Nailing the Business Casual Look

Hello Fashion Followers,

As I, your Indianapolis Image Consultant, go through closet after closet, it’s clear to me that Americans will probably never dress the same to work. We won’t go back to the Brooks Brothers Suits, the skirt suit or the matching suit. We will continue to wear a more relaxed work uniform.

Some companies have even gone to 100 percent casual – except during meetings with the outside. I did a presentation in one of these work places and was surprised at the number of “Don’t Do’s” that came up.

Anyway, if you work in one of these offices, I am jealous. When I worked in an office we changed from a completely casual work uniform to formal. Just like that. It was difficult. Suddenly most of the clothes I had for work didn’t work anymore.

If you are changing from a formal dress code to a casual dress code, you will have the same dilemma.

Another issue with a casual work dress code is…how do I stand out. How I do I look great every day. I am going to give you some ideas!

Advice From Your Indianapolis Image Consultant

For men:

  • A navy or navy print blazer that’s good quality and fits you well.
  • An olive color bomber or blazer.
  • 3-4 button-down shirts in blue, blue stripes; black or grey stripes, olive green or green stripes. Avoid loud plaid or the novelty printed shirts you’d wear out on the weekends.
  • A white casual shirt with pockets or just a plain one.
  • Good quality, leather shoes in brown or black. Oxfords are always a good choice.
  • Fashion sneakers in black or blue
  • 3-4 V-neck or crew sweaters in blue, grey and black. Layer these under the blazer or bomber.
  • High quality, navy or black pea coat for winter.
  • A cashmere or high-quality wool scarf in burgundy, grey, navy solid or stripe.
  • One-2 pairs of quality Chinos in tan, navy or grey. They will go with everything.

These basics will get you started and should mix and match with everything you have. Don’t make the mistake of wear a jacket from a suit with jeans. Most of the time it won’t look right.

Feel free to add some pocket scarves to your blazer or a more fun shirt from time to time. But don’t make this your daily uniform.

Don’t think whatever you wear on the weekend is suddenly fair game for work wear. It’s not, and above all – avoid logo wear and athletic wear, including sneakers.

Ladies, some options for you are very similar. Here are some basics to invest in:

Some high-quality blazers you can wear with jeans in plaid, solids and in a shape that is flattering
to you. Select neutrals in burgundy, cream, navy, brown, black, tan and olive.

  • Jeans that are dark (not so whiskered) and that fit you perfectly. Don’t be afraid to spend some money on them.
  • Blouses that look great with blazers in stripe, geometric and other small prints or solids. Avoid overly feminine floral prints and ruffles. (Keep these or the weekend).
  • A good quality chambray shirt to wear with pencil skirts and pants. I would steer clear or a denim shirt and denim jeans, even though that look is in style.
  • Beautiful shoes in high quality leather in colors or subtle prints. Avoid the stilettos for work. Prints are okay.

The key to nailing your work look is to pick flattering colors and flattering fits. Buy as high a quality as you can.

If you need some help, don’t hesitate to call me for shopping or a style consultation: (317) 416-2782.

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Your Indianapolis Image Consultant and Stylist

Beth Divine