Male, 21 years old, starting a Software Engineering internship with an investment-bank this summer and have been informed that the dress-code is Business Casual. Obviously business casual can vary, but I've spoken to a couple of guys who did the internship last year and they've informed me that in this context, the dress code is typically a pair of smart trousers (chinos or separate suit trousers) with a shirt and, optionally, a tie. As I don't have suit jackets which match my trousers, what do I wear over my shirt on the top half?

I've considered the option of v-neck or round-neck sweaters and I've considered buying a suit jacket (blazer? Not sure of the exact name) which would go with some of the trousers. I don't ever see men travelling to work in just a shirt, but I don't want to overdress by arriving at work wearing a suit jacket. What do I do? Any advice would be appreciated.

I haven't seen anyone ask this question, but if it has been answered elsewhere, feel free to point me in the right direction and close this question.

  • I'm female, so my perspective may be different, but my impression of male business casual is business shirt and slacks, with optional tie. My work environment is "business casual", and most of the guys I work with wear just that. Some wear suit jackets, or anything from vests to jackets to jumpers if the weather is cooler for the commute, but normally remove them in the office.
    – Jane S
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 11:35
  • Yes is is called a blazer. You can typically find them in resale shops cheap.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 12:03
  • 1
    First, Google the difference between "sports jacket", "blazer" and "suit jacket". Next, ask your new company! Ask the person who interviewed you - if you can. It's a perfectly valid question.
    – James
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 14:58
  • 1
    you should never wear a suit jacket on its own - ie not with the matching trousers. Just looks so meh get a blazer or a sports jacket
    – Pepone
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


You've got it near enough.

Chinos or suit trousers, open neck shirt (usually the kind you'd wear with a tie, but no tie). A V-neck is ok, possibly a round neck, but as it's summer you'll probably not need one (even in the UK).

Jacket wise, no-one will care too much, as long as it isn't too attention grabbing (a pink leather job with a full decal on the back is a nono). Anything you've got, casual is ok (you'll probably hang it in a rack so most people won't see it unless they arrive with you), you can buy a sports jacket (the type of item you didn't know the name of), but not really required.

  • +1, but I'd go with the V-neck, just make sure its smart and plain - no patterns, black, navy, or gray - no pink/yellow/red etc. Avoid sports jackets until you are middle aged!
    – Qwerky
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 8:41
  • @Qwerky - yeah single colour V-neck, I was originally going to say no round neck, but it works for some. A sports jacket can be fine, usually good if it's a contrast to the chinos. Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 8:51
  • @TheWanderingDevManager thanks for the response! I needed the reassurance--I won't be quite as much of a nervous wreck on the first day! :) Commented May 4, 2015 at 9:12

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