You finally did it! After all your hard work, a job has come your way. However, almost nothing seems more stressful than when you get that email claiming ‘business casual attire’ required. Whether you have made it to the interview process or you need to pick out your first-day outfit, don’t shy away from feeling like your best self.
This list will make sure you have all the essentials waiting in your closet.
1. Dress Pants
A dress pant is an essential for every closet because you can wear them any time of year, and they go with any shirt. If it’s getting colder outside, pair them with a long sleeve sweater. If your internship is over the summer, pair them with a polo. When going into an interview, value the importance of comfort. “My favorite way to dress is with dress pants, with my favorite business causal being pressed linen pants. It always makes me feel more confident and that I am treating my professors and classmates with a certain amount of respect,” said Christian Suglia, Board of Investigators and Advisors coach said. You don’t want to look like you just ate bad seafood or be sitting there wondering if they ripped when you sat down. I promise your employer notices. These pants should be a size where you do not feel restricted, but don’t drag fabric on the floor. Putting on a nice pair of slacks immediately turns on confidence. You can do this.
Looking for a piece that makes people say ‘wow’ when you walk in the room? Then a blazer is a must. Now, unlike a suit jacket, a blazer doesn’t have to have a matching pair of dress pants and come a little less fitted in the shoulders so you can rock this jacket anywhere. Incorporating this instead of a suit coat adds a little more relaxation to your look and keeps the ‘casual’ in business casual. Over a sweater, button down or polo, a blazer keeps you looking sharp.
Oh, the tried and true polo. And no, not the one that you’ve had since the 8th-grade dance, but one that has you looking fresh. These versatile shirts can go with a dress pant or khakis and you can leave them tucked for your interview or untucked for a more casual day at work. Keep a grey, navy blue, black and or white polo in your stash so that you can get ready in a flash.
Although this may seem like the last thing a person looks at, shoes make the man. Shoes give you the chance to show off your style in a way you never can with your clothes. The rules for shoes seem quite simple — grab a light brown loafer for your navy dress pants, or a black pair for your black pants. However, always match your belt, that can make or break your look. Make sure these shoes fit you well, think about possibly wearing them for an entire workday — too small won’t lead to much comfort. Have fun with these and use this opportunity to show who you are.
Most of the time, the tie offers you a chance to shine. Get out your color wheel because the tie must ‘tie’ the whole look together — and yes, pun intended. Have one that matches your jacket or compliments your shirt color, however, a crazy Christmas tie may not be the best for your summer interview. You can even wear it under your v-neck sweater so that just the top shows. Just make sure you look up that ‘how to tie a tie” tutorial more than 10 minutes before your interview.
1. Dress Pants
Although women have a few more options, such as pencil skirts or dresses, it’s always nice to have a pair of dress pants in your closet. Now depending on the setting, most likely a comfortable work environment, a slim cut pant may come in as slightly more casual than a straight pant leg. “A nice pair of dress pants just adds a level of sophistication and professionalism to any job and even makes me feel more confident,” Certified Nurse Assistant Chloe Harty said. On a cold day or even one where the thought of putting on a dress or skirt just gives you chills, a pair of dress pants won’t let you down.
Trade in those tight-fitting tops for ones that finally make you feel free. Skirts and pants can get bland and repetitive, so it’s nice to have the chance to add some flavor to your wardrobe. Going with a simple pant? Add a bright color or patterned top. Having the chance to finally pull out your pinstripe pants? Time for a solid color blouse to keep the attention on your accent piece. Luckily, the options seem endless when shopping for blouses, long sleeves, short sleeves and any color or pattern you desire — your future co-workers will need to know your secret.
3. Pencil Skirt
Now, for business casual, this skirt must go to your knees. Reverence is key to a good first impression. Pencil skirts make for the perfect seasonal outfit and paired with tights can extend you all the way into winter. Having a black skirt in your repertoire can change your life — where it multiple times, pair it with any blouse and enjoy the comfort of letting your legs breathe. Also, with the perfect pencil skirt, comes the perfect opportunity for a heel.
4. Business Heel
Heels may not always come as the most comfortable accessory, however, a small, two-inch heel could fit your outfit just perfectly. Just like with a mens’ loafer, this part of your outfit can always make a statement. Look for something with a closed toe, and for a long day of walking, look for a strap around the ankle or a chunky heel. This added support helps your feet last all day — although there’s nothing like a stiletto, you want to make sure you can get to the interview or workplace.
Just like the pencil skirt, a business dress must also come to your knees or below. Solid colors like, black, maroon, gray or navy make great additions to your new wardrobe. On days where pants just aren’t going to happen, or you spilled coffee on your favorite blouse, a dress saves the day. The higher the neck the better, just to add another level of respectability and professionalism. “I wear heels because I want to be a boss since I am surrounded by men and am on the younger side of my field,” Congressional Fundraiser Isabella Fortunato said. “I want to be viewed as a professional and that I am put together. I also use fashion as self-expression and am not afraid to be bold with colors or animal prints — they’re a great way to break up the outfit.” You can even throw a blazer on top and transform into even more of a boss woman.