Business Casual: Work Wear Today

How many of you wear jeans to work?  Flip-flops? Tennis shoes?  T-Shirts?

In the past few years, the term “business casual” has come to mean something completely different than it has before.  You can walk in to any given office on any given day and see employees and sometimes even bosses wearing the most casual clothes of the business casual world.  We all like to be comfortable when we work, right?  But how comfortable is too comfortable?

For a few years, the business world has seen a drop in dressing up for the office.  Jeans, untucked shirts, and even flip-flops have become the staple office-wear, but times, they are a-changin’.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy my jeans on designated casual work days, too, but there is a time and a

place for everything, and employers are beginning to see the light.  Recently, many offices have begun to crack down on the dress code at work.  From jeans to casual capris, clothes worn in offices are drastically changing.  Some employers are even hiring image consultants to tell you what not to wear.  Women are now being seen more frequently in business suits, dress pants, blouses, and the like.  But, just because your dress code may be changing, that doesn’t mean you have to dress like you are the definition of frumpy!

So, what is the “new” business casual that is making a comeback?  here are some dos and don’ts of what to wear in the office but still maintain style:

DON’T wear jeans, jeggings, or even the nicer looking “denim dress pants.”  More than likely these will be frowned upon even if they might have a dressy look.

DO opt for a great looking and comfortable pair (or three) of black pants.  Black pants are a must-have for any working gal from an executive to a professor.  You can pair them with a cute (but appropriate) top during the day while still keeping up with the latest styles.  White pants also work, but make sure you are fitting them to the time of year!

DON’T wear a skirt that is too short or a casual material.  Too short skirts look unprofessional no matter how cute you think your legs may be.  Denim skirts, while dressy at times, still give off the air of being a tad too casual for the work day in the office.

DO grab a nice top of (or right above) the knee pencil skirt.  Any color will do, but I recommend black simply because you can play it up with fun tops and accessories that are still work appropriate.

DON’T wear tank-tops, no matter how many times you layer them, or low-cut tops, even if you don’t have a lot of cleavage.  Bearing too much flesh can look very unprofessional and make you seem like a less than adequate employee or employer.

DO grap some cute cap sleeved or even sleeveless (if permitted by your office) tops to pair with dress pants or a nice skirt.  There is not necessarily anything wrong with asserting your constitutional right to bear your (bare) arms!  Get a comfy material such as silk or satin or a light cotton so that you are still comfy.  You can also always layer these with a jacket or sweater for a layered look.

DON’T wear accessories that are too flashy.  Tons of necklaces, bracelets, and rings can distract you and others from what you need to be doing–work!  There are plenty of cute accessories out there that are work day appropriate.  My favorite accessories are necklaces and bracelets that you can layer with one another, such as thin bangle-type bracelets.  Put on a few for work and then add the others for a night on the town. Accessories make an outfit if they are done correctly!

DO make sure you find the right clothes for your profession.  Use your own discretion combined with whatever your employer says is or isn’t appropriate.  And if you are the employer, be conscious of what your employees wear.  You want to represent your office the best you can, and your employees should want the same.

So, grab some girlfriends from the cubicle next door and head out to shop ’til you drop for a great work outfit!