It's business (casual) time

Learn to appropriately dress casual

By Nikki Martinez

You’ve landed your dream summer internship or that corporate job that’s going to take you straight to the top. But not wearing that. Before your first day, make sure you have deciphered the dress code. Business attire, like your old private school uni, eliminates the guess work because it means suit, tie, collared shirt, and very little else. Casual usually allows for jeans, t-shirts, and walking shoes. But what about the in-between?

Wall Street Journal On Style columnist Christina Binkley’s article, “Business Casual: All Business, Never Casual”, quotes an image consultant as saying that business casual is “the black hole of style”. It’s tricky to figure out what is appropriate because the word ‘casual’ means different things to everyone. As a general rule, if you are at a corporate office, don’t stray too far from business attire. For guys, invest in a few pairs of dark slacks that you can wear with collared shirts and dress shoes. For a little extra comfort and a slightly dressed-down approach, look for ones that a little stretch (or, ask the store lady).

Ladies have more options, thus more questions abound. Can I wear a dress? How can I wear denim? Knee-length skirts that aren’t too snug, dress pants, collared shirts, low-heeled pumps are all safe bets. Crew neck or v-neck blouses, non-summer dresses, boots and flats are usually appropriate, but stay conservative, which means refrain from too-strappy sandals and plunging necklines. If you get the green light for denim, make sure it’s pressed and clean.