Business Casual: Dress for Success

For many companies today, business casual is the norm. However, because it’s still important for all employees to project a professional image. Knowing what clothing works best as business casual can be an important factor in enhancing your career prospects. On the other hand, if you get it wrong you just might hurt your image and career prospects. With careful planning and clearly-defined fashion rules, it’s possible to find the perfect outfits that allow you to fit into that in-between fashion.

Business Casual: Slacks and Pants

Business CasualFor both men and women, there are plenty of great choices when it comes to business casual pants and slacks. Since many employers make Friday even more casual than normal, wearing jeans can be a great choice. But torn or ragged, bleached, etc are still unacceptable at most locations.

For the other days of the week, guys can wear khaki pants such as Dockers or flannel pants for a comfortable yet professional style. Check for a look at different pants types and styles. Female employees, while wearing jeans on Fridays, can choose to wear Capri pants during warm weather months, and synthetic fabric pants that allow for comfort while also showcasing style.

Business Casual: Shirts and Tops

Just like slacks and pants, there are many types of shirts and tops that let men and women fit into the business casual environment. Men can find plenty of shirts such as polos and turtleneck sweaters that can let them make a fashion statement in the office without going over the top. For the ladies, sweaters and blouses, or shirts with collars are considered appropriate business casual attire. Don’t neglect your button-downs either. Even if they seem more formal, without a tie, or just loosely worn over other tees, these shirts can add the business into a more casual outfit and tie everything together.

Business Casual: Shoes and Footwear

One of the biggest mistakes employees make in business casual environments is forgetting that their footwear, while being casual, still needs to be appropriate for the business environment. If tennis shoes are allowed, they need to be very clean and free of any designs that would be considered distracting or inappropriate. Sandals or other open-toed shoes are generally considered inappropriate to wear on the job. Pay attention to the dress code, and if you are unsure what may or may not be appropriate, it never hurts to ask.

A Word of Warning

In some situations it may be considered inappropriate for a woman to wear “sexy” or sexually provocative clothing. For instance, in a professional work setting it can be considered unprofessional or distracting. Although you may consider it discriminatory wearing revealing or provocative clothing can make it difficult for bosses and co-workers to take you seriously.  Be sure you know where the line is for your particular job and company.

By taking all of these recommendations into consideration, any professional can find themselves projecting a professional image while doing so in clothing that is much more comfortable. Whether it’s an office environment, or one that may be a bit more casual to begin with, these fashion guidelines can make any workday much more pleasant.

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