Fashion Magazine

Decoding the Dress Code – Casual Business

By Imogenl @ImogenLamport

By Guest Blogger: Molly Borter Casual Chic Workwear


Casual Chic Workwear by mborter featuring bounkit jewelry

Work dress codes come in all shapes and sizes. From formal and professional to relaxed and casual, it can be hard to decipher when you really can wear jeans to work.  

Although I have just recently plunged head-first into this place we call the real world, I’ve held quite a few internships and jobs with pretty strict dress requirements.  My gig working for a hospital foundation required business attire, including the rule to wear pantyhose with everything—even under my pants—per hospital regulations. Although the dress code left me cursing the invention of tights during the summer months, deciding what to wear to work was easy.  Business attire is pretty straight-forward: pencil skirts, blazers, conservative dresses, blouses, tailored pants, and close-toed shoes. Another internship at a non-profit organization opted for a more business casual look, including sweater dresses, cardigans, and jeans on Fridays. Luckily, for most of my time as a working adult, I’ve had a pretty straight-forward dress code expectation. That is, until now.

My most recent job offers the most lax dress code atmosphere to date.  It’s an uber creative environment that values expressing oneself, being internet savvy, and getting the job done – which I absolutely love. However, when my boss told me the code was casual and that most people wear jeans on a daily basis, I had absolutely no idea what to wear. For one, my closet was all over the place, bursting with a mixture of casual tops, going-out dresses, and business professional items. Secondly, I couldn’t quite imagine how far dressed up or down my coworkers would be. I didn’t want to be the dreadful new girl that looked like she cared too much—or even more dreadful, the girl that looked like she didn’t care enough. After walking through the door that fateful first day in a casual linen shift dress, I let out a sigh of relief. I fit right in.

Sometimes dressing for work is still hard for me, because my coworkers wear everything from zip-up sweatshirts and jeans to crazy fashionable skirts, shorts, and tops. For now, I think I’ve been able to find my happy medium.  For those of you who also find yourself as the “middle man” in a sea of trendsetters and chill dressers in your office, here are a couple of tips that will keep you feeling comfortable, continue to have your coworkers take you seriously, and leave you feeling fabulous. Dress Up and Down at the Same Time  Sounds complicated right? If you have a closet with a hodge-podge of wardrobe pieces like mine, then this is easier than you might think. Mix and match pieces to achieve that casual look: pair light-wash jeans and a fitted vest with a dressier tiered blouse or tuck a neutral, off the shoulder top into a colorful trim skirt. The trick to keeping the perfect balance of casual cool is to pick one dressier piece to wear and tone down the rest of the outfit.  I try to use my shoes as a tool too, so if you’re wearing jeans, you might throw on a pair of casual pumps or wedges, and if I’m wearing a skirt or dress, I’ll stick to my sandals or embellished flats.

Tie in Professional Pieces

I love my blazers and pencil skirts, because they make me feel more sophisticated and work-savvy, not to mention that they are everywhere right now and are so easy to wear. If I wear my favorite sleek black blazer, I keep it simple with jeans and a white tank, or if I’m wearing my cream linen blazer, I try a loose fabric blouse and dark jeans.  With a subtle, tailored skirt, I might put something loud and floral on top. Just because the atmosphere is casual doesn’t mean you can’t pump up your style—and confidence!—with professional pieces.

When All Else Fails, Try a Dress

The easiest and most comfortable decision I make in the morning is to wear a shift or shirt dress, or throw on a cotton dress cinched with a fun belt. Dresses are a no-fail, chic attempt to keep it casual. Since you are lucky and can try out different trends at work, pair a maxi dress with that blazer I mentioned above. And don’t forget to add color in there—you don’t have to keep your work spectrum set to black.  For colder weather, cardigans are a great way to transition your dress with the seasons and keep within range of the informal dress code.

Spice It Up with Accessories

On days where I really feel like wearing jeans and simple tank/sweater, I hunt for something in my jewelry, scarf, or makeup collection that makes a statement. I like to think of these items as my “centerpiece,” whether it be a patterned scarf, turquoise earrings, pink lips, or a thin, bright-colored belt. These are easy ways to incorporate something sassy into your look without having to try too hard. Plus, it’s always the accessories that make me feel like a million bucks.

Stay Comfortable

If your job offers a super casual dress code, take advantage of it! Long gone are the days that I have to wear pantyhose under my pants, or squeeze my feet into uncomfortable heels, because I don’t have to. I love that I can wear jeans to work every day and dress up or down pieces I might’ve just saved for the weekends at a different job. Not a lot of women get this sort of shopping freedom, so use it wisely.
Extremely casual dress codes might seem daunting at first, but it’s nothing more than code for taking chances and having fun with your work wardrobe.

Author Bio:
Molly Borter is a lover of fashion, beauty, writing, sunshine, advice-giving, and feeling fabulous.   She works as an SEO Specialist in Indianapolis, IN, helping people of all ages accessorize with the perfect sunglasses, handbags, and scarves.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog


By Fredericka Mansour
posted on 27 January at 02:29
Report spam/abuse

Attractive portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your weblog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing in your feeds or even I success you get entry to constantly rapidly.

By Stella Prosser
posted on 25 December at 05:50
Report spam/abuse

It's amazing to pay a visit this web site and reading the views of all mates concerning this article, while I am also keen of getting know-how.

By Nicholas Rhea
posted on 21 November at 05:24
Report spam/abuse

Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer. It's great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same old rehashed material. Wonderful read! I've saved your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

By Cathern Hibbard
posted on 01 November at 14:41
Report spam/abuse

homeserve water service line Company Info, Reviews, and Ratings. Which Home Warranty is Best? - cost of blue ribbon home delivery Get Free Advice

By Darby Murdock
posted on 01 November at 14:09
Report spam/abuse

1 st american home warrenty Company Info, Reviews, and Ratings. Which Home Warranty is Best? - first america home warranty reviews Make Educated Decision

By Melba Gilley
posted on 11 September at 13:11
Report spam/abuse

Thanks for the good writeup. It in truth was a enjoyment account it. Glance complicated to far introduced agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

By Ellen Sawtell
posted on 21 August at 16:11
Report spam/abuse

WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for diverse business

By Ellie Zapata
posted on 14 August at 19:33
Report spam/abuse

It's in fact very difficult in this full of activity life to listen news on TV, thus I simply use internet for that purpose, and take the hottest news.

By Jerry Rubbo
posted on 14 February at 19:30
Report spam/abuse

Hi Dear, are you actually visiting this site regularly, if so then you will absolutely obtain good experience.