casual swept the work world during the heady Internet boom days. But the
Recession's back-to-basics emphasis has some offices putting the "business" back into business casual.
When a suit is
overkill and jeans are taboo, how does one walk the line? A good rule of thumb:
if you wish to be taken seriously, you have to dress seriously.
Aren't Just for Ball Players
business dressing today might mean a "uniform" of khakis and a blue or black sport coat.
In warm weather, pair the sport coat with collared polo shirts, in colder
weather and for more formal occasions, pair with oxford button downs. If your
work trends more casual, mix in bright colors or funky patterns; if the office look
is more polished, stick to subtle stripes and mix in the occasional tie. Tired
of khakis? Pick a few grey or black pants in lightweight wools or an
fashion provides more options and thus greater room for fun (and error). For
women envying the ease of a man's uniform of sport coat and trousers, opt for
creating your own standard look. Consider investing in a few pairs of black or
grey trousers in a flattering cut and then mixing in a rotation of blouses
topped with dressy cardigans or blazers. Take inspiration from high-end fashion designer Carolina
Herrera who only ever wears a
signature white blouse paired with neutral bottoms in black or taupe. Herrera
makes the look her own with fabulous accessories, think chunky necklaces, or
heels and belts in unusual materials such as alligator or leopard print.
the ease of dresses. It's far simpler to shrug on a dress than to coordinate
separates. Find a great wrap
dress that fits and flatters and
buy it in as many colors or prints as you can afford. Again, team the dresses
with simple accessories and a pair of knee high boots or flats and you've created
another version of a uniform.
Keep in mind
that grooming matters so take care to be in wrinkle-free, polished and
put-together. Business casual never means shortchanging grooming so just say no
to chipped nail polish or razor stubble.
Remember, at work,
the key is to look polished and professional but to be comfortable enough to
roll up your sleeves and get to work. At the end of the day, your work needs to
speak louder than your look.
For more tips on
navigating the new business casual, we've collected some resources for your
by Carly Fadako
72pEgJ I really enjoy the blog. Keep writing.
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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
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