There is no doubt that our society is ever-evolving. And two of the most evolving industries are fashion and business. So, it’s no wonder that when it comes to the relationship of the two, they have presented us with a new style and way of dressing: Business Casual. Although we have embraced the new trend and most enjoy the fresh way of mixing two aesthetics-many are unsure of what Business Casual actually means. Today, we are going to debunk all concerns and answer the most common questions most think when it comes to this new wave of dressing.
Define Business Casual: What Does it Really Mean?
Business Casual means you don’t have to wait until casual Friday’s to wear your jeans. However, there are some exceptions. Baggy jeans or distressed jeans with rips and tears in them can still be considered too laid-back for a female Business Casual work outfit. Instead, opt for dark washes like indigo and go for a sleek straight or skinny leg fit. These are dressier styles of jeans and look great paired with blazers and chic flats.
The weather is warming up and you are wondering what you can wear that works for Summer Business Casual. Because the truth is, as the days heat up, the want to wear blazers and jeans sometimes goes out the window. Enter midi skirts and sleeveless or cap sleeve a-line dresses. Midi skirts are comfortable, lightweight and can be paired with an elegant silk blouse to keep it a bit more formal. While an a-line dress keeps it business with a classic shape, but offers a breezy and season-embracing option for a women’s Business Casual look.
Another great way to embrace Summer Business Casual is by investing in sleeveless silk tops that offer a sophisticated aesthetic, while remaining cool and casual. This style of top works great tucked into linen trousers (another Summer staple that works for a Business Casual Office), skirts and sleek jeans.
Do you ever wonder why business dress codes are quickly evolving?
It is because the work world’s dress codes are on their way to catch up with the modern concept of work/life balance. So offices and workplaces are embracing the notion to blend employees personal and professional aesthetic. This is what LearnVest Senior HR Business Partner Sarah Flaherty states: “I think business casual exists to make people feel more comfortable and be their most productive selves,” she says. “It reflects a cultural shift toward being more relaxed.”
One area that has tended to stay the same from Business to Business Casual attire is the close-toe shoe policy. And the biggest reason for this is in fact for health and safety precautions. However, gone are the days where most employers require women to wear 4 inch heels to the office. While there are still some work places that do this (petitions are constantly circulating to diminish this and create mandates that cancel this out), the good thing is most Business Casual offices embrace women wearing flats. To make this look appear the most professional while keeping that more casual work style, look for a fashion office pant such as silk joggers. This style of pant it not only comfortable for even the busiest day at work, but also looks great paired either heels or flats. Plus, wearing pants in a fabric such as silk adds a touch of sophistication to a women’s Business Casual outfit.
A List of Simple Don’ts for Dressing Business Casual
While like everything else mentioned in this article, please regard the following list as general do-not’s. Remember, workplace attire is always subjective and particular to the employee and employer’s specific situation.
- Athletic clothing such as sweatpants, sweatshirts, T-shirts, tight-fitting stretch pants and leggings.
- Shorts, halter tops and crop tops.
- Flip-flops, clogs and rubber-soled sandals.
- Hats and hoodies.
- Revealing hemlines/necklines and low-cut clothing.
- Visible undergarments and sheer apparel.
- Overly distressed and torn clothing.
Female Business Casual Style Inspiration
Now you know the in’s and out’s of dressing Business Casual as a woman in the workplace. However, you may still be left wondering how to put together these looks and be looking for a further outfit inspiration. Below find a list of fashion bloggers whose style offers some serious office outfit envy and will help you find your perfect look!