Whether you are starting a new job or already work in an office, you probably have mornings where you are stumped on what to wear. What does your office mean by “business casual,” anyway? You dress professionally, but your co-workers are more comfortable and their clothes show a sense of personal style that yours don’t. How can you make your office wardrobe more casual without overdoing it?
Mastering the merge between business and casual is not a fine art reserved only for the most fashion-conscious. It is merely a matter of matching your own personal style to your business attire and your office dress code. Read on for some tips to bring a casual flair to your business chic!
Read the Office Culture
One of the first things you want to establish when assembling your business casual wardrobe is what “business casual” means to your office. For some this might include jeans and polos, while others might require blouses and slacks, at minimum. Look around at your co-workers and what they are wearing. If you are going to an interview, take the time to observe the people who work in the office and what they do as well as what they wear. Part of what you wear is going to be affected by what activity is taking place in the office. Knowing the office culture is going to do a lot to determine what you wear in the workplace.
For the past year, athleisure wear has been making more of an appearance in the workplace. Yoga, workout, and beach clothing has taken on chic and stylish cuts and fabrics, and finding its way into workplace outfits. Athleisure tops, leggings, and accessories are being worn more often to the workplace. Many workplaces are incorporating yoga, martial arts, light athletics, or meditation into the mechanics of the workplace, and workers are also doing these activities more often before or after work, so having versatile outfits that can do double-duty is invaluable to the fashion-conscious working woman.
Some people like fashions that have themes that are not traditional in the workplace. Some people like fantasy themes, such as corsets or fairy and dragon jewelry. Others prefer New Age fashions, like crystals and symbols. While traditional workplace clothing is more muted, this is changing with the environment of business. Going business casual means women can work in those angel sleeves and steampunk shoes. It is very easy to make room for these alternative fashions in your business casual wardrobe. Unique articles of clothing, pieces of jewelry, hair ornaments, and other alternative fashions can also make their wearers memorable in the eyes of clients or customers, or can put a candidate over the top for recommendation for a job.
One area that is overlooked is at the bottom of our bodies – our feet. Shoes provide a great place to explore personal fashion, but also play a huge role in our day. Does your job have a lot of standing or walking around? Would sitting at a desk in those stilettos be too uncomfortable? Many offices are changing their policies with regards to shoes, allowing a wider assortment of styles that give women more options than only high heels. Boots, sandals, and flats are more welcome in the office than ever before. This is significant for more than just fashionable reasons. How much cushioning your feet have can affect your posture and your whole body.
It is simple to move your look from business professional to a more easygoing style. Minor adjustments, such as different shoes or adding a piece of jewelry, can blossom your look into just the right look for your office. Using the guide above, you can transition your look to business casual in no time!