You want to avoid looking over or underdressed, so you don’t get into trouble with HR or become the main focus of your office. Keep in mind that you can be both fashionable and comfortable with the right approach.
For women, there are many options when it comes to wearing appropriate business casual attire to your workplace. In the summer, one idea is to buy a wide variety of dresses that fit you well and aren’t too short or tight. The good news is that this is a great option, no matter what your size or body type. For example, you can go online and shop trendy plus size dresses and pick out a few that you know you’ll feel confident in at the office and around coworkers. Don’t be afraid to purchase items with colors and patterns as long as they’re tasteful and not too loud or distracting. Another idea is to purchase skirts in a variety of colors and styles and pair them with nice shirts that are suitable for work.
In addition, you might want to consider wearing pants or slacks and a blouse when the weather is cooler. This is also a good option if you want your legs covered for any reason or don’t feel like being as fancy that day. A cute sweater with your favorite pair of pants is also a great idea during the colder winter months. Business casual attire is somewhere in between getting dressed up for a special occasion and dressing down on the weekends. It’s all about finding that happy medium where you don’t look like you tried too hard but also aren’t making it seem like you don’t care what you look like.
Most importantly, make sure that you have plenty of comfortable shoes to wear around your workplace. The last situation you want is to wear very high heels and return home with your feet aching each night.
Men also have to be prepared to go into work each day looking dapper and put together but also still professional. It’s in your best interest to stay away from wearing pants that come off as similar to jeans or appear too casual by the material. Instead, go for pants that fall into the slacks or khakis category and that you wouldn’t find yourself putting on during the weekend when you want to relax. Collared and polo shirts are excellent choices to be paired with pants of various colors.
While a full suit may be a bit over the top, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a sport coat and a smart collared shirt with a pair of pants to work as well. Buy a few different colors and styles so you can mix and match your pieces of clothing and can look different each day. If you skip the tie but keep your shirt tucked in, you’ll look more attractive and like you tried to look professional.
As for your feet, try to keep a few pair of shoes handy that you use only for wearing to work. This will help to make sure that you keep them looking presentable throughout the year. For example, if you like to work out after work, then pack a gym bag with a change of clothes and another pair of shoes instead of trying to wear them to work and for exercise. It’s good practice to get at least one black and one brown pair of work-appropriate shoes, so they match your different outfits. In addition, invest in a few good belts that fit well and will look great paired with your shirts, pants, and shoes.
Tips & Tricks
Getting dressed for work isn’t always the easiest and is even more difficult when you’re not prepared in advance. It’s important to go through your closet as soon as you land a job with a business casual dress code. While you should adhere to these tips, you also want to be yourself and not dress in a way that makes you feel uneasy or uncomfortable. Remember, you can always increase the attractiveness of any outfit by adding accessories and carrying a stylish bag.
It may not be a bad idea to do your research and homework online as well or ask a friend to review your wardrobe with you for a second opinion. Sometimes it can be difficult to make decisions by yourself, especially when you aren’t quite sure what’s appropriate, to begin with. When in doubt, pay attention and scope out what other people are wearing to the office and try to mimic some of the looks you find most appealing. Take time to sort through what you already own and make a list of what you need to buy yet so you can get organized.
These suggestions should give you a better idea of what appropriate business casual attire is so you can effortlessly get dressed and ready for work in the morning. Remember to always look in the mirror before you leave the house and confirm that what you’re wearing is neither too fancy nor too sloppy of a look, so you fit in better around the office.
You’ll find you’re happier at work when you look and feel good about yourself, so it’s a wise idea to spend time designing a wardrobe that follows these guidelines. Instead of stressing, start by gathering a few staples that you know work well and look good on you. Use these to then build your work wardrobe, and over time, you will get more comfortable with knowing what constitutes appropriate business casual attire.