Advice for professional dress in a Business Casual work environment is always a list of “Don’ts:”
Don’t show too much skin.
Don’t have your boxer shorts or bra straps sticking out.
Don’t wear flip flops.
Don’t wear pajama pants.
I know what you are thinking. Make it stop.
My goal is to have you see etiquette a little differently. So when it comes to Business Casual, let’s talk about the Dos. Let’s talk about how to take Business Casual and kick it up a notch.
Wear a pressed shirt, instead of a polo shirt.
Try a collared shirt instead of a t-shirt.
Wear a blazer or suit jacket with your open-collared shirt.
Put on a tie without a blazer or suit jacket.
Add a splash of color with a scarf. (Scarves are wardrobe extenders that change an outfit.)
Enhance with a simple necklace – pearls, gold or silver chain, colorful stones.
Improve a pair of casual pants with dressier shoes.
Rock a pair of dress pants instead of dockers.
Upgrade with a professional-looking dress or skirt instead of your usual slacks.
Buy one stylish piece of clothing a year you might not normally purchase.
Back in October 2013, Forbes magazine had an article where psychologist/author Jennifer Baumgartner talked about how casual dress environments have made it more difficult to distinguish between our “work selves” and “off-work selves.” Even when we go home, we still feel like we are at work, because we are wearing the same thing.
Her advice? Make your casual work outfit slightly more dressy. Then change when you get home to create that work / home boundary.
Try it out. Dress for success. Then go home and change to decompress.