Redefining Business Casual

By: Karinna Schultz
Jul 18, 2019
By: Karinna Schultz
Jul 18, 2019
Summer is here, but are your office looks ready for the rising temperatures?

Business Casual—two words that I dread when I stare into my wardrobe. It can be difficult to find appropriate work wear, especially in 90-degree weather. There is hope! Here are my helpful tips to putting together cool and cute summer outfits.

Do consider light fabrics.
The first thing I think about when choosing an outfit is the fabric. Whether you’re wearing trousers or jeans, the type of fabric and how breathable it is will help you feel cool and confident in the office. Fabrics like linen, cotton, light denim and chambray are good summer fabrics.

When putting together my office outfit, I like to keep things simple, usually wearing an airy top with pants or a breathable top with a skirt. Depending on your body shape, be open to experiment with what looks balanced on you.

For more professional offices, you can pair an airy, beautiful, linen top with trousers, or a more structured top with a flowy midi-length skirt. Both options look great with an open-toe dressy sandal or a ballet flat. Cotton is a very versatile fabric; it will be your best friend when finding summer dresses and pants.

Do choose professional attire.
Even though the workplace has become more casual, your looks should appear put together and professional. I pair my camisoles or dressy tank tops with a lightweight blazer, even in the most casual business offices. And I tend to keep to midi- or maxi-length skirts and dresses. The idea is to be comfortable and confident, rather than constantly tugging and fixing your outfit throughout the day. We need to focus and work!

Most offices allow you to wear jeans at work. I look at jeans like how I approach trousers, steering away from ripped or distressed patches and holes. And like trousers, fit is a major key. You want something that comfortably contours to your body.

Don’t think prints are off-limits.
Personally, I think it’s all about balance. You can wear a floral top or a subtle, print trouser with a solid piece. Even with workwear, you can add your personality and flair to your outfit. You want to feel great and confident, so you can perform your best!

Don’t forget about accessories!
Accessories can make or break an outfit. Particularly in the summertime, I like to keep to one or two accessories. A big trend is layering 2 or 3 minimalistic necklaces or wearing one collar piece with a nice dress. Accessories can be a complementary piece to a solid outfit. However, I would stay away from wearing hats in the office, unless you’re working outside.

Don’t forget about the A/C.
Speaking of the office, dress for office temperatures. With the hot temperatures outside, the A/C is most likely on cool blast. Finding versatile sweaters, light jackets, cardigans or large wraps that will complement any outfit will keep you comfortable at work. A special bonus is wearing a shawl that can double as an accessory!

Do think about your surroundings.
Each office space is different; each environment has a different take on what is considered casual. What I like to do is observe the office to get a general idea of what people are wearing during the week and what works in that environment. Remember, the idea is to see what is acceptable and finding balance between your personal style and the office environment. For instance, some places are cool with wearing shorts in the office, while others are not.

See, finding summer work outfits are less daunting when you have a plan. By focusing on fabric and fit, you can be cute, confident and cool in the sun.

What are some of your best summer looks? Show us by tagging @MBIB on IG, Facebook, or Twitter.

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