Post # 1
I feel like I’ve been blowing up the career boards lately! I guess I have a lot of questions 🙂
I’m completely switching fields, going from education to more of a corporate office environment. Obviously the wrinkled khakis and sneakers I could get away with at an elementary school aren’t going to fly. HR sent me their dress code requirements that describe business casual attire, but the guidelines are pretty vague.
So, a few questions, for working Bee fashionistas!
If you tuck in a shirt to pants, do you need a belt?
If your office is business casual…what do you usually wear to work?
Post # 3
@MM423: I wear black work pants (don’t know how else to describe them haha) and pretty much any kind of top – a sweater, blouse, whatever. Or I wear a skirt and tights. I wear flats or wedges or boots. I don’t know, it’s pretty casual for women.
Post # 4
I wear slacks or khakis with ablouse, sweater, whatever. Sometimes I’ll do a dress or skirt with tights. Close toed shoes. Around my office, you don’t see sleeveless very often but there isn’t a specific rule against it.
Post # 5
The guidelines say that collared button down shirts need to be tucked in. I don’t own any real belts (other than really skinny decorative ones). If my pants have belt loops on them…do I need to wear a belt with a tucked in shirt? I know that’s the rule for men…
Post # 6
I dress business casual. Today I am wearing gray slacks from Express, a white cami, and a red top from Ann Taylor. Not tucked in.
That’s pretty standard for me. I always tuck button ups in, but I rarely wear them. I never wear a belt, either. The only belts I have are the skinny patent leather ones that I use to belt sweaters, etc.
Post # 7
@MM423: That might be more male specific. I would err on the conservative side the first day with black slacks, cardigan, and ballet slippers and just look around to see what other people are wearing. I know at my SO’s company they’re ‘business casual’ but he wears hoodies and jeans and even the CEO shows up in flip flops, t-shirts, and a hat. But the place I interviewed at recently was also business causal and the women wore dresses with hose and cardigans over it and the men wore button down collared shirts and slacks.
Think Ann Taylor, JCrew, Banana Republic. Classic business casual.
Post # 8
I think that tucked in rule is there because dress shirts look really sloppy if they’re not tucked in. You can wear a belt but you don’t have to, it would add a bit something to the outfit.
I work for myself so I don’t have a boss telling me how to dress but when I do meet with clients it’s business casual. I tend to wear dresses, skirts, pants, and occasionally a blazer. Anything but a suit really. Only the men that work in my business tend to wear suits, but almost no women do.
I like both of these outfits for work! Depending on how conservative the place you work at is, this might not work.
Post # 9
I think a “business casual” dress code will vary from company to company. Typically it means dress pants and a nice shirt or sweater. Some companies have a more dressed-up “business casual” code and some have a more lenient one. As others have said make sure to dress up on your first day and observe what everyone else is wearing and go from there.
I wouldn’t worry too much about style. If you want to wear a belt, great, if you don’t, great. I don’t think HR is going to say anything about a missing belt.
Post # 10
No need for a belt unless you want one. I second the suggestion to look around the office before you buy a whole new wardrobe for the job. There are a lot of variations on business casual.
Invest in a good, well-fitting pair of black pants and a few different sweaters / tops. I find a lot of my work clothes at the Limited.
Post # 11
I don’t wear a belt ever. I usually wear slacks with different types of tops. I do tuck in button downs but not other shirts.
I get a lot of my stuff from Express. I love their wide waistband Editor pants.
Post # 12
Thanks everyone! I’m starting on Monday so I feel like I should try to get enough for the first week so I can see what people are wearing. I’m hitting up Ann Taylor today, I like the way their clothes fit and I think they look well-made.
I love button-downs but I hate the way they can gap at the chest! Does anyone have any tips on how to fix that?
Post # 13
@MM423: My work is business casual which pretty much means anything but jeans here. I work in a design office at a zoo, so though we are business casual we are a little more laid back 😀
To prevent gapping in button downs just buy a size up. I have that problem a lot (my chest is pretty big) and I have realized if you buy a size up and tuck it in it fits a lot better (and since it’s tucked in it doesn’t look too big at the waist) and I don’t have to worry about the weird gapping.
Post # 14
The great thing is that girls have WAY more choices for business casual than guys do.
My office is business casual, which means I dress in nice shoes (heels or flats, but dressy), dress pants or skirts, and then a mixture of sweaters, camis and cardigans, and nice tops. I almost never wear button-down shirts either because of the way they gap.
I completely agree that you should try to check out and see what other people are wearing. That will give you a great vibe and an idea of what to go out and buy. And on the first day, you can err on the side of conservative and maybe a little overly dressy.
I had an internship once in college that was business casual, so I went out and bought a bunch of new clothes, only to get to the office and find that most of the women on my team wore jeans! I was pretty annoyed, haha. So it’s always good to take in that particular company’s culture a bit before you spend too much money.
Congrats on the new job, and good luck!
Post # 15
I’m business casual at my office, and can usually get away with dressy/conservative shoes, slacks and a v-neck type sweater.
Post # 16
@Gemstone: At my interview, most women I saw were in sweaters or blouses and black or tan pants. I definitely think I should err on the side of conservative though.
I was thinking of wearing a top like this:
Tucked into these pants:
With some brown ballet flats. Does that sound like a pretty safe choice? I want to look professional but not like I’m trying too hard.