The first thing people notice about you are your clothes. No matter where you go, it could be a business meeting, a cocktail party etc, how you dress says a lot about your personality and people judge you on it!
You decide your outfit according to the occasion and weather. There are certain dress codes for certain gatherings. No one wants to wear a suit to a mall or shorts to a meeting.
Women are also supposed to look professional and sophisticated in an office. But, there are days where employees should be allowed to wear something of their own choice. This does not mean that you wear shorts and tank tops, there are different types of casual clothes which make you look professional.
Everyone desires to look good every day and working women are no different. There are several categories of clothes, especially for women. Business casual does not necessarily mean jeans and a top.
Women have a special panache when it comes to dressing up and majority of working females have a wardrobe that caters to a wide variety of settings. It must be mentioned here that business casual attire is different from formal wear and informal apparel — it is in fact a hybrid of the two.
Things to Keep In Mind When Shopping For Business Casual Attire
Business casual attire is neither very formal nor informal. Certain items and designs are a big NO so some things must be kept in mind when shopping for such clothing.
Nail the Fit
No matter what clothing you choose you must make sure that it fits properly — not too tight or loose.
The length of the sleeves can vary according to seasons. For summers, cap-sleeves or sleeveless both can work well, while in winters it is best to go for long sleeves to cover up from the cold weather.
If it is a dress or a skirt, the appropriate length for business casual wear is either just above the knee or mid-thigh.
Color & Prints
The only thing that needs to be kept in mind while selecting a color or print is that it should not be too flashy.
It is always best and safe to select breathable fabric for business casual attire. Certain fabrics can get very uncomfortable when worn for a longer period of time.
Business Casual Attire & Seasons
A good thing about business casual attire is that one does not have to follow a specific dress code. A woman can dress according to the seasonal trends and still appear professional.
Hot and sweaty weather calls for breathable fabrics and breezy outfits. Some ideas for summer business attire:
Long Skirts or Dresses
Avoid pencil skirts if the weather gets really hot. Instead dresses and skirts that allow greater movement and circulation of air are the best option for business casual attire in such weather. Wear a sleeveless top or a blouse with cap sleeves over a skirt.
The hot weather calls for open shoes and the best choice are flat sandals, wedges or heels that are not more than 2-3 inches.
Not only are there more options available of apparel for winter, since you can mix and match your outfits for a flattering look by wearing layers.
Jackets and Blazers
Jackets and blazers are must-have items in a woman’s wardrobe to rock a business casual appearance. A jacket may seem odd in summers, but a blazer or jacket over a tank top presents a great winter look without being too formal.
A jacket over a casual outfit makes you look sophisticated and professional — perfect for business casual.
Sweaters or Cardigans
Sweaters and cardigans are another clothing item to wear during winter. The intricate sweater patterns and colors present a chic look that is extremely suitable for work.
All kinds of pants are fit for winter, think material pants. Nowadays printed pants are in style, but the print must be appropriate for business casual.
Skirts and Dresses
Pencil skirts and dresses with leggings or knee-length boots can be worn in winters. They can also be paired with a blazer or cardigan and still work as business casual attire.
Ankle length boots, pumps, and knee-length boots are the preferred shoe choice for women in winters. Wear boots underneath skirts. Boots are also suitable under jeans.
Your attire depends mostly on the weather: Too many layers in summer definitely makes you sweat and feel uncomfortable, and shorts in winter may make you sick. So dress according to what makes you comfortable.
Clothing to Avoid
Just because it’s casual, does not mean you can wear anything. Try to avoid the following for a business casual attire.
- Flip flops
- Capri pants
- Denim pants
- Yoga pants
- Leather pants
- Full-length and ankle length dresses
- Body-con or mini dresses
- Tops with skinny straps
- Crop tops or strapless tops
- Sheer tops
- Brightly or Neon colored dresses, tops, jackets
- Clogs or platform shoes
In case of a business trip to another city or a country, a woman must have a list of necessary items to pack. Before you pack your suitcase, you must keep the climate in mind, which includes the location and weather during the entire stay, the duration of the stay and the type of meeting/conference.
Pro Tip: Working women who wish to look great on any given day is that since their wardrobe needs to be well stocked and regularly updated according to latest trends, they must be on the lookout for discounts and promotions!