Over the past week, I had a series of pretty important meetings at work, with some pretty important folks from out of town, Las Vegas to be specific, which included some hours of down time and casual team-building activities in between.
Family, good friends and good food are the “not-so-secret” ingredients to the rapid success …
From the office to the Atlantic City Airshow with late-night dinners throughout the three-day summit, most of that time we were able to dress casually and comfortably, even when we were in full-on presentation mode in the office.
Working in an entertainment-driven industry since I graduated school, the casino industry is far less conservative with business attire than, say, the banking industry, and in general is more flexible in regards to personal style, taste and comfort. I’ve worked for executives who were forever in jeans and kicks (even on the all-important, big milestone days), and those that dressed in well-tailored, custom suits Monday through Saturday.
But these days many companies across all industries are opting for a more comfortable approach to personal office style that often lends employees to have more autonomy over what they wear and how they dress for work.
Call it what you will — business casual, classic casual or smart casual — the rules for the casual office look are constantly evolving. And while its sometimes hard to define what exactly office casual is, we can always start by covering what it should not be. So if your boss is ready to infuse dress-down days into the midweek mix, here is what not to do.
What not to wear on office dress-down day:
• Anything see through: Transparency in business is great; just not on you. Cover up.
• Tank tops: These say beach time, not business time.
• Yoga pants: As a general rule, if you are working out in it, you shouldn’t work in it.
• Ripped denim: There is such a thing as too office-casual, and torn denim is it.
• Anything you would wear to bed or the club: A big no-go.
What to wear:
Jeans and a white blazer
You can’t go wrong with a great pair of jeans and a crisp white blazer. The pairing immediately gives a polished, sophisticated vibe, while still being comfortable and casual.
Neiman Marcus | Hudson Jeans | $136 (NeimanMarcus.com)
Anthropologie | Tiered sleeve blazer | $138 (Anthropologie.com)
Pantsuit and kicks
When paired with a fun sneaker, a pantsuit can be hip, fun and cool in casual terms. For max swag, make sure your pants are slightly cropped at the ankle.
Banana Republic | Tanger Outlets’ The Walk
Long and Lean, machine-wash blazer ($141.99) and Ryan Slim Straight Leg Birdseye Pant ($77.99)
Is there anything better than a pair of crisp white kicks? I don’t think so. My favorite go-to sneakers are the Adidas Superstar line, which are anything but the old Molly Shannon “Saturday Night Live” skit. Adidas Superstars are cool, fun and customizable in different colors. But if you are looking for a crisp white kick that’s both basic and bold, these will polish off your casual Friday look at the office with bonafide girl boss status.
Adidas store, The Walk
Adidas Stan Smith $120 | Adidas Superstar $80
Floral sundress and fabulous flats
A simple sundress is cheery, whimsical and fun, but serious enough to rock at that power lunch or happy hour with colleagues.
Forever 21 | floral tiered sundress | $35 (Forever 21, The Walk & Hamilton Mall)
Shoes | Zara $35.90 (Zara.com)