Business Casual: two words that, when put together, can be so confusing as to their meaning. What does business casual actually mean anyways? Truth be told, there isn’t one definition for it. The dictionary defines it as “as style of casual clothing worn by businesspeople at work instead of more formal attire.” I don’t know about you, but that’s not a very helpful definition for me! Business casual attire is listed as the dress code for so many businesses today and is growing in popularity, but the definition of what “business casual attire” actually means differs from company to company. I’ve known it to mean you can wear jeans and t-shirts five days a week, and I’ve also known it to mean no jeans, only dress pants or skirts five days a week. For the sake of this blog post, I am going to assume that it means no t-shirts, jeans or sweatpants but that other semi-casual forms of pants are acceptable if paired with a nice top, sweater or blouse (and no pant suits!). Basically my definition of business casual is somewhere in the middle of “business” and “casual.” All that being said, I’ve compiled 5 easy ways you can spice up your business casual attire and make it more stylish.
1) Statement Necklace/Bracelets. Statement necklaces are BIG, both in size and continued popularity from last year. Try adding a multicolored statement necklace to a mostly monotone outfit and see what it does. Large, chunky bracelets are also popular and can add a lot to an outfit. Wear a stack of delicate charm bracelets or go for one thick bangle worn on the opposite wrist as your watch (also a great outfit addition that never goes out of style).
2) Jogger Pants. These are sweatpants’ better-looking cousin. Typically made out of canvas or suede material, these are loose-fitting pants with wide elastic at the waistband and cuffs. These can easily be dressed up with a tucked-in blouse and heels or flats – just make sure that you pair them with a top that is at least somewhat fitted and/or tucked in- a baggy top might look sloppy with these pants since they’re already loose.
3) Bright Lipstick. This can go with just about any outfit and instantly adds a pop of color to your ensemble – try a bright pink or fuchsia during the warmer months for an edgy look.
4) Floral Scarf. Spring and summer’s version of the ever-popular fall and winter scarves. Oversized scarves in bright floral and abstract prints are going to be trending this season. Choose one that’s large enough to be worn a variety of ways and also made of a lightweight material appropriate for the season.
5) Wedge Heels. They never truly went out of style, but they are definitely more in style now than they have been in recent years. A trendy twist on the classic high heels, wedge heels are just as professional and can dress up a more casual outfit easily.
As I’ve been thinking about this blog and what I want it to communicate, I’ve decided that I need to clarify something. I write about fashion, I think about fashion, I instagram about fashion, but I am not always stylish. In fact, if you know me, then the chances are that you’ve probably seen me in workout clothing but not at the gym, or sweats and a comfy shirt but not at home. That’s because I’m not overly strict with myself when it comes to when I’m supposed to be stylish. What does “stylish” even mean? It’s constantly changing but style is “knowing who you are and what you want to say…” according to Gore Vidal. By this definition, my choice of workout pants, a brightly colored fleece, and my favorite running shoes for a trip to the store may not be stylish, but it most certainly does not mean that I don’t have style. When you look at style as more of an attitude than an outfit your outlook on what to wear changes. Following fashion bloggers and clothing brands on Instagram is great for providing inspiration, but in regards to the nitty gritty of real life, day in and day out style, it can be crippling. The majority of the bloggers I’ve seen and that I follow on Instagram have an outfit of the day (#ootd) or a “what I wore” post that consists of a daily picture of them, typically in sunny climate, with perfect hair and a completely accessorized outfit that’s super stylish and flatters their figure. Every day. If they seriously have time to look that great every day, well, good for them. Since I’m not like that, does that make me less of a fashion designer or less qualified to write this blog? I don’t think so, and I hope you agree with me.
Beginning next month, I will be introducing a new series on the blog: Real Honest Style. Once a month I’ll write a post about something that inspires real life, everyday style. It may be something I wore, something you wore, or something someone else wore- or even something else that’s totally different but still inspires real honest style. Each month will differ in content but have the same overarching theme. My goal is that it will inspire, encourage, and give confidence to the readers of this blog to think about what they wear in a more personalized and genuine way.
I’ve been waging a war all winter long… against static. It all started back in the late fall actually, when I wore a new oversized sweater to work. I didn’t notice anything wrong with it until I took my coat off at work and simultaneously shocked myself while also noticing that the sweater was clinging to me in every which way. (Great start to the day!). The worst part of it was that I had to stay like that all day long. I tried pouring water on my hands and then running them over my sweater from time to time which helped a little bit with the clinging but overall it was a small distaster. I couldn’t wait to change as soon as I got home (although I shocked myself while doing that as well). Ever since that long day, I’ve been in search of ways to cut down on static. Thankfully, winter is almost over (!!) and more humid air is about to arrive. However, I still had to fight some static battles today so I thought it would still be helpful to share some tips I’ve learned to cut down on everyday static. If you have more tips please feel free to leave them in the comments – I’d like to know!! Anyways, here are things to do that I’ve found can cut down on static:
1) Keep a dryer sheet in your purse. If I change purses… the dryer sheet changes purses too. I literally never leave the house without a dryer sheet on me. I’ve found that it’s an easy fix for me in case I take my coat off and find (once again) that my clothes are static. Because, then you can…
2) Use the dryer sheet on your clothes. Whether or not you’re wearing them. Usually, if I am going to be wearing a sweater or other article of clothing that I know has a tendency to be static, I lay it out the night before and rub a dryer sheet all over it. I’ve found that this helps make wearing it the next day easier, although I still bring a dryer sheet with me.
3) Use lotion. And lots of it. Not only on your skin, but since I have fine hair it reacts to static so easily and it can be quite irritating. I’ve found that putting lotion on my hands and running them through my hair helps to cut down on static and flyaways.
4) Air dry as many clothes as possible. This will cut down on static that clothing can easily pick up while in the dryer.
5) Use a humidifier. Just not at the same time as you’re air drying your clothes! Humidifiers bring moisture into the air which helps to hydrate your skin and cut down on static electricity.