Business Casual Dress Code: Seven Smart Business Casual Guidelines

Business casual dress code abusers abound. Whether you’ve seen them in your workplace or someone elses, you’ve seen her...the woman who mistakes women’s business casual dress with weekend wear or women’s date clothes.

Please, don’t be that girl...if you are, there’s still hope...here’s how to crack the business casual dress code by following seven smart business casual dress guidelines.

#1: Define Business Casual

Know how business casual is defined. In a nutshell, it is taking what the traditional or standard dress code is for your industry or office, down a notch or two...without crossing the too casual line for women’s clothing.

#2: There is No Universal Business Casual Dress Code

Understand that there is no universal business casual dress code. Business casual dress guidelines vary from industry to office, which is why it’s important to know your company’s business casual dress guidelines.

#3: Know Your Company’s Business Casual Rules

Know what your company’s rules say about business casual dressing. If the guidelines are not on the company’s website, they are probably in your comany’s employee handbook. Read them.

It is in your best interest to know and strategically follow your company’s business casual guidelines. For ideas on applying the code, find a style model.

#4: Identify a Business Casual Style Model & Leverage Knowledge Gained

Identify a business casual style model (e.g., a savvy dresser who holds the same type of position that you want vs someone who has the same type of job that you have) and leverage the knowledge you gain by observing how she wears women’s clothing in a business casual environment or for business casual occassions.

Strive to emulate a similar style, but don’t loose you own sense of style in the process.

#5: Know the Code, But Still Do You

Don’t let your company’s business casual dress code turn you into a clone. Follow the guidelines and emulate your style model, yes...but still do you. After all...it’s a business casual environment, not a fashion or style wasteland...or at least let’s hope it’s not :).

Remember to incorporate your signature touch (e.g., red lipstick, a lapel pin, a signature color, etc.) and reflect your style personality...from classic to professional sexy...you can still achieve business casual looks for all fashion personality styles and body types.

#6: Make Business Casual, Figure Flattering

Following the company business casual dress guidelines should lead to greater comfort than traditional business wear does and some even say, increased productivity.

Howsoever, figure-flattering comfort outranks sloppy comfort every day of the work week. So, dress well for your body type and your body shape.

#7: Know Your Wardrobe

Lastly, know your wardrobe, including your professional business attire wardrobe for women. Mixing and matching professional business women’s clothing with more casual pieces can net a great business casual look...as long as none, not a single piece of those casual pieces is beach attire...please, no flip flops or tank tops at the office...ever.

Do you have any business casual dress ideas, looks, or strategies to share? If so, click here to share them.


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