In college (in-between my diligent note taking, of course) I day-dreamed what life would be like once I graduated and had, what they call, a “big kid” job. I imagined sitting at a desk with a cup of coffee wearing a button-up, pencil skirt and heels; my hair tightly back in a ponytail out of my way of work. I’d be typing away on my computer until I had to throw on my blazer and rush to a meeting.
Now that the future is here, I find that most of what I had pictured was exactly true – except my wardrobe.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am lucky enough to have gotten to work with companies who have casual dress not just on Fridays, but all week long! These companies let the employees dress however they’d like (yes, even sweats and a baseball cap). I love this for many reasons.
- I didn’t have to go buy a whole new wardrobe right out of college – Hello, broke college girl!
- It’s shopping made easy – When I go shopping, I’m not limited to only buy business type clothes; I can spread the love around.
- It allows the employees to express themselves in a way one couldn’t when obligated to wear suits and ties.
When companies allow this type of freedom, employees can take it many ways. That being said, they must learn the differences between “casual cute” vs. “casual business” vs. “casual did-you-see-what-she-is-wearing” (otherwise known as “casual inappropriate”).
So for the ones who are lucky enough to get the privilege of casual dress at work, whether it’s throughout the week or just Fridays, here are my DOs and DON’Ts.
- Be comfortable
- Mix a ‘business’ piece of clothing with some casual
- Rock the flats – the stylish the better
- Invest in colored jeans
- Wear at least one article of clothing that stands out (employees will remember it and you)
- Dress up a little more when meeting with clients or members of other departments
- Be too casual too often – people will start mistaking you for being lazy
- Wear something that you would feel uncomfortable to wear to church
- Show too much leg
- Let the girls out (that’s for happy hour ladies)