Sunday, March 4, 2012

Business Casual: Women's Edition

Teeing off my previous post on suits, it's come to my attention that some women don't know the meaning of business casual. We allow our clerks and secretaries to wear business casual. I see all kinds of crazy shit. Don't be the woman everyone giggles about behind your back.

What is Business Casual?

1. Dressy pants, not lowrise enough to show your entire buttcrack when you bend over to get a file. Try this in the fitting room. Trust me, no one wants to see it.
2. Sweaters and cardigans.
3. Button down shirts with no more than the top button unbuttoned.
4. Skirts and dresses no more than two inches above the knee.
5. Closed toe shoes. While the females in the upper realms may wear peep toes, you should not. They've earned it; you haven't.
6. Tops, shirts, and dresses with sleeves. Sleeveless is not appropriate unless you are wearing a cardigan or blazer over it. Dressy t-shirt type tops are fine, as are a lot of the cute tops you see out these days, provided they aren't low cut.
7. Blazers are always welcome.

What IS NOT Business Casual

1. Flip flops.
2. Mules.
3. Low cut shirts. No cleavage, please. V-neck can be fine, provided it is high enough.
4. Almost anything you would wear to a club. There are obviously some exceptions, but generally business casual and club wear do not go hand in hand.
5. Sleeveless tops or spaghetti string tops or one shoulder tops. I don't care if it's 100 degrees out; those of us above you are wearing suits, so suck it up.
6. Capri pants. See above.
7. Sandals. Again, your toes are not appropriate for work unless your company advises you otherwise.
8. Mini skirts. More than two inches above the knee is not work attire.
9. Jeans. I don't care if they are dark washed and cost $200. Don't wear them.
10. Jean jackets. See above.
11. Concert t-shirts. T-shirts can be fine if they are nicely cut and plain, and paired with a nice skirt or pants.
12. Sling backs. No.

Can You Wear What Women With Higher Ranking Than You Wear?

This depends on your company. In my opinion, no. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. The women at the top tier of wherever you work have put in years and years of professional attire, and they are in a position to wear peep toes or a sleeveless dress on occasion if they feel like it. They aren't going to get reprimanded for a dress code oversight. You will. They might even come in one day after a long night of work wearing flip flops and jeans. Don't think this is your in to wear whatever you want. Dress appropriately. No matter where you work, people gossip and talk. It's not hard. One day, you too will be able to flaunt the dress code on occasion. For now, be a professional.