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You’ve been invited to a restaurant with your colleagues and clients. You’re dressed to the nines, but you’re worried. Will your outfit be too formal? Will they think you don’t take their restaurant business seriously if you show up in a suit? Well, we’ve got good news for both of those questions: no and no! There’s nothing wrong with wearing a suit to dinner it’s just not the only option out there. Here are some tips on how to dress appropriately so that people take you seriously while also making sure that you’re comfortable in your own skin (and clothes).

Rules of Restaurant Business Casual

Restaurant business casual is a simple concept. It’s not as formal as a suit and tie, but it’s also not as casual as jeans and a T-shirt. You can wear dark colored clothing in solids or patterns, but don’t go overboard with bright colors or bold designs. For example, don’t wear anything with stripes–they’re too flashy for this occasion. Stick to solid shirts (like blue or white) without any crazy designs on them!

You’ll want to keep your shoes polished and clean so they look nice when you walk into the restaurant; no one wants to see scuffed-up black loafers when they go out for dinner at night!

Don’t Wear a Suit

  • You should be able to move around easily. If you’re wearing a suit, it’s going to be hard for you to get up from your seat and take care of customers or run food orders out to tables.
  • A business casual outfit is more relaxed than one that consists of a full suit and tie (or even just a tie). It’s not as formal–and that means it’s less likely to intimidate customers who aren’t used to seeing people dressed up in fancy clothing at restaurants.
  • Be comfortable! If something doesn’t feel good on your body, don’t wear it just because it looks nice or matches other items in your wardrobe; instead make sure everything fits well enough so that when the time comes for an interview or presentation at work (or even just running errands around town), there won’t be any problems with comfort levels causing distractions from what needs doing at hand.

Wear Dark or Solid Colors

Darker colors are more formal and solid colors are more formal than patterns. This means that you should avoid wearing white or light colored shirts, shorts, flip flops, and tank tops. If your restaurants business casual has a dress code policy in place that requires employees to wear black pants/skirt with a white shirt then make sure that the shirt is tucked in at all times when working at the restaurant.

Get a Pair of Dark Jeans or Chinos

Dark jeans are the most versatile option, because they can be worn with almost anything, from casual shirts to blazers. They’re also dressier than blue jeans and less formal than khakis. Dark-colored chinos are more flattering than khakis because they have more texture and don’t look like you’re wearing work pants outside of work, but they can still be worn with button-down shirts, ties and blazers if you want to dress them up.

You Can Wear a Collared Shirt with a Tie

Ties are optional in business casual, but if you choose to wear one, it should be dark and solid. For example: navy blue or black would work well for most men. The tie should also be proportional to the size of your collar–if your shirt has wide points (the points of both sides), then consider wearing a skinny bow tie instead of a regular one. If your collar is smaller than average (think spread collars) then go for something wider like an ascot or four-in-hand knot instead of something skinny like a bolo tie or cravat. Finally, make sure that when you’re tying up your knot there’s enough length left over so that when we put our hands on our hips there isn’t any part showing below our belt line!

Get Yourself Some Dress Shoes

If you’re going to be wearing a tie, then it’s imperative that your shoes are dark and polished. You don’t want them to clash with the color of your suit or shirt, so make sure they’re black or brown (and not too shiny). Get a pair of good arch support insoles for said dress shoes if necessary, it’ll help with foot pain later on in life!


We hope that you now feel more confident about what to wear to work in a restaurant. As long as you follow the rules of restaurants business casual, you can wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and look good!