Beware of Business Casual. Nicole Crimaldi of Professional Development Blog MsCareerGirl.com Gives You the Looks NOT to Follow
By Nicole Crimaldi
Business Casual. What the heck does that mean?
Apparently it means something different to everyone.
Do you know any of the people below? If so, make sure not to emulate their wardrobe choices in a business casual environment!
Rory, The Recent Graduate. Rory forgot that she’s at the office, not at a college class. She may show up to work wearing flip-flops, Capri pants and a cotton t-shirt. Even though her clothes might be from Banana Republic, they are still way too casual for Corporate America- even if the dress code is business casual.
Catsha, The Creative. Catsha is an artist at heart. She loves interpretive fashion and wearing her clothes as art. She may wear torn clothes. She likes flannel, scarves, flowy hippy skirts and comfortable fabrics. She has an awesome sense of style but she may leave the “business” out of “business casual.” Although projecting your personal style is encouraged, a tiny bit of conformity (ok, boringness!) is required in order to be taken seriously at work.
Sarah, The Socialite. Sarah loves staying on top of the latest fashion trends and going out with her friends. In fact, she often forgets to differentiate between what she wears out on a Saturday night and what she wears to the office. Yes, recent grads (it sucks) but you now need two different wardrobes. Don’t wear tiny skirts, low cut tops, tight pants with your “whale tail” hanging out, or overly trendy accessories. No need to wear 5 inch heels or hot pink patent leather to work either. Sorry. Also, you may also want to consider keeping your tattoos to yourself, wearing nylons, and avoiding open toed shoes, depending on your workplace.
Frannie, The Frump. Dear Frannie, I love you but please pick up a recent issue of InStyle and UsWeekly before you head home from work today. Beware of baggy outdated suits that are temptingly cheap at TJ Maxx, wearing too-white shimmery nylons, and wearing clothes that are too baggy for you. Consider visiting your local tailor to modernize this look. An updated hairstyle and walking shoe is also recommended.
What is your favorite business casual look? What do you think are “DO’s and DON’Ts” when it comes to business casual?
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Nicole Crimaldi is the founder of mscareergirl.com, a personal and professional development blog for ambitious young professional women. Nicole works in Finance in Chicago.