third wardrobe

third wardrobe
n.
A set of clothes with a style that lies between formal business attire and casual wear.
Example Citation:
But perhaps market forces will be the biggest aid to employers who want to introduce stricter appearance guidelines. It is all very well turning up for work on a Friday in clothes different from those worn during the rest of the week but this has thrown up a new challenge to staff: how to feel casual but still look smart. For those who care enough, this means buying a third wardrobe, something that crosses the divide between Monday to Thursday and the weekend.
— Shona Maclean, "Keeping up appearances," The Herald, June 25, 2002
Earliest Citation:
"Before Dockers, there were your weekend-chore type clothes and then there were suits," says Mr. Williams. "Now men see a greater spectrum of occasions. There are degrees of casual."
With change comes confusion. Without the unvaried suit-shirt-tie trilogy to guide them, men don't always know how to pull together a professional look. That's good news to author and wardrobe consultant John Molloy, whose 1975 book, Dress for Success, spelled out the rules that are now meeting with rebellion. How does he like casual Fridays?
"I'm in favor of them. It's going to make me a lot more money," says the wardrobe consultant.
Mr. Molloy says some employees initially dislike the casual dressing policy because it in effect creates a third wardrobe — something that's not quite business, not quite casual, but business casual.
— Valli Herman, "Working Casual," The Dalls Morning News, December 8, 1993
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