I think this is a hard question for most women to answer, especially for women in their mid-twenties. This is a topic I wanted to cover since I started this blog but I wanted to wait and do it right (also may turn into a series). I strive to look professional and put together but also able to express my personal style since I wear these clothes the most. I want to be the person in the office that people want to go shopping with. I think this is a hard balance to achieve without being frumpy/ matronly or overtly sexy.
Business casual attire is a gift because it is not business professional and there are a lot of ways to express your own personal style within the bounds of business casual. My work place is business casual but you can get away with a lot without getting in trouble. My advice for figuring out your office is to watch what other women wear, specifically women who are higher up in the company and gauge your outfits off of them.
I decided to take you through a week in the life of a business casual professional (ME!). So here we go.
Monday- My Lazy Day
Typically on Monday I struggle to wake up and then its an additional hassle to figure out what to wear. Usually on Monday I go for easy- this is a really simple outfit. There are only 2 pieces – a dress and a cardigan. This dress is great for work because it is conservative and comfortable but also a wardrobe stable. This means it can be dressed up any way that I decide. In the winter/ fall/ spring I pair it with a colored cardigan to give the outfit some color since the dress is grey. To pull everything together I added a belt, which can be worn around just the dress if that is more comfortable.
Tuesday- about the time I start trying harder
I love this skirt! It is currently my favorite thing to wear to work or wherever. This skirt is perfect for work because it has the classic A-line look that goes to just below the knees. This skirt is amazingly comfortable to wear because it fits tightly at the waist but then flares out. I really like to wear this outfit because the shirt is pristine white and on the front there is shear lose part that makes it more loser and makes the top more conservative and business appropriate. If you are like me and work at a desk all day sometimes pencil skirts can be uncomfortable to wear while sitting so I love pairing my A-line skirts with any top.
The classic pencil skirt a staple of any business women’s wardrobe. This is one of my favorite skirts, I probably wear it once a week. I love it because it has these buttons on the side that really make it extra special and compliment my figure. The skirt is navy so I treat it as a neutral color and pair it with almost all of my tops. I paired it with my blanket like cardigan that I love to wear because it is so warm. This cardigan is awesome and the design is very bold. I like to wear this piece to give any outfit a pop with this statement cardigan. This does add a casual feel to the outfit but since the rest of the outfit is very professional it still works out in the business casual work environment.
Thursday- ready for it to be Friday
So I kind of transition back to being lazy on Thursday since it is the last day of the week that I have to dress business casual. This is a super comfy dress that has a high neckline and goes to just above my knees. This dress does have a bit of a casual vibe so I dress it up with a blazer. This is my professor blazer it has elbow patches that help the outfit not look too professional.
When I wear dresses that go to just above my knees I do have an internal debate about if it is appropriate for work. In my office this is appropriate because the main higher up women also wears skirts/ dresses that are this length.
I do think that I got a bit dressy with the belt and necklace it would have looked fine without one of them, but if you removed both the outfit would be a little plain (and super patriotic).
And finally Casual Friday
Now even though it is casual I still want to be appropriate. This dress is pretty casual on its own and is super lose so I love to wear it on warm days. It allows me to look like I put in a lot of effort when in reality this dress is super easy and comfortable. When I was actually at work I do pair it with a cardigan or in this case my chambray shirt.
I would not wear this dress on a business casual day during the week just because the dress has a very casual vibe that even if paired with a blazer wouldn’t work on those days.
Boom that was my week of clothing- I hope it helped give you an idea of how to bring your personal style to work. As you can probably see from above my favorite colors to wear to work are blue and red. I feel like adding color to the business wardrobe is essential because otherwise we would all be dressing in black/ grey/ navy and it would be dull.