The Do’s, The Don’ts Of The Business Casual (And Casual) World

Maureen and I were inspired for today’s post after strolling into work in nearly the exact same outfit: dress – tights – boots – blazer. It was clear we were cut from the same visionary cloth, both going for a  little something we like to call business casual. You all know the term and we all understand it (in theory). But from an execution standpoint, business casual can be one of the trickiest looks master.  Are polo shirts professional enough? Do you really need to wear those leggings when it’s almost too hot to even put them on? It’s hot outside, but cold inside – there’s no happy medium! What to do, what to do.

 First off, let’s remember that business casual is going to mean something different to each of you reading this. Some may think of a nice pair of jeans, others a faux suit. Now, which degree you choose may depend on whether you are a professional CPA or work in an industry of free spirits. Business casual can take many twists & turns, conservative or playful, chic . . even frumpy and often boring. So, our kickoff piece of advice is to always keep it fun. Please don’t lose yourself in a sea of mundane. Test out mixing patterns or unexpected jewelry pieces.

But remember to keep the outfit grounded. That’s where business comes into this relationship. If you can see your stomach, it’s not appropriate. . . ever. If we can look at you and know that you have 4 cats at home because you’re covered in hair, it’s not appropriate.  And if you’re covered in wrinkles, you guessed it.

Our favorite looks often chime from the ultra-girly side of the plate. We love the idea of pairing a flowy dress with a structured blazer and ballet flats. Top it off with an intriguing necklace or bracelet and you’ve got it going on.  

Dress is Modcloth:

http://www.modcloth.com/Modcloth/Womens/Dresses/-Peach-Petals-Dress

Blazer is Lauren Conrad:  

http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/landingpages/lclaurenconrad/apparel

Necklace is Stella & Dot:

http://shop.stelladot.com/style/b2c_en_us/n238g.html

Shoes are Modcloth:

http://www.modcloth.com/Modcloth/Womens/Shoes/Flats/-English-Licorice-Flat

Personally, we work in a very casual work environment. So as nature would have it, this lack of a true dress code  has a tendency to be taken advantage of at times. Those free spirits we mentioned? We work with them, and we even are them – but it’s important to remember what is and is not acceptable for a working environment. Regardless of policy. We adore a good  sweater dress or boho-chic top paired with some great skinny jeans & riding boots.

Tunic is H&M:

http://www.hm.com/us/product/94531?article=94531-B

Blouse is H&M:

http://www.hm.com/us/product/94897?article=94897-B

Boots are Steve Madden (and an office favorite):  

http://www.stevemadden.com/Item.aspx?id=42990&np=DirectSearch&sp=INTYCE

Jeans are Joe’s Jeans:

http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=576577&CategoryID=3111&LinkType=#

 

So if you’re going to go out there and conquer the working world anyways, why not look your best doing it? You never know when opportunity may come a-knockin.’

Ashley & Maureen

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