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When you enter the workforce, apart from the obvious, work-related questions you will have to find the answers to, something else can begin to cripple your mind. What to dress for work? Even if your company is more or less casual, you probably cannot get away with things you wore at the university. If the dress code at your workplace is business casual, you’ve probably had difficulties trying to understand what exactly it means. It’s obviously somewhere between suit and tie on one hand, and jeans on the other. But how to finally nail it? We’ve got you covered. Read on for tips on dressing business casual and you’ll never have any more doubts!
One of the most important things to consider is your work environment. Pay attention to what your colleagues wear; and if you’re new, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask your superior! Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and no one will deem your question stupid. If you have a meeting with clients lined up, overdress a bit. It’s a sign of respect, and there’ll be plenty of time for more casual wear when you’re spending the day in the office.
Unforeseen circumstances happen; but generally speaking, you shouldn’t base your workwear on jeans, T-shirts and sneakers. A lot of companies have Casual Fridays, so maybe save those garments for the last day of the week. And even if Casual Friday is something that’s going on, please don’t show up in an outfit that would better suit a weekend afternoon in front of the television. Being dressed in a professional way – on Casual Friday, it can mean dark jeans and a sweater or a colorful shirt – shows you’re respectful and responsible, and it’s a very valuable trait.
If you’re not too interested in fashion, you might have no idea what capsule wardrobe is – but creating one will make all the difference. A capsule wardrobe is a closet full of staples that fit you and go well with each other. Generally speaking, these are the items that never go out of fashion, are super versatile, and are made of quality fabrics. The basic pieces you will need are shirts, trousers, cardigans, sweaters, shoes, and good accessories. The fabrics you want to pay attention to? The more natural, the better. Think cotton, wool, silk, cashmere, and combinations of those
No matter how great a single item is, if it doesn’t fit properly, it just won’t look good. If you’re one of those guys who buy clothes without ever stepping into a changing booth, it’s time for a change. The most expensive but ill-fitting suit or a jacket will look funny on you, and you sure don’t want to look funny when you want to be taken seriously. So the first secret to looking smart is using the correct size. Don’t be lazy and find out what it is, and there’s no other way than just trying out until it fits like a glove! If you’re looking for a well-fitting business casual suit, book an appointment at a reputable tailoring company such as Belance where you’ll be shown what it really looks like to have a piece that’s literally made for you.
Your blazer should sit square and snug on the shoulders, and its sleeves should finish an inch above the thumb join. When it comes to the color, opt for a classic navy, grey, or beige. It would be ideal if you had several blazers made of different materials: cotton or linen for the summer, and tweed or wool for the colder days. When buying shirts, pay close attention to how they fit in the shoulders. Basic shirts should come in white, light blue, pale pink, and not-so-prominent stripes or checks. If you like wearing a tie, by all means, go for it, but it’s not necessary. Trousers should be elegant, so skip those that are very slim. Classic colors such as navy and camel will work in any office. If you’re a jeans lover and your workplace permits it, opt for more formal types: no bleach, no rips, no heavy fading. Knits are good items to give you a little pop of color, but please refrain from any patterns and funky designs. Cardigans and pullovers should be in one color, two at most. And finally, when it comes to the footwear, opt for loafers, Oxford shoes, brogues or monk straps.
Accessories can add a dash of personality to an otherwise close-to-boring look, though if you follow our tips for the clothing, you’ll minimise the chances of being perceived as boring! It’s crucial to play with colors and textures, and you’re good. But you can always add a nice touch with the right accessories. A wristwatch and a good leather or vegan leather bag can round up your look with that je ne sais quoi.
The main goal of learning how to dress for work? Besides from the obvious – looking good and respectful in the office – it’s also showcasing your personal style. If you’re not quite sure what your personal style is, business casual attire is a great way to find out. Mix and match, play around, and in no time you’ll find out what feels best.