A lot of people have asked me what the definition of business casual is. It is a very vague description and definitely depends on the workplace. Miriam Webster defines it as:
a style of dressing for white-collar employees that is less formal than traditional business attire
Can it be any more vague than that? To help guide you, and of course PLEASE confer with your human resources department or employee manual as they usually have more detail, here’s what I recommend:
Business Casual Bottoms
Everyone needs a pair of black pants in their closet. They are versatile and classic. I have a few different styles of black pants in my closet – straight leg, skinny, cropped (channeling Audrey), and wide leg. (I choose the cut to wear based on the style of the top. In some organizations, business casual includes khakis as well. I recommend pairing them with a crisp white button down or a cute colorful sweater set.
I have a thing for pencil skirts. They are classic and look great! Pair it with a tucked in button down blouse or thin knit sweater and a d’Orsay heel or pointed flat and you’re good to go!
A line skirts flatter every body style. They add accentuation to your waist and create an hourglass look. Tuck in a fluid blouse and add a cute pair of heels to finish the look.
Denim comes into play when the company offers “Casual Fridays” – BUT there are rules to follow. I recommend saving the super fun ripped jeans for the weekend, along with the faded denim. Opt for a dark wash with a straight or wide leg and pair with a button-down or cute knit top.
Classic white button down
Everyone should have one crisp white button down in their closet. You can wear it alone or under a sweater or suit jacket if you need to be more formal. It also looks awesome with dark denim and a pearl necklace (see below for photo and giveaway!).
Shells and cardigans
I feel like this sounds a bit old fashioned but I love shell and cardigan sets. You can mix and match – you don’t have to be all matchy matchy, and they go with just about any style pant.
Here are some examples of blouses that would be perfect for the business casual office. Try to incorporate some trendy prints, such as floral or stripes (stripes are huge for Spring) and have fun with them!
I’m all about flats, especially since my back has been less than stellar these past few years. Flat designs have come a long way too! I recommend a pair of black flats – loafer, pointed flat or ballet-style would go with just about everything.
I think heels are so beautiful. Just because I can’t wear them doesn’t mean that you can’t! I’d recommend investing in a quality pair of black heels and nude heels. Brown is another great neutral color. My favorite heel style is d’Orsay – they elongate the foot and leg and look so so nice on! I’d also recommend purchasing a modest heel height – no need for the stilettos in the office. Aside from the fact that they would look odd with your outfit, I can’t imagine they would be comfortable for an 8 hour workday!
Necklaces, bracelets and earrings can add that pop of color or introduce a new trend to your otherwise neutral work outfit. I love pairing a statement necklace with a pair of stud earrings or a more elaborate earring with a delicate necklace. Bracelets are funny too – keep in mind your comfort when at work though. If you’re on the computer a lot, bangle bracelets may seem cumbersome.
One piece that I recommend is both classic and fun – a pearl necklace. I was recently introduced to Pink & Rowe’s new line of handmade in the USA faux Swarovski pearl necklaces and matching bracelets. I pair the necklace with just about anything – my favorite being the white button down shirt! Here I wore one with a simple ecru knit top and it really dressed it up!
Our faux pearl necklace has been constructed completely by hand and made in the U.S.A. Each pearl is individually hand knotted in the traditional manner unlike most pearl necklaces made today using 100& silk thread. Made of Swarovski glass pearls, you can expect nothing but the highest quality of faux pearls. The exceptional luster sets this necklace apart from other brands.
You have a chance to win your very own necklace and bracelet set below! The giveaway runs from February 1 (the debut of Pink & Rowe’s jewelry line) through February 8th and is open to all US residents 18 and over.
I wear scarves all the time – not just in the cold months. They add an extra pop of color, depth or texture to any outfit. Adding a lightweight silk printed scarf to a solid top would look so nice together!
Enter below to win your very own Pink & Rowe necklace and bracelet set, valued at $150!
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