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Are Vans Business Casual?

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Should you rock these shoes in your office?

Should you rock these shoes in your office?

Are Vans Business Casual?

When it comes to getting dressed up for a business casual event, one of the hardest parts of your style to pinpoint is your shoes. Nothing can be more frustrating than a business event where you need to wear tight dress shoes all day long. At the end of the day, your feet are normally red, raw with discomfort, and undoubtedly have a few blisters forming.

If you want to avoid that for business casual attire, you might have your eye on a pair of Vans. Yet you might also be wondering, are Vans business casual?

Like any other fashion query, you might have, the answer trends to be it depends. It depends on the event, the host, your position within the hierarchy, and just about any other event-minded question. For example, service staff might get away with wearing something like a muted pair of Vans; someone in a higher position, though, might be expected to dress like a star.

So, you should absolutely keep that in mind as you go about the process of creating the right wardrobe style for your upcoming business casual event. So, are Vans business casual? Could you pull it off?

There is No 'Definitive' Answer

As you might have already found looking around, there are so many mixed responses to wearing Vans in a business casual setting. Given they are mostly casual sneakers, more formally minded people will typically say no. Basically, this comes down almost entirely to the premises that you will be visiting.

If you arrive as a guest at a business casual event, you should not really be so worried. Dress it up with a pair of chinos and a shirt and go for something nice and dark in terms of Vans, and it should work fine. If you are working there, though, the difference comes down to how your boss sees the style of a pair of Vans.

The secret is often in the description of business casual. If anything is mentioned about shirts, even open collars, then we would advise against turning up in a pair of Vans. There is no right or wrong here, but if you are a staff member who wants to avoid the scorn of higher-ups, you might want to leave the Vans in the cupboard.

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There is no answer that suits every business casual attire option, sadly.

Avoid The Vans on Day One

If you are starting a new business opportunity or a new job, do not risk it unless they are very clear about casual dress. First impressions more or less always make a big difference.

However, if you turn up on day one and notice an assortment of more informal shoes, ask your boss. Before you ask, though, maybe run it by a few of the less confrontational new colleagues. You might get a good answer from someone, especially if they seem to be wearing less formal attire. The secret is to always avoid doing it on day one, though.

You can always rock up in your Vans the next day and show them off to your new workmates. The worst thing that could happen is to turn up on day one and get told to head to the store, or home, to get more suitable attire.

While business casual is about as wide in description as one could imagine, most businesses will have at least some kind of idea of what they will and will not allow.

Vans are effortlessly cool shoes, but should you wear them to work?

Vans are effortlessly cool shoes, but should you wear them to work?

Making Your Own Decision!

There is no real way to know if Vans are business casual until you turn up at the event. Business casual is a fashion term that can be extremely diverse or overly limited. With that in mind, then, you should spend a bit of time looking into the Vans that you do own.

If you think they are very muted (i.e., all black), then think about it. As mentioned above, though, a quick message or a quick query to a colleague could be enough to help you avoid this faux pas. If you are short on time and want to risk it, then fair enough; but we highly recommend you bring a more formal pair of shoes, like a pair of loafers or derbies, that you could change into in the off chance your boss isn’t impressed!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Carlyn Hayes

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