Business Casual {AKA How To Avoid Wearing a Suit}

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dressed up to get messed up. Haha jk.
Business casual. Black tie. Formal. Formal business. Casual Friday. These descriptions are basically meaningless to me well, except maybe the Casual Friday one... as a college student, and beyond that, a college student that resides only in norts and large (extra-large?) tee shirts. Recently, however, the term "business casual" has become relevant in my life as an active student of the Terry College of Business. I've been attending a couple of employer presentations (Aflac uh huh huh) and a Digital Marketing Series which have required the dress code. (At the last Digital Marketing Series, an Industry Analyst from Google came and I had a glimpse into the future for a brief, tiny second as life as a young workin' girl: classy professional, passionate about her job, etc. etc. She was also wearing these really great black skinnies with a tuxedo stripe - coincidentally my latest Google search was "great black skinnies with a tuxedo stripe") Anyway, all these meetings got me thinking: what exactly is business casual? How do I accomplish being both professional and casual without (duh) sacrificing my personal style?

I'll start with answering that one question on everyone's mind: no, business casual doesn't mean "wear a suit." For boys (according to my management science professor and to Google), khakis and a button down suffice, but unfortunately the options for girls are a little more cloudy. I think thoughtful separates are the best way to start, and then you can work from there: (1) a great blazer, (2) a pencil skirt (preferably in a pop of color), (3) wide leg and ankle pants (get them hemmed or altered), (4) a crisp white button down, (5) silk blouses (cream and patterned), (6) vintage concert tee (business casual, right?), (7) Swiss dot tights, (8) black ballets, (9) shift dress, and a (10) pair of black pumps (I'm really into t-straps these days). The beauty of thoughtful separates (PREACH) is that they are universal, they are practical, they are worth your money. Each of these pieces hang in my closet right now, or at least they hung there for many years before forced retirement after a long, hard-working life. (RIP Gap black cigarette pants. You were loved.)
Business Casual

{currently listening to}
This song really has nothing to do with above post, but I am actually currently listening to this song, so raise a glass, bottom's up. (Omg, pun not intended. Ew.)

{currently reading}
For all you really serious business-y types who seek investment in big-girl pant[ies] for big-girl real-world jobs, check out Capitol Hill Style. I love reading this blog when I'm daydreaming about my future career. Great suggestions from a real professional in W DC.

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