Why Isn’t Businesscore the New Business Casual?

If there’s one thing the fashion side of TikTok is known for, it’s producing heaps and heaps of microtrends, whether that’s hyping up a specific piece of clothing or an entire aesthetic. Many of the niche styles that gain popularity on social media highlight feminine clothing, like balletcore or the coastal grandmother aesthetic, but there are plenty of masculine styles gaining traction as well. One of these trendy masc aesthetics is businesscore. 

Image Source: @marv1n.fits on TikTok

Don’t let the name scare you away — businesscore sounds like it should evoke images of dreary meeting rooms and cubicles, but it’s a style that emphasizes comfort and casual clothing. Mixing formalwear and streetwear, the outfit staples are button-up shirts and neckties—the business in businesscore—though the rest of the outfit is much more flexible. Jackets should be loose-fitting and occasionally oversized. Puffer jackets, varsity jackets, and leather jackets are the most popular. For pants, think loose; think comfy. You can throw on your favorite jeans, a pair of parachute pants, or even slacks if the rest of your outfit is casual enough to make up for it. Too formal and you’ve strayed into corporate territory, not an outfit you can wear day-to-day. For shoes, try boots, loafers, or sneakers, and all of the above fits with businesscore best if you go with black or white, though there are plenty of outfits that have pops of color instead of the usual grayscale. 

Image Source: Prada on Facebook

Businesscore has been popular on social media since at least the end of 2022 and is still going strong in 2023, but Instagram models and fashion TikTokers are not the only people you’ll see wearing the styles. The singer Frank Ocean wore outfits similar to the businesscore aesthetic at the Met Gala in 2019 and as part of a campaign with Prada for their Spring 2020 men’s wear collection.

Although business is in the name of the aesthetic, it seems most people are wearing this style purely as casualwear rather than as a way to spice up their office attire. Despite the tucked-in button-ups and black neckties, the other aspects of the trend simply might be too casual for a business environment. Many guides on what to wear when you have to follow a business casual dress code explicitly advise against things like sneakers and oversized or loose clothing. So if you’re a fan of businesscore, you probably shouldn’t try showing up to any office jobs in chunky sneakers and baggy pants, even if you put in the effort of tucking your shirt in.