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Working it at work: Business Casual

Okay, I’m going to share one of my frustrations of being in the #realworld, dressing for the real world. I would say that I’m pretty hip and let me tell you being hip and in the work place is difficult. Did I mention that this is a budget blog, so being hip in the workplace all the while not spending much money is way more difficult. I’ve ironed out a few tricks of da trade on how to express ones self whilst adhering to the super confusing Business Casual. Like is business casual suppose to be a mullet? Business in the front, casual in the back? I dunno but here are some helpful hints:

Pick one piece and make it formal: For me, I usually make my bottoms my formal piece. A well tailored skirt, good fitting pair of pants. Bottoms is where you should be spending money. An ill fitting shirt can be fixed with a belt or by throwing a cardigan on top, an ill fitting pair of pants can’t. Unless you feel good about wearing a cardigan on top of pants. Regardless, wear one very formal/well structured/great fitting item then pair it with other not-as-formal items. Some great places to get good bottoms are Gap, Ann Taylor, Express, New York and Company , Old Navy and most have fun colors and GREAT sales. Here are some examples of a business casual:

  • Great pant + loose/flowing blouse= Biz Casual
  • Floral/flowing skirt + structured button up= Biz Casual
  • Fun/flowy dress +structured blazer= Biz Casual
  • Maxi skirt + crop top= Biz Casual syke

WEAR COLOR: I cannot count on my fingers/toes/strands of hair how many people in my office wear black daily. Like head-to-toe daily. There are other colors out there, I promise. Now, I’m not saying to dress like Rainbow Bright, but don’t be afraid to mix colors and patterns.

Shoes: The office is not the place to wear your clear hooker heels. Actually if you own these they should never, ever be worn ever. Like ever. Shoes are great place to express your personal style, but don’t get carried away. Save those strappy high heels for the weekend, but do don interesting shoes for work. I, on any given day, have some crazy, interesting shoes I’ll wear to work, but I also have a boring black pair which are my old faithful pair. (Boring= <4 inches high)

Tops: Business casual tops are easy to find. They’re basically anything that is not a t-shirt. But, as stated earlier, if you going to wear a less structured top, go for a structured bottom. One of my favorite places to purchase the tops I rock at work is, drumroll please, Forever 21. I know, wipe that shocked expression off your face. Forever 21, on occasion, has some great funky button ups. And, of course, many of my work tops come from Value World.

Everything else: Let me just say that my fingernails are always painted, and not boring colors. Currently, they’re lilac with a sparkly accent nail. Nail polish is a great way to let out your inner boho babe or femme fatale come out. Jewelry is another place to explore a bit. You can virtually wear whatever you want in that department, depending on your job that is. Makeup should also be more natural, save the black rimmed eyes and crazy eye shadow for the evenings, there is NOTHING harsher than most crappy work place light. Hair should be normal too, I know that everyone wants feather extensions right now but can I just say that if you are over age 16, you should not have feather extensions. Finally, perfume. Your perfume should not announce your arrival in the office. Also its just not nice to wear so much perfume that your coworkers can barely breathe. Personally, I rarely wear perfume to the office (and for those of you who know me know this is crazy because I ALWAYS wear perfume) but I’ve noticed that now when I do wear perfume, its more special.

Clothing that will never, ever ever ever ever ever be considered business casual and should never be worn in the office are the following: crop tops, cut offs, clear hooker heels, crazy colored hair, shoes you can’t walk in, fringe tops, anything with a low back, anything too low cut, etc…

I have a few final tips for all you working girls out there. The old saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” applies. In my office, most people dress more casual as oppose to more business, yet my boss and his boss are both in a shirt and tie, if not a suit, almost every day. In turn, I’ve started dressing a little more professional and a little less casual. My mantra is “if i were to run into the CEO today, would I feel underdressed?” Because for me this is an actual possibility. As always, if you have an questions don’t hesitate to ask!

Peace, love and bunnies,

Blythe

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