Casual wear is diametrically opposed to the more formal attire. It is not defined by the standards of familiar white-collar work dress or any more formal dress code. Casual dresses can be worn where the environment is very informal. It is a kind of clothing that is comfortable and reflects the individual’s dressing sense. In the broadest of terms, casual dressing includes most of what is not considered appropriate for most white-collar office jobs and occasions.
The informal garments may include slacks, jeans, shorts, shirts without a tie, sports shoes, as well as a broad range of other clothes and accessories which are not usually worn with the more formal outfits. The casual attire generally reflects the personal dressing sense of the individual which is not usually depicted as he/she is part of some formal working environment. It is also worn on one’s own time or can also be worn if working outdoors for a greater duration of the day.
Casual wear differs according to the setting, occasion and place. For example, a beach party or backyard barbecue can be attended in informal clothes like jeans, t-shirts and shorts. But while attending an afternoon wedding, it is advisable to wear a pair of slacks, button down shirt or a summer dress. So dressing casually also requires some pattern to it and then only can it make the person feel comfortable and free.
There is a growing trend of dressing up in business casuals which is a kind of dressing style that is acceptable in some work environments. It is neither too formal nor too casual. Not all the situations require the person to be the stiff-necked executive in properly ironed and creased formal attire. The nature of work also determines the dressing sense and style of an individual. A more informal dress allows a person to decompress and at times can completely delineate the personal from the professional self. These dresses are designed for greater functionality and allow people to express their individuality by sporting certain styles to make a personal statement.
In the European context, casual is the dress code which emphasizes comfort and personal expression over presentation and uniformity. Some of the costumes that are not in the category of casual could be:
• Ceremonial Dresses like the royal robes & complete military costume
• Formal Wear like Black/White Tie
• Garments manufactured by exclusive designer brands
• Traditional Clothing and Accessories
Blue Jeans and a T-shirt are generally considered to be informal attire and have been described as the “casual uniform.” The growing popularity of the spectator sports in the late 20th century paved the way for athletic gear and garments which has had a deep impact on the casual dressing of the people. The clothes worn by the people involved in manual labor also are categorized as casual wear.
Casual Wear can be categorized in to different sections depending upon the gender and the occasion. Informal dress for men might include a pair of blue jeans & a white t-shirt, pair of shorts, khakis, chinos, collared tees, tank tops, knee length pants or even ankle-length pants.
Women’s casual attire is generally very colorful, bright and lively depicting the inner personality of the person donning these clothes. Women also like to add a lot of zing and match it up with a variety of accessories like ear rings, bracelets, necklaces and many other things to match with their garment. The dresses which can be included in this section could be gowns, skirts, blouses, jeans, t-shirts, shirts, pants and even khaki shorts.
Beach wear is also considered as casual wear because it gives the individual to dress according to his/her choice and be comfortable. The women can adorn the different kinds of swim suits and a bikini available while the men can be comfortable in skin hugging shorts which makes them feel free and is also convenient to take a dip in the sea for snorkeling etc.
Thus, the definition of casual wear will vary according to the place, time and occasion and also the environment prevalent at a particular moment of time.