A business casual office environment gives employees room to further express themselves but in a more comfortable fashion. I’m a big fan of nice, dark denim jeans (no holes), blouse or thin sweater, black blazer and booties or loafers. Don’t forget the accessories. A simple necklace and earrings can polish off the entire look. This is an easy and appropriate choice for a typical business casual workday. Keep in mind, you should look professional enough that if you were called in unexpectedly to meet a client or your boss, you would feel appropriately dressed and confident.
Some mistakes that young professionals make is trying too hard to stand out by making inappropriate attire decisions or not trying hard enough, wearing far too casual clothing. You want to be remembered for your talent and performance, not for a poor clothing choice. In most cases, this is a harder topic for women than men. Business casual for men is typically khakis or slacks, button down or golf shirt, a blazer and any variation of those. For women, it’s much more complex.
Many years ago, we had an intern whose wardrobe was fine, but she continually showed up to work with wet hair, hanging long, in her face. It became a habit. By mid-afternoon it would be dry, and she’d pull it into a ponytail. She liked to sleep late and didn’t have time to dry her hair, so she let it dry on the way to work. But it wasn’t dry when she arrived. The two things she could have done to keep her schedule and improve her look would have been to either shower at night, allowing her hair to dry overnight, or pull her wet hair into a polished, sleek bun. This hairstyle works for any business attire and only takes about 30 seconds to put up. (click photo for tutorial)
We all love to sleep as much as we can. I understand that. I used to put hot rollers in my hair and drive 20 minutes to work while they were curling my hair. I know I looked funny on my commute, but I didn’t care. By the time I got to work, my hair was curled. I’d comb and spray my hair in my car in the parking lot just before walking into the office. That was my time management, but I was presentable when I walked in the door.
Figure out what works for you so you can really maximize your time in the morning, and always step out of the car ready to take on the day!
If you put in a little effort and thought, you can do this! Check out my Pinterest Board for some great ideas on appropriate business casual looks that should work for most workplaces.
Well, that’s all I have for now.
Special thanks to Chloe Hubbard for your research and assistance with this blog.