What Does Business Casual Even Mean???
Maybe you are starting an Internship soon like me, just graduated and taking your first steps toward adulting, or have been working for years - Either way, we've all pondered what 'business casual' truly means. I first went to google to try and figure out what this smart search engine would come up with. The 2 definitions the dictionary came up with were not the least bit helpful... see for yourself.
The second definition was just SO SO SO helpful. NOT. Honestly google? "business casual clothing." You're kidding, right? How very descriptive!
I took it upon myself to come up with a loose definition to assist us all when getting dressed in the morning. Business casual is so much easier for a man - a pair of dark jeans, button up shirt, sport coat and some nice shoes. Unfortunately, the rules for women when it comes to business casual dressing are a bit blurry, especially during summer when layering isn't always an option. In comparison to men, we just have more options and ways to accessorize... which I wouldn't trade for the world.
Another challenge when it comes to business casual dressing, is that it can depend on your type of job and location. Different states have (even more) unwritten rules when it comes to work place dressing. For example in California, things can be a little more casual, compared to the midwest where it might be slightly more conservative. When talking to my mom she said it was not a good idea to wear open toed shoes to work in New York. I call BS. Girl you wear whatever shoes look good - as long as you have a fresh pedicure!!
I have outlined a few key staples to have in your closet that follow the business casual guidelines - So let's get to it!
The first pant I love because it makes the outfit a little more fun. Pair this with a solid shirt and shoe and you're good to go. The second pant is AMAZING and so comfy. They are your classic dress pant so you can wear on more formal days as well. Pair these with a fun patterned shirt and fun color heel and BOOM! The last pair are amazing... I actually just ordered them. They are a crop and have a fun stripe while still being dressy. Pair these with a solid top tucked in and a kitten heel.
I personally think jeans can look more formal than a dress pant when styled correctly. Jeans typically fit a persons body better and are perfect when you have a looser fitting top or blazer. I selected 3 staple jeans for when in comes to business casual. Black skinny, Super dark blue boot cut, and a dark wash skinny. Even better, they can be worn all year round.
Tops make an outfit. Well, no, I take that back. The jacket makes the outfit so refer to my last post about third pieces. Blazers, tweed jackets, and cardigans will work well over each of these tops if you want to dress it up a little more.
Heels at work can be tricky... you need something you can walk around all day in and look professional. Leave your stilettos at home and downgrade to something a little smaller - you're at work not the club. The first pair are awesome. They come in like any color you could ever imagine and I think just look super professional yet fun. The second pair also come in tons of patterns/colors. A sling back heel is so classy - It's a wardrobe must-have. The last pair is just a classic heel and you all know I am a sucker for suede shoes.
I personally hate traditional ballet flats.. I think I own one pair, maybe. I prefer a loafer, slingback, or sandal. I love the first shoe because of the color. I think bright pops of color are perfect for business casual looks. The second pair might be my favorite shoes to wear to work - SO COMFY (I have them in white and will be buying the leopard print pair too). They look awesome with a pair of skinny dark wash jeans. The last pair are just a fun alternative to a ballet flat, and come in some fun colors.
I hope that this helps you figure out what the heck to wear next time you see "Attire: business casual."