How to dress the part and still be comfortable
By: Katie Collett
It’s 7 a.m. on a Monday which means time for work. Quickly you bounce out of bed, and open up your closet to find the perfect fit. You grab a pair of slacks, a nice button up and some loafers. Looking in the mirror admiring your business casual attire you’ re ready to head off to work!
Many companies all over the world require a business casual dress code due to the professional vibe it relays to the public. Specifically in the public relations industry, dress codes may vary depending on whether you are in a corporate or agency setting. You should dress professional for both, but an agency may be more lenient due to the constant creativity they are promoting for their workers.
Women typically choose to wear khakis or slacks paired with a nice sweater or blouse. In some places, jeans are allowed, and although everyone loves blue jeans, black jeans may be the best choice for a more professional look.
While shopping, it is important to buy an array of different shirts, in order to give yourself an assortment of outfits while also saving money! Who doesn’t love that?
Macys, Amazon, Gap and Nordstrom’s are stores that I go to when I’m in need of any professional wear. Each of these clothing stores have discounts throughout the year and rewards programs.
Items women need to avoid wearing to the office include the following: pants with holes, leggings, spaghetti straps, crops tops (but that’s obvious), t-shirts and hooded jackets. Keep in mind though, every office has different requirements.
Men are usually dressed in a collared shirt or polo, with the choice of a tie or sports coat depending on the season. Men generally need two nice collared shirts, two nice polos and three pairs of slacks. With these core items, men can mix and match to get them through the work week. Of course, most men have a somewhat large collection of ties which can dress up any outfit depending on what the agenda is for the day.
Items for men to avoid while shopping for the business casual look are: ripped jeans (dark jeans are typically okay), t-shirts and hooded jackets.
What is great about Macys, Amazon, Gap and Nordstrom’s is that men can shop there too! Each of these stores provides a men’s section with lots of great options from which to compile a business casual wardrobe.
The most important part of staying comfortable throughout your workday is acquiring the right kind of shoe. Loafers or a dress shoe that covers all or most of the foot are the norm for women. Similarly men wear loafers, but usually oxfords or derby suffice. Sneakers are usually not recommended, but Nike is coming out with sneakers that keep you looking professional while remaining your comfiest. Shoes for women to avoid wearing to the office are sandals with lots of straps while men should avoid boots or boat shoes.
Interview attire varies among companies. Before shopping for the perfect outfit, do some background research on the company and what their culture is like. From there, you can decide what to wear in order to look the most impressive on the day of the formal interview. First impressions are highly valuable when searching for a job, so you want to look the best to be the best.
Business casual is a great and comfortable form of fashion that we have adopted into our working society. Who knows what the evolving nature of fashion will bring us in the upcoming decades? As we venture into the future, business casual attire may morph into an entire new look for the up and coming generations to explore.