Projections show that the global apparel market will reach a size of $1.7 billion before the end of 2023.
Everyone wears clothing, but choices differ depending on personal style, current fashion trends, and the purpose of different garments. You want to make sure you have suitable outfits for every occasion you’ll find yourself in so that you can dress comfortably and look good.
One of the more common dress codes seen worldwide is “business casual”. While not everyone needs this kind of attire all the time, for many, it’s a typical look that they’ll stick to almost every day. As we move through 2023, you’ll want to make sure you have the right clothing for whatever comes your way.
For a rundown of some of the top business casual fashion trends for spring 2023, keep reading.
What Is Business Casual?
In many situations, you can wear almost whatever you want. When you’re around your home, out running errands, or relaxing with friends, you can dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable and allows you to express yourself completely. When working, however, you may need to adhere to certain standards.
What you need to wear for work will depend on the line of work you’re in. Business casual is a type of office clothing that’s considered more professional that a t-shirt and jeans, for example, but not quite as formal as typical business wear. According to fashion, textile, and travel expert Anne Combs, business casual is “an upscale look that’s chic enough to command attention yet understated enough not to overwhelm”.
It’s a type of fashion that’s all about balance. It’s suitable for an office environment as it provides a degree of formality but is still somewhat relaxed. This generally means you’ll have a bit more freedom with it, and you can be more comfortable.
This comfort comes not only in the form of not needing to wear a stiff suit but also because you have more room to express yourself. It’s also a suitable type of attire for socializing, which is ideal if you’re likely to do that after a day of work.
What Are Your Options?
It’s worth noting that business casual will vary depending on the workplace. In some offices, jeans might be considered fine, while others might see them as a bit too casual. Some common examples of what people might wear in a business casual environment include:
- Button-down shirts
- Dress shoes
- Longer skirts
These are just some ideas of what many companies would expect, but when starting a new job, it’s worth paying attention to the preferences there. The best thing to do is take a look at other employees to see how people typically dress. This will help you get an idea of how you should proceed.
How Business Casual Has Changed
It’s natural for fashion to change with time in almost every environment, and the workplace is no different. Sometimes this is something that’s only noticeable over several decades, and sometimes it takes just a few years.
In terms of office style clothing, we’ve seen a significant change in a short amount of time. This is partly due to the pandemic, which resulted in many work-related changes.
The main reason for such a rapid change in clothing styles is working from home. As many people weren’t going into the office to work, they could stay at home and wear whatever they wanted. In most cases, this meant dressing as casually as people liked.
When you spend a whole day working without seeing anyone, you could simply wear sweatpants, hoodies, or whatever else was most comfortable. As people have been returning to work, this idea of dressing more casually has held on to a degree. While you wouldn’t expect anyone to turn up in their pajamas, things have certainly become more relaxed.
Startups have also caused a degree of change as they’ve become more prevalent in recent years. They’re generally more laid back than traditional offices belonging to larger corporations. As such, business casual in these environments is often more easygoing, with things like jeans and polo shirts being far more common.
How to Dress Business Casual in 2023
Now that we’re in 2023, we’ve reached a point where business casual can mean various things. So how should you be dressing when entering the office this spring?
Business Casual for Men in 2023
As far as men’s fashion goes, business casual in 2023 is definitely leaning more toward the “casual” side of things. Fashion runways have seen the return of various old-school style choices such as patchwork fabrics, neckties, baggy pants, and even the infamous denim-on-denim.
Runways, however, aren’t necessarily reflective of real life, so we likely won’t see all of these elements in the workplace. Some things we can expect to become more common, however, are:
- Relaxed slacks
- Simple jackets and blazers
- Comfortable sweaters
- Non-neutral and patterned dress shirts
- Stylish closed-toe shoes (such as boots)
These kinds of things may become a part of your everyday wardrobe. As stated above, however, you need to ensure you’re dressing in an appropriate way that aligns with the company you work for.
Business Casual for Women in 2023
Women’s fashion can often be more complicated than men’s. There are typically more choices, so there’s more to think about. For 2023, experts are saying things will trend toward showing off your individual style and accentuating the basics.
Dark suits have been popular in the past, and it seems they will be again this year, but with added touches. Things like colorful sweaters, bright sneakers, or fancy scarves can help an individual stand out and lets them express themselves more.
“Power dressing” has become a big thing as more women have entered into corporate positions, and that trend is likely to continue. Along with it, many women will go for a more personalized look by using accessories to highlight them as an individual. This approach can make a formal suit more casual, which goes better with the trend of more relaxed workplace attire.
Some examples of items that women can wear for spring 2023 are:
- Dresses with jackets
- T-shirts with jackets/blazers
- Flowy, wide-legged pants
- Neutral colors with accessories
- Lightweight, brightly colored fabrics
This is an ideal time for women to be themselves, and shows that through the way they dress. Bright colors and unique accessories are both perfect for this and can still be paired well with a more formal outfit.
Business Casual Fashion Trends in 2023
If you’ve returned to the office recently or you’re starting a new job, you may be in the market for some new garments to give yourself a fresh look. These are some trends that can give you a few ideas for what you can wear this spring.
Suit jackets are a classic choice, but an unstructured blazer gives a similar feel with less rigidity and stiffness. They work well for formal looks when paired with a button-down shirt but also go great with a plain white t-shirt for a more casual appearance.
Sneakers are traditionally considered informal and generally reserved for sports or physical activity. In recent years, however, more have become available that go well as part of a business casual look. Minimalist sneakers are discreet and can often work with almost any outfit – and as a bonus, they’re typically very comfortable to wear.
Slacks are generally considered quite formal, and denim jeans are more casual. Chinos land somewhere in the middle of the two, making them ideal for environments where denim may be considered too relaxed. A slim fit always looks good, and they’re easy to find in various colors, so you can match them to any outfit you’d like.
If you want to give your outfit a little “pop,” then you can add something like a patterned pocket square or eye-catching cufflinks. This is a great way to add something small and unique that can make a basic outfit stand out.
Different textures can change the whole feel of an outfit. You can add depth, contrast, and more with things like suede, corduroy, or mohair. Mixing things up in this way will also make any outfit more interesting.
Your Business Casual Attire
There are plenty of options when it comes to business casual, so you have the freedom to express yourself while working with a look that’s appropriate. Just ensure you’re keeping things in the right lane for your workplace by not going too formal or too relaxed.
It’s also important to properly look after your clothes. Hanging things on luxury wooden hangers can help repel certain pests like moths and insects that could potentially damage your clothes. They also help maintain the proper shape of your clothes while they’re in your closet.
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