The enduring fashion trend nobody understands: business casual by Stéphanie Thomson

The ambiguous world of business casual

While few people will long for the days of bland corporate uniforms, the move toward casual and comfortable workwear has not been without its problems. Whereas the rigid rules of the past — no bare legs or arms, no open-toed shoes, no denim — could be oppressive, they were at least very clear.

“People are trying to find their way through this elaborate maze. They want to feel unrestrained by their clothing, but they want to look put together, and not look like they’ve just rolled out of bed,” says Clemente. “Finding that balance is confusing.”

That’s exactly what we’re seeing play out in Google Search data. While the concept of “business casual” has existed since the 1990s, many people still don’t know what it means and how to pull it off — and they’re heading online to find out. Between 2017 and 2018, we saw a 14% increase in global search queries using the term, and “business casual” became the most searched-for phrase with the word “casual” in the query.1

Digging deeper into the data, it becomes clear that people are seeking out clarifications of this ambiguous term. In the U.S., we saw a 133% increase in searches for “business casual examples” and a 143% increase in searches for “smart casual dress code.”2 In France, there was a 127% increase in searches for smart casual menswear.3 In India, searches for “smart casual for men” increased by 438%.4

Read the full article @ Think With Google
Image CC-BY Eugene Wong

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