Is Your Business Casual Wardrobe Chic or Shabby?

August 13, 2015

 

Whether you work for Google or Bank of America there are rules to dressing professionally, especially if you are serious about your career. Even if the dress code is casual (and especially during the summer months) you want to make sure your image conveys the right message. Summertime is often a struggle for HR departments as they address inappropriate employee attire. Your goal is to look professional at all times no matter what environment you work in. 

 

Here are some tips on how you can achieve a successful, professional, casual look: 

  1. Review your wardrobe and get rid of any clothes that have seen better days. Nothing says sloppy more than a frayed shirt collar and cuffs or a faded pair of black cotton pants.

  2. Buy no iron cotton blouses or dress shirts. It’s the easiest way to ensure that your blouse or shirt always looks pressed. Try more fitted styles to eliminate any bulkiness under a sweater, jacket or sport coat.

  3. Get rid of that sweater on the back of your office door! It has seen better days. Invest in quality sweaters that fit well, hold their shape and actually look GREAT on you! 

  4. Take your casual shoes to the cobbler to be resoled and polished. Nothing ruins an outfit more quickly than a beat up looking pair of shoes.

  5. Invest in good undergarments. You want coverage with thinner and lighter fabrics. Avoid the dreaded VPL (visible panty lines) and bulky bra straps. Try www.commando.com, www.somaintimates.com and www.nordstrom.com for the best no show undergarments. 

  6. Select accessories that add interest and color to your outfit. Summer is a great time to wear colorful necklaces, belts and scarves.

  7. Upgrade your handbag, tote or computer bag. It completes your look and should be in line with your position. Quality is key. Skip the backpack (unless you work for a Tech company in the field)—you’re not in college anymore. 

  8. Skip capri style pants in favor of a figure flattering skirt or dress. Add a jacket or sweater to elevate the credibility factor. 

  9. Selecting a specific color palette and buying basic pieces helps maximize outfit options. Mixing and matching is the way to go. (Even for the guys.) 

  10. Spend some time thinking about what your clothes say about you. Do they tell the story you want? If not, then it may be time to make some changes and invest in yourself!

 

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Margaret Batting - Professional Development Consultant, Executive Coach, Brand Strategist and Keynote Speaker, Servicing Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Beyond
 
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