Business Casual Accessories, the “Danger Zone”
Your business casual jeans should be hemmed properly. We endorse no break or a slight break. The business casual blazer and jeans look is always done a terrible disservice by dudes just throwing a blazer on over their ratty, long, frayed leg-opening jeans. However, most of all, the best pair of business casual jeans will be one that has a dark wash. With a complete lack of fade ad signs of wear, they complement a blazer very well. This topic has finally encouraged a long time reader to comment!
Fitted jeans and chinos are my go-to when it comes to leg-wear. Dress them up with a blazer and leather shoes or throw on a pair of sneakers for a more casual feel on Fridays and the weekend!
I remember Eddie Van Halen wearing that, and managed to find a couple of pictures. The one I found — which I think I got at Structure — was single-breasted, notch lapel. Hey, man, oversized coats were all the rage for about two weeks last winter! Well… reasons, when it comes to fashions and personal style, can be hard to come by. At least good ones. Jeans were and are physical work clothes to me.
When I worked in retail auto parts, we wore jeans due to working with heavy, greasy parts. When I worked on a dairy farm in Minnesota, jeans were what you did chores and field work in. Ditto working at the home center and lumber yard.
Heavy labor and work calls for denim in a lot of cases. A nice pair of trousers and a collared shirt is the bare minimum uniform of the day if you are not meeting with clients.
I bring my personal dress code up a whole order of magnitude by wearing not just suits, but bespoke. I want to look like I belong in the office, not the building environmental services. But I will only wear chinos or dress pants, and a blazer, sport jacket, sweater or traditional bomber jacket, when I am not in a suit and tie. As a law student who never does any type of physical labour ever I think this is the appropriate way for me to dress. Welcome to our little club, David!
When not in a suit but out and about, chinos, linen, seersucker, flannel; any material that can hold a crease is what I wear. I may wear a nice polo or a button-down with the French cuffs rolled up, or with a sport coat. Trilby or fedora, straw or felt, depending on weather. Always leather shoes, never sneakers. I wear jeans and a blazer to work almost every day. I have black, charcoal gray, light gray, dark green, dark brown, khaki, and red jeans as well that are business wear.
I frequently wear the red jeans with a traditional gold-buttoned navy blue blazer, so sort of the reverse of the Eddie Van Halen look. I can totally see this being a problem. The guys are wearing jeans and polos and look like regular workers — meanwhile, if you wear jeans and a t-shirt you end up looking like their scrappy younger sister, and if you wear trousers and a nice top you look like the mom of the group.
Readers, what are your tips? How can women look professional in a business casual, male-dominated environment, without looking overdressed? Khakis, cords or jeans even trouser jeans sound more appropriate for your office.
I have to be in the office and the field, which requires completely separate wardrobes. But the work is challenging and fun and I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to email me linked above if you have any questions. In a different life, I managed a group of engineers and planners in a similar environment. I think women need to dress up a notch from the male engineers for a couple reasons: Looking smart and pulled together dress trousers, simple skirts, blouses, cardigans, simple blazers will not be overdoing biz casual, but will signify you get what it means to look professional and are serious about getting the work done for the client.
IN my office, the manageing partner does NOT tolarate me or any one else dressing casual. I have been walkeing and my tuchus is getting alot tighter lately. Myrna thinks he has a flea — brain. OUT of site, out of mind, in site in mind. FOOEY if that is the case. So I have to think before I decide to go out with him. At least he does NOT know where I live! She must be high, I am shocked that she is employed at all, she sounds like very whiny and her grammar is not even at a elementary school level.
My solution has been to wear a casual third piece. Something like a jean or courdoroy jacket, or a cardigan. Concur with the 3rd casual piece approach! Dressing for work helped me mentally as well to stay focused and professional throughout the day.
Of course the glittery and metallic polishes are no-go. Good question—sounds like my office only the guys wear un-ironed button downs. Frankly, I dress more formally than they do I also observe women dressing more formally at tech companies aka my clients. Guys wear comfortable shoes by default so expect a lot of fast walking.
Wedges and flats work best for me. I wear traditional slacks and have a pair of ponte knit slacks in rotation. I wear with opaque tights or tall boots. Just make sure the length is work-appropriate. I like knits and cashmere sweaters. Try to avoid anything too low-cut—boys will be boys. I like bright colors but the women in my office wear a lot of neutrals too. Clothes get so boring and I feel like I dress like a secretary instead of a lawyer most of the time.
Jewelry is how I express myself. I only wear make-up for big client meetings and even that is pretty minimal. I do think 6 and 7 have wiggle-room, though.
In my opinion, no. To me, secretaries wear a lot of rayon floral dresses and open-work cardigans, that type of stuff. We have lawyers, investigators, and a receptionist. She has a number of khaki and denim A-line skirts and neutral-colored twill jackets, white shirts that she mixes and matches with more brightly colored tees. She is always cute. The others range from goth to club to cat-hair. Overdressing is the surest way for a woman not to be taken seriously.
I worked in high tech before law school, and we all wore jeans and tee shirts, from code monkeys to CEO. We had this adorable college senior who always, always wore suit pants, heels, a nice top, and a cardigan or blazer. She worked the help desk phone-only interaction ; we joked that she got our job posting confused with the customer service desk at Nordstrom.
She was good at her job but the impression she was playing dress-up overshadowed that. When we moved from a converted warehouse to a fancy office, the CEO put her the only place you need someone presentable: Lots of short sleeve button downs in fun prints, lots of fitted striped sweaters. Also big clunky heels because Everything is too embellished. In many workplaces, being overdressed does make you look more like the secretary than the boss. I find tradition button-downs fussy and not well fit, too.
I agree with most of this, but my office specialty chemical company is even more limiting. Sleeveless and skirts are seen as not OK in general. I still with blazers, cardigans, and at least marginally interesting earrings and necklaces. I stick with blazers, cardigans, and at least marginally interesting earrings and necklaces. I think that you were in my mind! I am an engineer and a lawyer and recently switched work locations.
It has been a struggle to get the right look. Even the right shoes. I am going to incorporate some of your suggestions, especially about the jewelry. The men all wear jeans and some form of casual to moderate shirt or polos, some wear sweaters or vests on top. Something to the extent of this outfit works.
I would even throw in a blazer if you are wearing more casual bottoms. Crew cafe capri or Minnie pant in black, burgundy, dark green, etc. I once accompanied a structural engineer friend who had to be in the field and at the office on her hunt for shoes. Took half the day, but we found them. I used to work in a similar environment. Or, t-shirt and a pencil skirt. Or blouse with cords. You get the idea.
Of course nothing ripped, sheer, revealing, etc. Also, embrace the freedom to wear comfy footwear, and somewhat quirkier items. It depends on the company. I agree that men in ill fitting jeans and sneakers look really sloppy. This has not happened since I started upgrading my wardrobe. I am often the woman, and the only one not wearing jeans, in meetings. Company is a large technology company in the Midwest.
Casual in a tech environment, when people may be working with chemicals, doing occasional machining, etc. The real issue for Reader S is what to wear so that she fits in with the guys and the definition of casual in her workplace.
Though I work in a more creative field advertising , we have a heavy digital component here. The women, when not dressing up for a presentation when everyone in the office has to wear their best , usually wear more casual dresses or jeans with stylish tall boots. Old Ebbotts, near the mall, especially during the oyster happy hour and after 11pm on Mon-Thurs and after 11pm on Sundays. Its a really pleasant atmosphere and in my opinion its a bit of a DC legend.
Now I realize I totally misspelled that, which means it is time to get on the plane home! I do love thursdays in consulting. Unfortunately, my BF is the only one I know willing to eat oysters with me. Which is ok, but I seem to want them a lot more often than he does. This may be helpful: I think the bigger pits to avoid are dressing like you are on a date or particularly in some offices are an admin. It easy for young professionals in a casual environment to fall into the trap of wearing their weekend wardrobes to work.
For example, keep the curve hugging t-shirts for the weekends and buy some loose ones for work. I know that should go without saying, but I see it happen all too often in casual work environments. My tops are professional attire sans jacket , but with casual pants.
Agree with woven pants and dark wash jeans. I actually find working in a male-dominated field freeing in the fashion department. Wear what you like. A lot of people here start out wearing more businessy clothes because they already have a wardrobe from internships or other jobs, and then we all eventually become lazy and start wearing jeans.
I started with dress pants and button down shirts, and somehow moved to khakis and knits over the years. I think something along the line of LOFT style is a safe bet for female engineers. And just be dressy either on top or bottom but not both. The location of my office in the middle of the plant requires me to wear steel-toe boots, hard hat, safety glasses, and reflective vest just to get to my desk.
The other engineers and managers wear jeans and polo shirts or button-up shirts. I usually stick with 5-pocket bootcut jeans from Old Navy. I wear a nice watch and bracelets that can be removed if necessary, but I stay away from other jewelry. I use my nails as my major form of self-expression — I keep them short and round, but I can be bold when it comes to color.
Bright colored t-shirts and blouses for the summer. Maybe swap out the shoelaces of your boots for something bright, too?
My field clothes or plant clothes are strictly for the field. Anyone want to take up the shopping challenge for shoes that are: I hate steel toed shoes! Anyone want to start a company with me called not-fugly steeltoes for women? Do the Blundstone steel toe boots come in a small enough size for you? I have to admit that I bought cheap Brazos brand ones from Academy.
They usually have a decent, affordable selection. As a side note, I love this company. I used to have to wear these, and always appreciated Red Wings. I also want to know more about the business causal.. I am not getting proper guidance…I initially read article on www. I have been purchasing them for the past few years now. If you look around, you can also get them with a steel shank or in black as well as brown.
I have very narrow feet I tried RedWing, but 2 caught me. I have had a pair of LLBean steel-toe boots for 10 years. Wear them in, and they are comfortable. Could you wear a cute, but washable, lightweight blouse in the summer? I think loose and flowy would be better in this environment than anything structured given how hot and sticky it must be on the plant floor.
Loose and flowy is generally a hazard on the plant floor. Not tight but no dangling bits is better. They have interesting details and typically come in a variety of colors. Tulle also does great cotton blouses that are flattering by not too loose. I spent a few years as a project engineer working on site for a construction company in Florida.
I wore steel toe boots, khaki pants, and either a polo, oxford or fishing shirt. The guys in the equivalent position wore khaki pants and polos. The geothermal engineer wore skirt suits, meaning that when she was on site she was wearing a skirt and steel toe boots. This is not a good look. Have you considered dressing like the boys but in higher quality cuts and fabrics? I am an engineer and my office is definitely casual.
Since I do interface with clients sometimes, I do keep a blazer around. So, this sounds pretty much like my office! Personally, I despise khakis.
They make me feel frumpy. I try to look for the casual pants but most of the time I feel too masculine in them. Shoes are flats or boots. Summer is much tougher. Dresses and skirts stick out too much, plus I need to keep my legs covered for the production floor. I normally just wear the same jeans and nice blouse with flats.
This could almost be me. I am a female engineer working in an office that actually does have other women, but most of them are not engineers. Our accountants and scientists have a dressier office standard than the engineers and our field crew dresses more casually — nothing that would work for me. The other female engineer here dresses more casually than I think is appropriate jeans and sneakers unless she has significant client meetings. She also has more tenure, a higher position, and absolutely zero ambition to advance roles in the company.
Men in the office wear some kind of leather shoes, khakis, and button downs. The project managers male typically wear nicer versions of the same thing. I am still developing my office-wear.
I wear nice shoes, but tend away from pumps and toward boots and more solid or pracitcal options so that I seem both dressed well and able to get my hands dirty. Pumps might work for you, but solid shoes are part of how I brand myself as technical. I have a basic pair of black Clarks shoes that I got as my career-kickoff shoes after watching all the professional women at a conference wear something both appropriate and comfortable.
I have expanded with some sturdy options from Fluevog and Fly London. I am developing an array of appropriate tops, mostly light sweaters and shirts a hair more formal than the t-shirts Kat suggests.
The business-casual dress code is one of the most difficult to define, and that might have something to do with the fact that it's a complete oxymoron — seriously, how can one be "business" and. Business Casual for Women Clothing Guide. Trying to decipher business casual for women can be a little difficult in today’s work environment and can vary depending on where you work. Because dressing appropriately can often make or break a career, it’s wise to follow a few simple rules when it comes to business casual for women. Women's Business Casual Office AttirePeach blazer, white pants and stripes (this classy outfit would be prefect for an office, lunch date, or any other dressy event during warmer weather) Find this Pin and more on Business Casual - Women's by Insperity Jobs. Find peach blazer at ShopStyle.