On business casual, part 2

Today’s post finishes a two parter on business casual attire.

Because one part was too long and two parts extends the boredom that this topic conjurs.

You’re welcome.

Last week, we talked about posture. Today, wardrobe.

When I started my job, we were strictly business professional. Suits ruled my closet. But several years ago, we switched to business casual, with Fridays as a jeans day.

These days, my attire includes lots of solid color tees and tops that I can mix and match with jeans or dress pants and add a blazer or cardigan for work. I don’t do many button-downs because I have rather sizable assets and they don’t enjoy it when things have to be buttoned over them.

read: my boobs aren’t proportional to the rest of my body and pop out at random because I have trouble buying the right size shirt, causing an even bigger wardrobe issue.

One additional caveat — and one that prompted the initial feedback — is that I wear flip flops to work in the summer. They’re what I walk in, and I typically change them once I get to work. But many days, they do creep into my workday. And I get it, flip flops during work time are bad.

So, in light of this feedback, I’ve made it a point to avoid flip flops or change quickly out of them upon arriving at the office. I’ve also added a couple mix and match blazers to the mix. I hesitate to go full-on back to suits because that just makes people ask whether I’ve got an interview somewhere else. But, I may have to suck up and deal.

Obviously, I can understand that I need to up my game a bit. I’m nearing 30, and my work attire should reflect that. The ol’ cardy and t-shirt thing is so age 23. But, I’m fashion-dumb. I don’t know where to go and what looks good. I also have a very young face and that’s going to make anything I wear look, well, young.

On the flip side (because there’s always a flip side with me), I’m annoyed. I feel that I’ve worn the same type of clothing for years and don’t understand why I’m just now getting reprimanded. Other staff wear sandals/flip flops, what’s wrong with mine?

Newer staff seem to wear suits, so maybe there’s been an unofficial shift in the wardrobe and I’m too dense to notice. Or, as with the posture issue, maybe the higher ups are noticing the younger folks because we tend to have a more casual approach to life — and posture, and wardrobe — than a traditional office environment would warrant.

Whatever it is, this is my feedback, and I have to make the changes.

So, tell me. What’s your office attire? Where do you shop? And do you know a good personal shopper?



Filed under career

3 responses to “On business casual, part 2

  1. I think I already e-mailed you this, but you can find decent, affordable, and sometimes downright cute/edgy/trendy office clothes at H&M, Ann Taylor Loft, and even sometimes Urban Outfitters. Then, of course, there’s Banana Republic, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, J. Jill, etc., but those are definitely pricier, unless you stick mostly to the sale rack.

    I used to hate my “business casual” dress policy. But, now I don’t mind it. Because I make sure that I really, genuinely LIKE and enjoy wearing the office clothes I buy. Makes all the difference!

  2. I have a super slacker dress code at work – there is no policy. I wear flip flops all summer and rarely take off my toasty boots in the winter. I wear t-shirts and fleeces. Cargo pants and capris. Pretty much anything goes.

    Sadly, though, it means I’ve gotten more and more sloppy as the years go by. I was noticing how bad my wardrobe got when I had to start buying maternity clothes … I’ve kind of used it as an excuse to spruce up my wardrobe and dress in cuter styles and fashions.

    Though, I remain firm in that what you wear does not effect how your brain works nor your work product.

  3. My office used to be business casual, minus Fridays, which were casual. That was a pretty good balance but I had barely any casual clothes. Then we moved to “tastefully casual” aka casual and so far it’s gone really well. people are pretty respectful of it and dress up when they need to, it’s a good balance.

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