Being told that your new workplace follows a business casual dress code is sure to make you breathe a sigh of relief. After all, not everyone can look dapper effortlessly, day in and day out. But just because you heard the word ‘casual’, doesn’t mean you let your hair down and wear whatever you think is okay!
Business casual dressing may not have well-defined limits- if you’re working with a creative agency, the office dress code may be more relaxed than that of a Fortune 500 company. Nevertheless, there are a few things that can be ruled out downright.
If donning a slogan t-shirt, a pair of shorts, and a pair of sandals to work seems okay to you, you’ve come to the right place! Read on for some tips on dressing the business casual way.
Sort out Your Shirts
Building the right base is important so that you look impeccably dressed. Choose formal shirts like you would when wearing a suit, but don’t shy away from picking patterned ones. Also, less formal collar types will be acceptable in a business casual setting. Stay away from polo shirts though.
Wearing a tie is optional when you’re dressing business casual. If you’re ditching the tie, button your shirt all the way up or leave the top two undone as per your preference.
Learn the Art of Layering
Layering will not only keep you warm, but will also add pizzazz to your outfit. Pull on a merino in a neutral shade to complement your patterned shirt or choose a brightly colored sweater to take your ensemble from drab to fab! A cardigan with buttons placed low to show off your tie will also be an amazing addition to your outfit.
Wearing a bespoke suit is fine as over-dressing won’t be seen as a crime, but do have a couple of blazers in neutral colors as permanent features in your wardrobe. Blazers worn over shirts and/or sweaters can take your outfit to the next level and up your cool quotient. Just remember to wear pants that are a different color and never wear a suit jacket disguised as a blazer.
Depending on the dress code, you can consider wearing a solid colored crew neck or V-necked t-shirt under the blazer. However, keep in mind that should you choose to or have to remove the blazer, you’ll be walking around in a t-shirt. So if you think the weather is going to be too hot for comfort, put on a nice shirt instead of your favorite t-shirt.
Additionally, if you’re not wearing a tie, and if it’s cold outside, you might want to consider wearing a scarf.
Be Bottom Trendy
If the rules allow you to wear denims, always go for a pair in a solid, dark wash. Otherwise, khakis in a couple of shades will work with almost anything else you choose to wear to work.
Furthermore, slim-fit pants in cotton, corduroy, and wool in different colors and subtle checks or stripes will keep your wardrobe interesting.
Make Sure It Fits
Most importantly, always make sure that your pants and everything else you wear fits you right. Clothes that fit poorly- no matter how expensive- will never make you look good. If you buy clothes off the rack, get them altered to fit you, or get clothes custom tailored for best results.
Wear the Right Shoes
Just because your workplace doesn’t mind employees wearing jeans to office, doesn’t mean sneakers or canvas shoes are also welcome. Hiking boots and other sport shoes are also a strict no-no when the dress code is business casual.
Black dress shoes will be your best bet but don’t limit yourself to them. Stand out from the crowd by choosing dark shades of brown or navy. Shoes with intricate details will also look great. Loafers, brogues, derby shoes, and oxfords are all acceptable so go ahead and spoil yourself!
Always Be Well-Groomed
If you don’t stay well-groomed, all your efforts at looking your best will go in vain. Be sure to shower daily and shampoo your hair regularly. Take care of your skin by drinking enough water throughout the day, eating healthy foods, and using products that work for you.
Keep facial hair trimmed to look neat or sport a clean-shaven look. Trim nose-hair too! Take good care of your teeth and ensure your mouth doesn’t smell. Keep your hands, feet, and nails in good condition by getting a manicure and pedicure done professionally.
The words ‘business casual’ can easily put you off your guard and cause you to under-dress for the occasion. You certainly don’t want that! At the same time, there’s nothing to be worried about if you have to dress this way.
With the tips given here, you now know that dressing the business casual way is a cinch, so don’t stick to the business side; loosen up and let your fun side show!
Nicola Reynor is a passionate blogger who loves to blog about fashion, beauty, travel, health, fitness, wedding and lifestyle trends. When in leisure time, she prefers to spend time in traveling with friends and family. You can find more about her at Nicola+
Caz, aka Vixen, has been freelance creative writing for several years. She has a lot of experience in different fields including high street fashion, tattooing art, and even the gothic and historical costumes. Caz has a Diploma in Fashion and Textiles and also a Bachelors Degree in Historical Costume and Corsetry. Her passion lies with gothic design, corsetry and any other styles considered to be taboo or unusual. Style-wise Caz has a love for Vivienne Westwood and her take on the punk era. Although Caz loves the weird and wonderful, she has a deep love for all fashion and allows this to show through her work.