by Azizah Hines | photo by Two Eagles Marcus
A majority of American companies have shed their suit coats and adopted a more relaxed business casual environment. So what does business casual mean for women? It means that we are now empowered to strut our personal style, and our femininity can be celebrated, while still looking professional. Drop the monochromatic suits and starched collard shirts. It’s time for you to be you. The business casual dress code allows for a myriad of wardrobe choices…and a fun, flattering, yet professional wardrobe is easy to build by following a few simple do’s and don’ts.
Feel confident in what you wear. Confidence is important in personal style and shows through in the way you interact with clients and colleagues. So, no matter what you choose to wear, make sure you feel good about yourself when you put it on.
Include the basics. Pencil skirts are a must have. They are as timeless as Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn while still being current. Pencil skirts are available in every color imaginable; you could go with the standard pencil skirt or opt for a trendier, high waisted skirt. Black slacks are also a must have for a business casual wardrobe. They will give you a lean and long look. You can pair them with almost anything without over thinking your outfit.
Expand your horizons. When it comes to choosing a top, look beyond the solid and striped collared shirts. You can wear shirts and sweaters with patterns and textures. Be feminine in your fabric choices. Think about adding cashmere, satin, or choose a sheer, blousy top, paired with your favorite cami.
Add a few column dresses. Column dresses come in many styles and are available everywhere. You can pair a column dress with a belt or scarf to create a more interesting look. I love pulling on a column dress on days when I am feeling less than fabulous, it can hide your flaws while still making you look streamlined and professional.
Accessorize. If you look in the mirror in the morning and you feel like you look a bit lackluster, jazz it up by adding a contrasting scarf, belt, or necklace. Fall is just around the corner and you should consider adding tights to your wardrobe. Tights in bold colors and patterns are in style. Combine them with a column dress or pencil skirt and a great pair of boots to create a fun and interesting business appropriate outfit.
Show too much skin. Keep the tatas under wraps. You want to be respected for your knowledge and professionalism. Although some of your colleagues might enjoy a sneak peak, the office is not the right place. Women have worked hard to be respected in the work place…get noticed for your brain power, fresh ideas, problem solving skills and hard work, not your physical assets.
Be too casual. Flip flops, sweatshirts, and jeans with holes are not business casual. If you are questioning whether your outfit is too casual, it probably is. You should feel like you look professional enough to sit down at a conference table with your companies CEO without feeling self conscious.
When constructing your business casual wardrobe let your personal style show through. Be fun, confident, and uniquely you, while still maintaining the essence of professionalism.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Azizah Hines is a Sales Specialist for Teva Women’s Health. When she is not working she is cheering her daughters on at their various activities. She prides herself in knowing a little about a lot. You might find her at a fashion show on a Friday night and an Astronomy viewing on a Saturday night…mixing it up keeps her life interesting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Azizah Hines is a Sales Specialist for Teva Women’s Health. When she is not working she is cheering her daughters on at their various activities. She prides herself in knowing a little about a lot. You might find her at a fashion show on a Friday night and an Astronomy viewing on a Saturday night…mixing it up keeps her life interesting.