Young Women Should Use Their Creative Ideas When They Go for Business Casual Look

The young women of today are very particular when it comes to fashion. Indeed, times have changed a lot and there are now certain changes that occur not only with the environment around you but also with fashion. A lot of young women have a busy lifestyle these days because of the hectic schedule that they have at work. When they are at the office, it is important that they look their best because it is a big factor which you should not just take for granted when you are working. Going business casual once a week is the chance for you to put on a stylish outfit that will make good impressions at the office.

If you have a lot of boring pair of corporate attire in your wardrobe, there is a way to stretch them out further so that they become fun. One way is to put on a skirt and a fitted top then team them up with a blazer. Or you can opt for trousers if you are not comfortable with skirts. You can also pair your suit skirt with a trendy blouse and a denim jacket. It is all about mixing and matching. You can just incorporate several textures, colors and patterns to make them look more interesting. It is a chance for you to play with your imagination.

If you are not sure how to dress up because you are new to his corporate world, then figure out ways on how you can make use of what you have and invest on a few blazers of different colors. Young women love wearing sundress and if you just add a blazer that would instantly make you look dressed up. Tights are a great add on and stylish closed toe heels to make you look more appealing. Moreover, you know you can always count on your accessories to add more emphasis to whatever you are wearing like scarves, purse, casual belts and jewelry. It will surely be a fun way of going business casual.

The business casual look allows young women to bring out their creative style and work out whatever they have in their wardrobe. They do not necessarily have to buy new outfits. They can just simply make use of the existing ones they have in their closet. They can just purchase a few other things like blazers or a good pair of shoes. And I am sure just like any other women; they keep fabulous accessories that would add more color to the dull business attire. It is time to have fun and relax at work.

3 Accessories + 4 Items = Stylish Business Casual for Women

For men, business casual is easy: khaki pants, button-up shirt, and a blazer. If you are east of the Mississippi River, you can even swap your khaki pants for denim (we sure love our denim out west). However, if you are a woman, what does business casual mean for you? There is a thin line between business happy hour reception and “I am on my way to go do yoga.”

Business attire generally means suits. Business casual means separates. So here are three accessories and four separate items to help you do business casual.

Here are your three accessories for stylish business casual: necklace, earrings, watch. That’s easy to remember, right? When you are headed out the door, just think NEW. N is for necklace, E is for earrings, and W is for watch. We will use this later to sprinkle in some style to a business casual outfit.

The four separate items you need are:

1. Jacket or cardigan

2. Blouse

3. Skirt or pants

4. Shoes or boots

The trick is that nothing can be from the same suit, and preferably, nothing should be the same color or same print. (Though different monochrome looks could be professional, for simplicity’s sake, let’s say nothing can be the same color or pattern.) In other words, you can’t wear your black pinstriped jacket with your black pinstriped pants; that is wearing a suit and will not be considered business casual.

Let’s put four pieces together. You grab your:

White blazer
Light pink button-up blouse
Denim pencil skirt

Burgundy high heels. These are all separates; you have successfully followed the rules. Now, let’s add the three accessories. You grab your:

N = Small gold necklace
E = Gold hoop earrings
W = Chunky gold watch

There you go! Both casual and business! Let’s try one more. You grab your:

Orange cardigan
White, loose tank top
Gray ankle-length trousers
Gray high heels

And for the three accessories:

N = Long silver pendant necklace
E = Silver stud earrings
W = Silver bracelet watch

The formula will never fail you to look casual but professional at work: 3 accessories + 4 items. Just remember that to pull off business casual for women, choose separates, not pieces that are too matchy-matchy. And if you want to go full fashionista on your work colleagues, choose a pair of shoes or a handbag that will leave them wondering, “How in the hell did she pull off that incredible outfit?”

10 Tips for Conveying Professional Presence in Business Casual Work Environments

What exactly is business casual attire? Essentially it is a combination of traditional business wear and more casual wear which facilitates more comfort, given the longer hours employees have been working the past decade. When managed successfully, business casual office environments can lead to improved employee morale, greater company loyalty, better communications among co-workers, and a more cohesive and a team-orientated culture. The trick is that employees need clear guidelines for acceptable business casual dress that need to be reinforced. Too often, this is not the case. And quite honestly, it’s harder for many people to figure out what is appropriate business casual wear. Therefore, invariably, many people create professional fashion missteps that diminish their professional presence without them even realizing it.

I’m here to help! Use the following 10 tips from Élan Image Management as a guide to convey the highest levels of professional attire even in more casual/relaxed work environments.

The confusion of “Business Casual” can be clarified by remembering that ‘Business’ comes first. Think: is it Business Appropriate? If not, don’t put it on. Business casual is not a green light to show up in your weekend wear.

1. Keep in mind the purpose of business relationships and the desired outcome of a given business situation. Are you meeting clients? Are you chairing a meeting? Are you vying for a promotion? Are you closing an important sale? Know the impact you want to convey and dress with this in mind.

2. Research has shown that productivity, morale, and professionalism are all impacted by what you wear to work and the attire of your colleagues. Overly relaxed dress codes can lead to laissez faire attitudes, *sloppy work habits, tardiness and other unprofessional behaviors. Regardless of your company dress code policy, which camp do you want to be in: professional or unprofessional?

3. How you dress equals your perceived level of professionalism. This can impact whether you are perceived as smart, competent, detailed oriented, moving up or down the corporate ladder or credible. Make sure your image communicates exactly how you want to be perceived. The way you dress for work is a communications tool that can be used strategically to your advantage.

4. A good rule of thumb to consider is that ‘smart’ business casual wear typically means mixing an informal piece or two into your regular business wear. Like a solid tee under a jacket. Or going without a tie. Or adding more color into your ensemble.

5. Any garment that you would wear for sporting events, lounging, partying, or outdoor is NOT appropriate to wear in a business environment.

6. Women, because they have more options, are more inclined to make mistakes when trying to dress in a more casual way in the office. Tank tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines, mini skirts etc. are always inappropriate for the office. Women should consider more polished looks, like a tailored pant with a pretty blouse or shirt, knee length or below skirts, dresses that are figure flattering but not tight, cardigan twin sets. Women should always have a jacket or cardigan on hand in case they have an unexpected meeting. Wearing a jacket immediately gives a woman a more professional appearance (whether worn with skirt or over a dress). For shoes, avoid strappy sandals, chunky or platform heels which do not have a professional look. Opt for open toe pumps, slingbacks, or more conservative pumps.

7. The greater the number of items of clothing you wear at one time, the greater degree of formality/professionalism you express. Reducing the number of pieces makes your outfit more casual. Example:

Traditional Corporate Attire: Three pieces-Two-piece Suit with shirt or blouse and tie for men.

Tailored Business Casual: Three pieces but separates. For example, A cardigan and tank with slacks for women or Blazer, shirt and contrasting slacks for men.

Most Casual : Two pieces- Pants and shirt/Skirt and blouse.

8. Office Don’ts:

*Revealing, too tight or sleeveless garments

*Wearing lacy, shiny, metallic, or floral fabrics are generally not perceived as professional

*Too much jewelry

*Wrinkled clothing

*Logo’d T shirts

9. Sloppy, low rise, patterned or zippered jeans of any kind are not appropriate. In fact, jeans should be avoided altogether except in very casual office environments on casual Friday’s and even then, darker washed more tailored looks are preferred

10. Finally, do remember that dressing down does not mean dressing sloppily. Save you ‘play’ clothes for when you are on your own time. When one is dressed professionally, it is an automatic indication that they are in work mode. This helps you be more effective as a professional. For maximum professional presence, ensure that you are dressed like the professional you aspire to be.

© Natalie Jobity, Élan Image Management

Natalie Jobity, President of Elan Image Management LLC: is a certified image consultant. With over 15 years of experience in marketing, she has often counseled corporate clients on understanding the drivers of their company brand reputation and corporate image and she leverage this experience as an image consultant.

She believes we each have the power to cultivate, refine and project the image of our choosing, once we are armed with the proper tools. Her promise to clients is to empower them to express their own unique personal style and flair regardless of their starting point on their own unique image journey.

Natalie specializes in:

*helping clients discover their personal style
*coaching and mentoring on effective presence and ‘personal branding’
*accompanying clients on personal shopping expeditions to revamp and rebuild wardrobes
*using color and accessories for impact and expression
*conducting wardrobe audits

She conducts workshops and seminars on creating ‘purposeful presence’.

Business Casual Attire – 3 Keys to Putting Together a Business Casual Wardrobe

Business casual is a wonderful idea for people who want to feel relaxed in the workplace. No more spending the day in a stuffy suit. Now you can dress to feel good.

But wait. If you think business casual means that anything goes, think again. It’s easy to go down the slippery slope from business casual to business casualty.

What’s the answer to looking professional while wearing business casual? Most companies opt for a list of do’s and don’ts. But understanding your industry goes a long way in helping you project a businesslike image when you wear business casual clothing.

Here are three key questions to help you put your wardrobe together:

1. What is the dress code for my industry?

Every industry has a dress code. In conservative industries, such as finance or insurance, you might wear a suit every day, and dress down only on casual Fridays if you are not meeting clients.

In creative industries, such as advertising or design, you should keep up with the new styles, and have a bit of an edge. But you have to tailor the runway trends to a work environment, and choose clothes that suit your body type, coloring and personality.

If you work in a high-tech firm, such as a software design company, the look is very casual. But you still have to look neat and clean. Grungy is not a business casual look.

2. What is my company’s dress culture?

Every company has its corporate culture. Some corporations institute a casual dress code without fully embracing it, and executives may be expected to dress up even if casual dress is allowed. If the CEO wears a suit every day, take your cue from the top and dress more formally. You’ll set yourself apart by projecting professional presence.

3. Who do I interact with?

If you represent your company to clients, tailor your look according to these questions:

a. What are your clients wearing?

b. How do they expect you to look?

c. What will make them most comfortable?

d. What will make them feel respected?

If you don’t have contact with the public, you have more freedom in what you wear. However, you should still take your cues from your superiors.

Putting together a polished, professional business wardrobe takes time and thought.