Each manager needs to decide if "business casual" is right for his or her company.

Source: Summit 1A, page 40, 1st edition, Pearson Longman Publication

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    Business casual is a noun. Business casual is an ad hoc dress code in professional and white-collar workplaces in Western countries. – Damkerng T. Jan 7 '14 at 19:34
  • Just casual, not business casual. And if casual is a noun, what does it mean? If it means an informal article of clothing, then it should be business casuals in the above sentence or similar ones. – Mori Jan 7 '14 at 19:40
  • This casual is the headword (main word) of business casual. Business casual is a kind of dress code, as in "a set of rules stating the manner of dress (at a school, office, etc.)", so business casual is already enough. Because this casual would refer to the whole set of rules. Another way to interpret dress code is "the customary style of dress of a specified group." – Damkerng T. Jan 7 '14 at 19:52

"Casual" here is an adjective that is becoming a noun in common use.

The common phrase is something like, "Dress is casual." Here "casual" is an adjective describing the type of clothing that is expected to be worn at some event. It's a predicate adjective, like, "The box is brown" -- "brown" is an adjective describing "box".

"Business casual" is just adding another modifier: not ordinary casual, but a little more formal, business casual.

I say that it's an adjective that is becoming a noun because more and more people say it without including a noun like "dress" for it to modify. For example someone might say, "We use business casual here."

But still, it's PRIMARILY an adjective, describing "dress" or "dress code" or "clothing" or similar words.

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