What does fashion mean about style

Casual: meaning, fashion, tips for men and women

It doesn't always have to be a suit with a tie: With “Casual” you are often just as perfectly dressed. The dress code sounds simple, but it regularly creates uncertainty and questions in front of the wardrobe: What does casual look like? How relaxed can it be on different occasions? Can a casual look also be worn at work? Particularly confusing: Casual isn't quite as informal as it sounds. Different styles and dress codes are similar in name, but differ significantly in look. Here you can find out what "casual" means in fashion, which variations you should know about and which casual styles and looks are perfect for men and women to always be properly dressed ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: what does casual mean?

The term "casual" as a description of a style of clothing comes from the English and literally means "relaxed, casual, informal, casual" or "informal". Compared to other styles and looks, casual is less strict, is tied to less strict guidelines and allows the wearer to dress chic, yet relaxed and comfortable.

In parlance, casual clothing is primarily referred to as casual clothing. With a dress code, the casual look is far less formal or professional. Suits, ties or even bow ties have no place here, instead you will find jeans, T-shirts, (hooded) sweaters and sneakers. Sometimes a casual style is also referred to as being suitable for everyday use. The fashion is not only suitable for the job or certain occasions, but can be suitable for any occasion.

However, you should always consider the context and environment when talking about casual. That means: While casual at home or among friends can mean hoodie and sweatpants, a casual outfit for work or other occasions consists more of good sneakers, nice jeans or cotton trousers and a loose shirt or polo shirt. For women, a casual look can include skirts, light dresses or even slacks and matching, loose tops. It doesn't always have to be a blouse that can look almost too formal for a casual dress code. The same applies if you are invited to a party and the host thinks that everything is very casual - you should still leave your sweatpants in the closet and opt for a casual, yet chic and presentable look.

Casual is chic, not shabby

Unfortunately, a widespread misconception is that anything goes with casual. Well-worn shoes, holey jeans, old and baggy T-shirts and a worn-out hoodie - is the casual look ready? No! Correctly implemented, casual is a chic and casual style and looks anything but shabby or badly dressed. Of course, casual can be more comfortable and loose clothing that you feel comfortable in is part of the style. However, this is possible without having to forego a fashionable and tasteful impression. Broken and old clothes in particular have little to nothing to do with casual wear.

This also applies to “intentionally broken” clothing, as can often be seen in jeans with a used, distressed or ripped look: fringes, holes and abrasions have no place in high-quality casual clothing.

Casual: Important differences in casual fashion

The term casual includes various shapes and variations that you have to distinguish from one another when choosing your clothes. If you don't, you run the risk of being either overdressed or underdressed. Casual is by no means the same as casual. To help you wear the perfect look for every occasion, we explain the differences between the various casual dress codes and styles:

Casual wear

Casual wear is the casual style that many immediately think of when it comes to casual wear. Jeans and comfortable pants, T-shirts or sweaters go very well together here, and now and then it can also be a shirt. Casual wear can be described as the style that many people wear in their free time, away from office outfits and dress codes at work. Please do not confuse casual wear with leisure wear. This stands for the cozy clothes that you look forward to when you get home after a hard day at work. While leisure wear should almost exclusively be comfortable and cozy when you make yourself comfortable on the couch at home, casual wear is also suitable for going out, meeting friends or doing leisure activities.

Smart casual

If you want something more professional and elegant, the smart casual look is used. These are more elegant casual clothes, which for men can consist of trousers and a shirt or polo shirt, for example. Chic and well-cut jeans are also possible, but baggy trousers that are much too wide should be avoided in smart casual. Women can combine both pants and skirts with matching blouses or tops to create a smart casual look. A dress can also be worn as a smart casual.

Overall, the somewhat more elegant style of smart casual is also reflected in the color scheme, which primarily relies on subtle and muted colors. Black, gray tones, dark blue or other dark tones fit best and can be supplemented with color accents and highlights. With the smart casual look, you are properly dressed for many occasions that are not overly formal. At trade fairs and lectures, but also at receptions and at business lunches after work, you are on the safe side with Smart Casual - unless otherwise requested.

Business casual

The so-called business casual look is even a little more sophisticated, even if it cannot always be clearly assigned where smart casual ends and business casual begins. In many areas, the two dress codes are very similar and rather differ in their subtleties. The classic suit is an option in business casual for men, but you can do without a tie. A high-quality knitted sweater (cashmere or merino wool) or - if you want to do without a jacket or jacket - a nice shirt is also possible. Men round off the business casual look with matching fabric or suit trousers as well as elegant shoes.

For women, business casual includes numerous options. Skirts or trousers can be worn with tops such as blouses and pullovers, and blazers can also go well with the look. A heel that is not too high should be chosen for the shoes; sandals or peep toes are suitable, for example.

Casual chic

To make the confusion complete, the term "casual chic" keeps appearing - what does that mean? Well, relevant fashion websites and blogs describe this style either as a compromise or a balancing act between the clothing style that is often formal in everyday work and that which is quite comfortable in leisure time. Balancing act because one item of clothing is chosen from both styles and combined with one another. For example, the blue jeans with the blazer. The aim is to complement the casualness with elegance and seriousness - in the end, a sporty look is often created.

When it comes to the materials, everything stays the same: high-quality natural fibers and natural materials over plastic and polyester. So cotton, linen, silk, wool or cashmere. Pants and skirts can also be made of leather. This otherwise atypical mix of materials allows elegant footwear in the form of high heels for women. Similarly, a combination of basic T-shirts (white, black or gray) and chic jeans or linen trousers, combined with a jacket, applies to men.

Casual style: dos and don'ts for men and women

Casual avoids extremes in both directions: Dressed too casually tends to look careless, dressed too elegantly looks overdressed. Finding the right balance is not that easy, so here is an overview of wearable clothing and clothing that you should avoid.

Garments suitable for women

  • Top
    T-shirt, loose blouse. In addition, depending on the temperature: matching blazer. Tops are also possible in a casual look.
  • Lower part
    Skirt (about knee length), summer dress, trousers or (chic) ​​jeans.
  • colour
    Lightly patterned or plain-colored clothing, jeans in black or dark blue. Never combine different patterns; Coordinate clothes in terms of color.
  • Shoes
    Pumps, ballerinas, sandals, loafers.
  • accessories
    Little jewelry, subtle make-up, unobtrusive perfume, a decent hairstyle and, if necessary, sheer tights round off the casual style.
  • materials
    High-quality materials made from natural fibers such as silk, cotton, viscose, linen. They have the advantage that they are breathable and prevent odor formation (a problem especially in summer). In winter, complementary fine cardigans, scarves or sweaters made of merino wool or cashmere.

Please don't wear that

  • Clothing with wild patterns or neon colors, garments with eye-catching decorations, bows or ruffles.
  • Clothing that is too tight, under which everything can be seen, low-cut, see-through or crop tops.
  • Like everything that shows too much skin, so: do without a muscle shirt, mini skirt and hot pants.
  • Also unsuitable: Anything that would be reserved for a gala reception, such as a long silk trouser suit, cocktail or evening dress.

Garments suitable for men

  • Top:
    Polo shirt, plain-colored or subtly patterned shirt. Depending on the temperature: fine knit sweater, fabric jacket or jacket.
  • Lower part:
    Cloth trousers, jeans or fine cord trousers.
  • Colour:
    Subtle patterns or plain-colored clothing, jeans in black or dark blue.
  • Shoes:
    Slippers and leather sneakers instead of leather shoes are possible.
  • Accessories:
    The fine knit sweater can optionally be draped over the shoulders. Socks instead of knee socks. Sparingly dosed jewelry, for example, a men's ring next to the wedding ring. Use only light aftershave and make sure your hair and hands are well-groomed.
  • Materials:
    Men should also prefer high-quality materials made from natural fibers such as silk, cotton, viscose or linen. This can prevent odor formation. In winter you can complement your clothes with fine cardigans, sweaters made of merino wool or cashmere.

Please don't wear that

  • Wildly patterned Hawaiian shirts or clothing with funny prints.
  • Everything that is cut too tight, too short or too wide, such as a muscle shirt, boxer shorts.
  • Be careful with accessories such as baseball caps, too many bracelets or even eye-catching gold chains. Also risky: visible tattoos and piercings.
  • Baggy trousers, corduroy trousers and suits: worn corduroy fabric.
  • Flip-flops, sneakers, tennis socks.
  • Also unsuitable are clothing that would be assigned to evening wear, i.e. black, dark gray or dark blue suits, ties and bow ties.

You can download the list HERE as a free PDF document to note.

Casual at work: is that allowed?

For a long time, casual had no place in the professional world. At work, men wore suits, women skirts and blouses or a costume. Meanwhile, the job is less strict and so the casual look has found its way into offices and other workplaces for many years. If you are considering wearing a casual outfit at work, there are still a few points that you should keep in mind.

First of all, it depends on your industry and your employer. Casual clothing is widespread in the job, but there are still professions and industries in which classic dress codes are continued. In banking or insurance, there is no place for the casual style, here the suit is still compulsory for men, women usually wear a trouser suit or a suit. In other industries, you should always keep an eye on your colleagues, the boss and the prevailing dress code in the workplace. If everyone else is dressed more formally, you shouldn't appear too casual either. Here the customs are very different depending on the employer, especially young and modern companies maintain a loose clothing style.

In any case, it should never be too “casual” for the job. This quickly becomes unprofessional and you don't want your clothes to give the impression that you are not taking your work seriously or that you are too relaxed about your tasks. Stick to the dress codes of smart casual or business casual and don't just go for casual and cozy outfits, but think of style and professionalism at the same time.

Tips for Casual Friday

The so-called Casual Friday, which allows employees to approach the otherwise strict dress code on Friday, has existed for several decades. Although the dress code is less strictly enforced in many workplaces today, many companies continue to practice a casual Friday and invite employees to celebrate the last day before the weekend in a casual look. You can look forward to this possibility, but you shouldn't overdo it. Flip-flops and sweatpants have no place in the office on a casual Friday. The same applies to mini skirts, jeans with holes or short shorts - no matter how cozy the clothes are.

Always remember: Casual Friday is over after one day, and the impression you leave with it will last much longer. So it can be more relaxed, but always in such a way that the necessary professionalism is maintained in the job.

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