Student Fashion: Decoding Office Style for the Casual Workplace

by Rachel Yeomans | March 7th, 2012   

By Jenn Bussell

I’ve attended many a workshop geared towards students transitioning off campus and into their first career. Without fail each presenter has always dictated that you must invest in a suit, preferably black or navy, and always err on the side of conservative dress.  To this I say bollocks.

The key to looking the part during the interview process and fashionably fitting in from Day 1 is to know your environment and dress accordingly. But how do you know what’s appropriate if you’ve never worked there before? Research, my friends, research. But don’t worry. I’ve done most of the legwork for you and this week launches the first of a multi-part series focused on industry-specific style to steer you towards sartorial success. This week…

The Casual Workplace

Just like you wouldn’t show up to a pool party in a parka, you don’t want to show up to a casual workplace buttoned-up tight in Brooks Brothers.  Casual workplaces are most often found in tech start-ups and digital ad agencies…places that tend to take a more relaxed approach to wardrobing.  In these environments you’ll want to focus on striking a balance between comfort and polish, as shown in the style sheets below that take cues from one of Spring 2012’s hottest trends – Nautical – and one of this season’s hottest colors – Green.

c630x630 Student Fashion: Decoding Office Style for the Casual Workplace

The nautical look shown here stays chic and work-appropriate by balancing the laid-back look of a simple tee shirt with a structured blazer and tailored capris.  Heading out to happy hour? Throw a cute clutch into an oversized tote in a novelty print to carry your nighttime essentials.

As shown below, showcase your keen fashion sense by playfully combining an emerald green, inverted pleat skirt with a Flashdance-inspired sweater that’s less dancer and more UX designer. By pairing these pieces with bright yellow flats, a gauzy pink scarf, and a striped bag you’ll epitomize springtime ease in the office.

c630x630 Student Fashion: Decoding Office Style for the Casual Workplace

So this is how you decode office style for the casual workplace. Stay tuned for next week’s post!