed to a fancy restaurant, you should dress accordingly. A pair of pants (not shorts!) and a shirt are a good start. If you’re comfortable wearing a patterned shirt, do so. Depending on your personal style, you may want to accessorise with a bow tie.

No hats at dinner

Hats can be a great accessory, but not at the dinner table. Don’t even wear a hat for the way there, because you’ll need to take it off once you’re seated and she will then be staring at your hat hair all evening.

Nothing fiddly

You’re bound to be nervous and perhaps even a little uncomfortable, particularly if it’s a first date. Many people have the nervous habit of fiddling with whatever is at hand, be that a necklace, a loose button or cutlery. I can’t help you out when it comes to cutlery, but cull anything that you might fiddle with from your outfit. It doesn’t matter how good it looks if you’re going to play with it!

The right shoes… and socks!

Nothing less than dress shoes will do for a dinner date. A pair of brogues will show that you have a sense of what’s appropriate, without being too rigid. Leather oxfords are the way to go when you’re headed to a particularly fancy restaurant.

The perfect shoes can be rendered horrendous by the wrong socks. If you’re wearing dark shoes and pants, wear dark socks! There are few fashion crimes worse than white socks with a pair of dark leather shoes.

Have a nice wallet

Inevitably at the end of a date, somebody has to pay. Often that will be you. You will undo her impression of you as a style god if you then whip out the same wallet you’ve had since you were fourteen. A quality leather wallet will help complete your look.

How to dress for a nightclub date

Nightclub dates are awkward things. Clubs are where you go to pick up and offer limited chances for conversation so are not the most appropriate location for getting to know someone; yet they’re casual enough to dispel any nerves you might have. But what do you wear when you arrive at the club with the girl you’re planning on taking home, with no view to picking up?

You want to look good, but still demonstrate in your attire that you are not out to impress anyone except your date.

Classic dressing

Play it safe by wearing trendy rather than flashy, attention-seeking clothes. A weird shirt or shiny jacket is a great talking point when you’re out to get some action, but it won’t impress your date. There’s a huge difference between stylish dressing and peacocking; it’s not hard to figure out the balance you need to strike.

Bring a jacket

Your date will be eternally grateful for the jacket or sweater you’ve brought along once you’ve left. The cloakroom fee is worth it!

Wear nice shoes

Most women care about shoes. Your date will notice what’s on your feet and she will judge you. No runners- not even your cleanest ones! A nice pair of oxfords will do the trick. Dress shoes are always appropriate while clubbing and on a date; they’re your only choice.

Don’t wear a tie

Rookie mistake. You’re going on a date to a sweaty club. A tie would be out of place. Your date will appreciate the effort you’ve gone to, but may think you’re a weirdo. If you really want to go that extra mile, don a bowtie instead.

How to dress for a casual job interview

You wouldn’t turn up to a job interview for a position at your local supermarket dressed impeccably in a three-piece suit. You always need to look neat, but the key for casual job interviews is to dress slightly more formally than the employees that work there.

But what if I don’t know how they dress?

It could be that you’re going for a position at a small business where there are too few employees to gauge the style requirements, or where you’ve never seen the employees and therefore have no idea what is expected. This is a little more challenging- if you can, find out from someone that works there what the dress code is. At the very least, you can try to determine what to wear from observing employees at other businesses in the same industry.

Assuming that you have no way of finding out what style is appropriate, dress intermediately. Don’t go all-out by wearing a full suit if you’re going for, say, a manual labour or retail job. Wear a fairly nondescript but moderately tailored outfit. A pair of fitted jeans, a shirt and dress shoes is a foolproof outfit if you have no idea what calibre of formality is expected.

Don't wear a waistcoat if this is the job you're applying for.
Don’t wear a waistcoat if this is the job you’re applying for.

Why you need to dress like an employee

If you turn up in a completely inappropriate outfit, the interviewer will think you’re an idiot before you’ve even opened your mouth. This goes for both dressing too informally and dressing too formally. You need to show that you have a grasp on what’s expected of you, and that you’re aware of the company’s culture.

Neatness is key

The most important aspect of how you dress for a job interview is being neat and tidy. Every piece should be freshly washed and ironed, everything that is meant to be tucked in should be nicely tucked, there should be no inappropriate accessories. Don’t forget a belt- unless you are going for a position in the trades where asscrack is desirable, ensure that your pants stay where they’re meant to.

No slogan tee shirts

Steer clear of any item that could be offensive, such as a funny slogan tee shirt or one of those awful naked woman tee shirts. You also want your outfit to be distraction free so your interviewer concentrates on you rather than the interesting stains on your shirt.

That’s deep: how to wear deep necked tee shirts

I have a confession to make: I have been watching an embarrassing amoung of Geordie Shore lately. Any others with bad taste in TV shows will know that when the guys on that show wear tops, there is only one choice: a deep necked tee shirt. It can be a difficult look to pull off, but don’t disregard it just because it’s not your usual style. A deep necked top does the trick if you want to show off your body rather than just your style.

It helps to be buff

A deep neck is most flattering on a muscular body type. You can also get away with wearing one if you’re stocky and substantial enough to create the illusion of being buff. Scrawny types should avoid deeply cut necklines.

deep neck tee

It’s okay to be hairy

The boys on Geordie Shore dissolve their chest hair with Veet before a night on the town wearing their characteristic deep neck tees. While that is the done thing where they live, you don’t need to copy their grooming routine. There is something disconcerting about seeing a grown man bereft of chest fuzz- it’s like he hasn’t gone through puberty yet. If you have a little bit of chest hair, there’s no need to remove it. However, a deep necked tee does not look great if you have a serious chest forest going on.

What to wear it with

You can’t go wrong by pairing your deep necked T-shirt with a pair of slim fitting jeans. You don’t want to have a super tight top with equally tight pants, so be wary of skinny jeans with a tight tee shirt. A pair of canvas shoes or trendy trainers finishes off the look.

How to dress for a pool or spa party

A spa party consists of more than stripping down and jumping in.

Please, wear board shorts.

A pair of speedos, or worse, your underwear, are not sufficient to swim in. A pair of board shorts ensures nobody sees more of you than they want to. It’s inevitable that everyone will be able to picture you naked, you don’t want to help them when it comes to the details by wearing a pair of underwear. Swimming in your Y-fronts is uncomfortable for everyone, except you.

Old man in speedos.
Don’t be this guy.

Your board shorts should not be a relic of your childhood. Choose simple geometric designs or solid colours, rather than childish prints. I highly recommend purchasing your board shorts from a specific men’s retailer rather than a discount department store, as they tend to make their adult board shorts as giant versions of children’s ones.

It is essential that your board shorts fit well so you don’t have flesh spilling over the sides. To this end, ones that are secured with a drawstring are better than a zip or velcro.

No socks

Plan your outfit so you don’t have to wear socks, in case you forget to take them off before stepping into the water. You also need to wait until you’re properly dry before putting socks back on at the risk of suffocating everyone with your wet sock smell, so it’s best if you can just avoid socks. A pair of flip flops or sandals is invaluable at a pool party, giving you the mobility to step in and out of the pool as much as you like.

Wear a T-shirt or a short sleeved shirt

A pool party is as informal as it gets, so a tee will suffice. If you want to look slightly smarter, wear a short sleeved, collared shirt in a trendy print. Keep in mind that you will be taking your shirt off anyway, so it doesn’t really matter what you’re wearing top half.


The ultimate guy style guide