Annita Hannadja, the style coach, says that no matter what level you work at, your appearance is constantly giving out messages about you and your place in the company. Your attire will speak volumes about how seriously you take your job, how professional you strive to be, and whether you ‘care’ about your job or not! Your clients, and senior members of staff, will make lasting judgments about you, based on your appearance. So for any professional, it’s of great importance that your appearance communicates the messages that you want to portray right away. Let’s talk about smart casual and business casual.
Smart casual doesn’t mean wearing dark jeans to the office or a blazer instead of a suit jacket. Fashion may be considered trivial in the highflying business world. But the head of a leading company needs to be ‘ahead of the game’ and ‘forward thinking’.
Best tip for any season is to dress in clothes that are comfortable and fit you well. Dressing well needs to be a priority but it doesn’t need to cost a fortune.
Dressing totally ‘out of character’ will have an adverse effect too. Clothes are powerful. If we ‘dress up’ in clothes that we are not used to, then it can feel ‘strange’. And so we will ‘act’ strange and portray incongruence. It isn’t about changing who you are, it’s about being the smartest version of yourself.
Wearing clothes that feel comfortable will help, as they allow freedom of movement without being uncomfortable. And so this will help you to perform your best.
For a business casual look, you can wear anything on top but keep it with sleeves short or long. That means no sleeve-less tops or daring tops. It is good to keep the business decent etiquette like a classic casual look. Or you can add some colour or accessory showing the creative part of yourself.
Too thick materials like heavy wool it is better to keep it out of the office, as well as cotton T-shirts worn alone. And avoid logos and cartoons or tops with a very thin or see-through material, avoid also over-sized or too tight outfits.
Pants are better straight line or wide-leg trousers for ladies, better in neutral or darker colours. Avoid strong colours and floral prints or prints of any kind they look too casual as well as cargo pants, leggings, shorts, or silk pants.
Usually, the business casual does not allow jeans, but choosing dark colours for your jeans at the office will be more acceptable. Like grey, dark blue or black.
Blazers and jackets
Blazers and jackets look best in classic and formal design. The colours and material of the jackets set you free to choose whatever you feel like.
Skirts should not be too short or too long. Best skirts are pencil skirts and A-line skirts and of not a glossy or very tight material. Denim skirts are better to be avoided.
Any foot-wear is good here. Too casual though, like flat sandals showing too much of your feet, flip flops or something similar which looks like beach wear, should be avoided, as well as anything that looks too comfortable and relaxed, as well as running shoes, high-heel sandals, and very fancy shoes, and over-the knee boots.
Structured bags are always the best to carry at the office, in neutral and dark colours.
The most beautiful in this dress code is that you are more at ease to choose clothes you love and wear them happily. And you have the choice to create an interesting appropriate outfit that will make you feel comfortable, more productive especially in your environment.