It’s pretty crazy to think about how much the workplace has evolved over the past few decades. Speaking in general terms, of course, the modern workplace is a much more casual place than it used to be. Gone are the days when women wore dresses and blazers to work – it’s now commonly acceptable to wear jeans and open-toed shoes on the job. My entire career so far has been at companies that have had fairly casual dress codes, meaning that I could wear jeans any day of the week. Currently, however, I work for a company that has taken the concept of a casual work environment to a whole new level in my opinion. Any day of the week I will see ripped jeans, mini skirts, see through shirts, bodycon dresses, and even crop tops – it will be interesting to see what’s acceptable once the weather is actually warm!
My favorite motto for dressing for work is a generic but solid one: dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Regardless of where I work, I want my outfit to portray the fact that I’m capable, driven, and aware of the fact that I’m in a professional environment. I also want my outfit to be stylish (always!!), modest, and able to stand out from everyone else’s. Now I’ll admit, all of that is a pretty tall order to fill each day with my outfit! I also like to give myself a little break on Fridays and dress more casually than I would during the week. That being said, having these guidelines has helped to shape my professional wardrobe and created some helpful parameters for dressing in a professional yet ultra casual environment. Dressing for the job I want does not mean showing up to work each day in a pantsuit while everyone else around me is in ripped jeans and leggings. That would make me stand out, for sure – but not in a good way! However, I also don’t want to just blend in and start wearing bodycon dresses to work on a regular basis.
It’s all about striking a balance. And for me, that means that while I dress casually for work, but still professionally. Jeans? Absolutely, but not ripped. Leggings? Why not, but with a tunic or longer sweater. Sandals? All the time in the summer, but no flip flops. Dressing this way helps me to still feel prepared to put in a full day’s work while also not standing out in an unnecessary way. Do you also work in a casual work environment? Below are a few staple outfits that I turn to time and again for professional yet casual options:
- Dress Pants with a Casual Top or Sweater
2. Jeans with a Button Down Blouse
3. Jeans with a Sweater or Cardigan
4. Leggings and a Tunic Top
5. A Casual Dress
All images via Pinterest