Dec 22, 2022
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

Are Golf Shirts Business Casual?

There is a lot of debate about what business casual means in dress codes. It's such a grey area that many people have no idea what is acceptable to wear in situations that call for a balance of formal and informal attire. 

Golf shirts are probably the first item you envision for “business casual” attire—but are they? Or will you be committing a faux pas by wearing one to a casual meeting with business colleagues?

Here’s everything you need to know about the origins of business casual and how golf polos fit into that.

What Is Business Casual?

Although widely popularized in the 1990s in corporate America, the concept of business casual first emerged in Hawaii in 1962, thanks to the Hawaiian shirt. The collared style yet vibrant patterns were the first business casual attire.

Part of the reason the term seems unclear nowadays is that it doesn't possess an actual definition. There isn't a concrete understanding of what falls under business casual and what doesn't; most of us just feel like we know it when we see it. But there is a certain balance between ‘business’ and ‘casual’ that you need to strike.

The easiest way to identify this balance is to understand what falls under each category.

Business professional attire is usually more formal, such as a three-piece suit. This style is distinct for being neat and tailored. For men, it often consists of smart trousers, a button-down, a tie, and a blazer. For women, it's often trousers, a blouse, or a dress. 

For casual, you might imagine sweatpants, t-shirts, jeans, and other clothes that fall under the category ‘comfortable.’ However, for business casual, this is not appropriate. Casual here refers to clothing that is still acceptable in the office but is perhaps more loose-fitting or has short sleeves. 

Business casual is the sweet spot that perfectly intersects these two categories.

Can You Wear Golf Polos as Business Casual?

The short answer is yes, you can, but let's not stop there. You can wear golf polos as business casual because they perfectly represent the balance between formal and informal. Golf polos are tailored and well-fitting, not to mention versatile and comfortable. They consist of soft, breathable material similar to a t-shirt, but they have buttons and a collar similar to a dress shirt. They are the perfect mixture, allowing you to look smart without going overboard. 

There are two key reasons they’re the ideal business casual shirt:

1. They Aren't Too Formal or Informal

Golf polos are the optimal balance of formal and informal. Depending on where you're going, you can dress them up or down as necessary. The mix of formal and informal sets golf polos aside from other typical items of sportswear which are often distinctly casual. Think sweatpants, yoga leggings, or running tops. Arriving at a business casual event in a golf polo won’t give the impression that you've just arrived from the gym. In actuality, you'll look entirely appropriate every time. 

The beauty of achieving this balance is that you'll always be wearing the right thing. Part of the reason golf polos balance formal and informal is because of where they're most commonly worn: on the course (causal) and in the country club (more formal). Golf needed an article of clothing that could fit both scenes, and polos were the answer!

2. They're Comfortable and Versatile

A word that keeps coming up again and again throughout this post is versatile, and it's with good reason. Versatility is the primary strength of a golf polo, which is why the style suits business casual so well. It’s also a solid investment, as you can wear one to all of your business casual social events and then wear them out on the course!

That's all before we talk about how comfortable golf polos are. Even though the fit is tailored, the shirt is as tightly fitted or restrictive as dress shirts. The looser fit also means increased breathability, which is especially important when trying to stay cool on the course, especially in hot weather. In fact, most of the time, they feel pretty similar to ordinary t-shirts, just of a higher quality! Meeting the dress code and remaining comfortable? It sounds ideal to us. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Have to Tuck in Your Golf Shirt for Business Casual?

It isn't an absolute requirement to tuck your golf polo into your pants for business casual, but it is generally recommended, especially if you're heading into the office. However, if you're heading somewhere a little more casual than business, feel free to let your golf polo flow free!

Ready to Level Up Your Business Casual Wardrobe? Shop Stitch Golf

If you’ve ever seen the words ‘Dress Code: Business Casual’ and winced, the answer to your problems is here: the golf polo. Look no further than Stitch Golf to get your supply of premium golf polos, suitable for on the course and in the office.