While our workplaces have gone through drastic change the past couple of years, one question still remains: are sneakers business casual?
The answer, unfortunately, is not as simple as a yes or no. It depends on the workplace and the company culture. Some workplaces are more lenient when it comes to dress code, while others are stricter.
That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding if sneakers are appropriate for your workplace.
Are Sneakers Business Casual?
As mentioned earlier, the concept of business casual must be taken on a case-by-case basis.
Workplace Dress Code
The first thing to consider is the overall dress code of your workplace. If the dress code is business casual, then chances are that sneakers will be allowed.
Business casual typically means that you can ditch the suit and tie and opt for more relaxed clothing, like slacks and a button-down shirt.
However, it’s important to note that business casual can vary from workplace to workplace. Some workplaces might consider sneakers to be too casual, while others might be more lenient.
It’s always a good idea to check with your HR department or supervisor to see if there are any restrictions on what type of footwear is allowed.
Another thing to consider is the company culture. Some companies might have a more casual culture, while others are more formal.
For example, a company that sells athletic wear might be more likely to allow employees to wear sneakers to work. On the other hand, a law firm or bank would probably have a more formal culture and might not allow sneakers.
If you’re unsure about the company culture, again, it’s always a good idea to check with your HR department or supervisor.
Your Role in the Company
Your role in the company also plays a part in how you are expected to dress. If you’re in a management or executive position, you’re expected to dress more formally than someone in a non-management position.
For example, if you’re a manager at a retail store, you might be expected to wear business casual attire, including closed-toe shoes. However, if you’re a sales associate, you might be able to get away with wearing sneakers.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. If you have a doctor’s appointment or you’re going to be walking a lot during the day, it might be okay to wear sneakers, even if you’re in a management position.
What Is Standard Business Casual Attire?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the things to consider when deciding if sneakers are appropriate for your workplace, let’s take a look at what standard business casual attire is.
For men, business casual typically means slacks and a collared shirt. You can also wear khakis, and a sweater or sport coat is also an option.
As for shoes, you should avoid sneakers and opt for loafers, dress shoes, or boat shoes.
For women, business casual typically means slacks, a skirt, or a dress. A blouse, sweater, or shirt is also standard business casual attire.
As for shoes, you can wear loafers, dress shoes, or pumps. Again, avoid sneakers.
What Is Business Attire?
If you work in a high-level position or in certain industries like law or government, you will most likely have to wear business attire. Let’s take a look at what business attire is.
For men, business attire typically means a suit and tie. You can also wear a dress shirt with dress pants, but the suit is the standard.
As for shoes, you should avoid sneakers and opt for loafers, dress shoes, or Oxfords.
For women, business attire typically means a skirt or pantsuit. A blouse, shirt, or sweater is also standard business attire.
As for shoes, you can wear loafers, dress shoes, pumps, or heels. Again, avoid sneakers. When it comes to heels in a formal business setting, women should wear closed-toe shoes with a heel of two inches or less.
What Type of Job Allows Sneakers Daily?
You might be wondering what type of job would allow you to wear sneakers every day.
There are a few different types of jobs that usually allow sneakers. For example, if you work in retail or the food service industry, you might be able to wear sneakers. The condition may be the color. Some of these jobs allow sneakers as long as they are black ones.
Another job that might allow sneakers is a physical labor job. For example, if you work in landscaping, you might be able to wear sneakers.
Tech companies are well-known for being very casual. So, if you work in the tech industry, you will most likely get away with wearing sneakers every day. Hoodies and t-shirts are also common as there is not a strict dress code in this industry.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Even if you work in one of these jobs that usually allow sneakers, it’s always a good idea to check with your HR department or supervisor before assuming it is OK.
Final Thoughts on Sneakers in a Business Casual Setting
So, are sneakers business casual? It depends on your workplace and what the dress code is. In general, sneakers are not considered to be business casual attire. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. If you’re unsure about the dress code at your workplace, always check with your boss or HR.
When in doubt, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. So, if you’re ever unsure about what to wear to work, err on the side of caution and dress up rather than dressing down.