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Via The Balance : What Is Business Casual Attire for Work?

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Business Casual Attire for Work?

Business casual refers to a particular style of business attire for the workplace. Business casual is adopted by organizations that have decided employees will more comfortably work wearing clothing that is less formal than the clothing that dominated the traditional workplace.

The definition of business casual varies from organization to organization as each has its own workplace standards and expectations. Companies that rarely host customers or clients may offer employees a casual work environment. But increasingly, even workplaces that host customers offer employees the option if it’s just in the form of a casual Friday.

Advantages of Business Casual

Employees experience these advantages in a business casual environment.

  • More comfortable clothing at work. This can have a positive impact on employee morale and motivation.
  • Some employees may find that they can get ready for work more quickly in the morning and that they can make the transition from work to a variety of other activities without having to change clothes.
  • Business casual clothing can cost considerably less than formal attire. In addition to the basic cost, the cost of maintaining the clothing can be lower with fewer trips to the dry cleaners.
  • Employees may express their individual personalities and creativity through the clothing they select for work.
  • Business casual may lower the status barriers between levels in an organization’s hierarchy with the price and appearance of business attire less strikingly different between well-paid executives and other employees.
  • For employees who favor casual work environments, the creativity of expression, comfort at work, and less stratification among levels of employees, business casual is a powerful recruiting tool and an appreciated benefit.

Disadvantages of Business Casual

Business casual presents disadvantages as well as advantages for employers and employees.

  • Employers may need to establish detailed dress codes if employees see business casual as an opportunity to wear anything that they want to work. In fact, it is smart to start with a dress code so that employees know the expectations from the start. To piecemeal guidelines after the fact damages employee morale.
  • This can also create the need for policing to make sure that employees are treated equally and fairly with respect to their work attire. This can damage work relationships.
  • An employee may project an image to customers that is at odds with what customers expect from their firm. Legal firms, consulting organizations, and banks come to mind as poor locations for business casual. In different settings, it may be advantageous to adopt the business attire of customers and partners.
  • Employees may express their individual personalities and creativity through the clothing they select for work. Both an advantage and a disadvantage depending on the individual and the workplace expectations.
  • Some managers believe that business casual encourages a casual attitude from employees about work, attendance, productivity, and professionalism. I’d be happy to see genuine research that proves this one way or the other.

What Is Business Casual Clothing?

Business casual clothing for men means a shirt with a collar such as a casual shirt, a polo shirt or a golf shirt worn with pants whether khakis, Dockers, or similar good looking brands. For women, it means casual skirts, dresses, pants, and blouses.

Both men and women wear sweaters, vests, casual jackets, and accessories. In this environment, you will only rarely see suits, ties, and dress shirts which are worn to formal meetings outside of the workplace.

In general, denim, spandex, sweatshirts and pants, t-shirts, exercise clothing, sundresses, and sandals are inappropriate in a business casual workplace. This workplace business casual dress code provides a more detailed description of the expectations employers may have for employees in a business casual environment.

If an employer is comfortable with even more casual attire for work, this casual dress code describes these expectations in detail.

The Proliferation of Business Casual Work Attire

“According to a 2007 Gallup poll, the most recent data available, 43% of workers said they regularly wore casual business attire at the office, up from 32% in 2002.”

According to a Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) 2011 Benefits study:

“More than one-half (55%) of companies offered casual dress at least once a week, 36% allowed casual dress every day, and 24% allowed seasonal casual dress, which permits employees to dress casually for extended periods during the year. While many companies may consider casual dress part of their organizational culture as opposed to an employee benefit, employees appreciate the opportunity to wear more comfortable clothes.”

Via The Auburn Plainsman : How to dress for the first interview

Dressing for your first interviews can be like dressing for a high school dance; jittery, stressful yet ultimately insignificant because what matters is not the neckties pattern or the height of high heels — but the brain’s intelligence and your character.

Now with that preachy, Pinterest-esque yapping out of the way, here are some tips on how to slay the job-floor because even if attire isn’t everything, it is an essential element for successful interviews.

Tip number one is research. Visit the Career Center and ask what they recommend you wear for the particular place you’re applying for.

Research what that company or organization states as a standard dress code for its workplace.

If you have to, scope out the workplace like a Fortnite player would their surroundings. See how the workers are dressed and then dress in in accordance for the interview.

Research the weather.

If it’s going to be hot, as it usually is in Auburn, make sure to dress comfortably, because when the sweat starts dripping and the armpits start pooling, there’s no going back, Seek light fabrics for warm weather and insulated ones for winter.

Make sure your shirts are crisp and clean. A shirt more wrinkled than a puppy pug’s cheeks will look unprofessional, and unlike the simile, not cute.

If you are completely lost and not sure what to wear at all, it’s probably best to overdress.

A classic suit will never go wrong, but be careful not to go overboard with prices, considering the average household spends $1,700 a year on clothing and footwear, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Keep in mind, these interviews aren’t the Met Gala.

Rihanna’s not strutting the hallways in a Pope bedazzled outfit competing for your position.

So have fun while selecting suits, and walk into the place as if paparazzi were flashing you with praise.

After the interview, in the words of Rihanna, “go on and take a bow, grab your clothes and get gone.”

Via Loop : Work Matters: Tips to help men and women dress their best for work

It’s safe to say that Caribbean people love to dress up. A vibrant style is part of the region’s cultural identity and whether the occasion is a casual or formal one, none will miss an opportunity to impress with the way they dress.

But, is it possible to balance a flair for dressing with an appropriate work wardrobe?

Absolutely! In a previous article, we mentioned things that both men and women should not wear to an interview.

In this article, we will share a bit more detail on office attire ideas for the Caribbean professional, as well as share some suggestions for the best day-to-day appearance in the workplace.

Office attire for women

It’s important to keep clothes in a set of safe colours handy for office clothes.

For women, this can include deep purples, dark blues, rich browns and such. Women should have fun with their work wardrobe but should also exercise some caution when it comes to the patterns, cut, and fit of the pieces they choose.

When selecting clothes, it is best for women to think of the overall style temperament of the office and its company-wide dress code.

With professional dress, it’s important that women look fresh and modern.

Caribbean style dresses in cottons, linens and other breathable fabrics are doable for the office but it should be paired with more structured items like jackets, wide-legged trousers, and simple skirts.

Female candidates should throw out any item of clothing that looks dated.

No need to break the bank either – fresh and modern doesn’t mean brand new, necessarily. Just be sure to avoid items that are baggy, dingy, or wrinkled.

Office attire for men

Men should not feel too pressured to only wear dull colours in their look. Style can be used to showcase personable qualities that are important to the job.

These points can include but are not limited to a person’s creativity, sense of organisation, neatness, or attention to detail.

Oversized and tight clothes, for example, look messy, unprepared, unbothered, and lacking focus or care. It should go without saying that the aforementioned points should be avoided at all costs.

Shirts, pants, and shoes should all either be hemmed, darted, or taken-in to flatter the shape of the business professional.

Outfit ideas and styles are numerous, so a keen editing eye is also required for work wear. Men should always wear a tie that complements the colour of their shirt, for example.

Men should shop at stores that carry clothes suited for the workplace – these stores tend to select clothes that are office appropriate and thus reduces the risk of choosing clothes that are not ideal for the office.

Office attire may be tricky to pull together but here are three back to basics tips that will help any anyone with their Caribbean wear in the workplace: cut, colour, fit.

What this means is that, for your office dress, whether it is casual office attire or otherwise, you should avoid clothes that are badly cut or revealing, colours that are garish and too busy, as well as fittings that are either too baggy or too tight.

Elegantly casual looks may be acceptable for some offices, while other prefer strict and conservative attire. By breaking down the meaning behind these guidelines and applying their sense of style sensibly, women will always stand apart even in their Caribbean dresses.

Overall, going back to basics with Caribbean outfit ideas doesn’t mean boring. Buy rotating simple yet fashionable staple items, your office attire will be set.

Via NewstalkZB : Expert reveals the top outfit mistakes jobseekers make

Everyone knows preparation, eye contact and being punctual are key during a job interview — but it turns out what you wear on the big day could also be crucial.

And according to one expert, there’s a surprisingly common fashion faux pas many jobseekers are making regularly without even realising it.

Pamela Jabbour, the founder and CEO of workplace uniform company Total Image Group, told news.com.au many people overlooked the importance of appearance during the job application process.

“In general, what you wear is a reflection of who you are and a lot of first impressions are based on the visual, even before the person speaks,” she said.

“That follows through into interviews — you are competing with a whole lot of other people for the role and you only have a short window of 45 minutes to an hour to sell who you are. “It’s hard to really get a vibe about someone in that short time, but what you’re wearing solidifies that.”

Jabbour said candidates should dress to reflect the status of the position they are applying for, as well as the culture of that particular workplace.

She said jobseekers should always ask about the company’s dress code before the interview, and that people who hoped to land a high-ranking position such as chief financial officer were expected to dress more formally in a suit, while “smart casual” was the best option for most candidates.

“For guys it’s really easy — chinos or business pants with a buttoned shirt is always a safe way to go, depending on how formal or how senior the position is,” she said.

“Anyone working in finance needs to dress with a level of seriousness while those in marketing for example have an element of creativity, so they can wear smart pants without a tie or a skirt with a blouse — knee-length skirts are always safe.

“If you dress up a bit it does no harm, while a lot of harm can come from being underdressed.”

According to Jabbour, there are several big no-no’s when it comes to dressing for an interview — including one popular footwear choice.

Apparently, open-toed shoes — no matter how conservative or high quality — should never be worn as they can make the jobseeker seem unprofessional.

“Open-toed shoes for girls or any form of sandal or thong is a bad idea,” she said.

“In terms of clothing, anything too revealing such as low tops in the front or the back are out. “So are jeans and T-shirts, and anything sparkly or overbright with a pattern that detracts from you as a person.

“My pet peeve is overexposed undergarments, because it’s really distracting to try and stay serious when someone’s lacy bra is poking out — it’s not a good look.”

Ms Jabbour said candidates should steer clear from bright colours or loud prints and instead opt for understated items in colours like navy, charcoal or black and white.

She said while heels weren’t for every woman, in her opinion they added an “extra element” to an outfit, and she also warned female candidates to avoid wearing too much make-up.

Jabbour said hirers used a person’s outfit and general appearance to judge how they would fit in with a workplace’s culture.

“Pay attention — don’t pull out your old worn business pants and shirt just because you feel comfortable in them, because it can be a sign of laziness, not professionalism,” she said.

“Your clothes should be nice, new and clean because employers judge someone based on how they will fit in with the working culture as well as hygiene — that is all part of the interview, and if you look like you’re wearing clothes that haven’t been washed in a week, that could be a major issue for the team as hygiene is very important, especially in open-plan offices.

“You should have clean and tidy nails with your hair washed and brushed — simple things like that are noticed.”

Via New York Post : ‘Fake it to make it’ really does help your career

Confidence really is the key to professional success, according to a new study.

Whether you “fake it to make it” or dress for the job you want to have, using confidence-boosting techniques, including how you get dressed, really can help you get ahead in your career.

A study of 2,000 Americans who define themselves as having successful careers finds that 66 percent admit that they’ve had to “fake it to make it” in a professional environment.

The study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Trunk Club, a Nordstrom-owned personal styling service, examined how successful people have progressed in their careers and the impact of personal style on career development.

The study found that feeling confident is the number one step to getting ahead in your career and how a person dresses is one of the top six factors for career success.

When asked what colors make them feel most confident, respondents reported black made them feel most confident, with blue, red, white and navy rounding out the top five colors.

“Feeling comfortable in your clothing is a simple and easy way to boost your confidence at work,” says Linda Bartman, chief operating officer of Trunk Club. “We found that nearly 60 percent of people have a go-to outfit that boosts their confidence for a big day in the office.”

“When you’re in a well-fitting and flattering outfit, you can’t help but feel capable, and that confidence is apparent to those you work with.”

Many of those surveyed shared that they use their workwear to help them get ahead. Nine in 10 Americans follow the adage about dressing for the job that they want to have.

For those looking to climb the corporate ladder to success, over half (55 percent) have evolved the way they dress to help them appear more professional or get ahead in their careers.

And it comes as no surprise that nearly half (48 percent) say they dress more professionally as they progress in their career.

So, which specific clothing items make people feel more confident and successful at work?

Blazers, dresses and silk blouses top the list with glasses, heels and wool coats following closely behind. And it’s not just professional clothing that makes people feel confident. A favorite pair of jeans topped the list as the most confidence-boosting article of clothing.

“If an office dress code or company culture allows for it, a great pair of well-fitting, dark-wash denim can be a great piece for the office,” Bartman shares. “For women, you can dress up your denim with a great blouse, a blazer or tailored jacket, and statement flats or a classic pump. For men, add a great button-down and a nice leather shoe to look polished in your denim at work.”

Interestingly, the respondents also expressed that a garment’s fabric impacts how professional it looks. Three out of every four respondents believe that certain fabrics look more professional. Top fabrics included silk (71 percent), cashmere (60 percent), satin (47 percent) and wool (43 percent).

“Garments made with high-quality fabrics tend to last longer and wear better throughout the day. When a man wears a high-quality wool suit or sport coat, he doesn’t have to worry about it looking wrinkled and unprofessional at the end of the day,” Bartman adds. “And when you’re not worrying about your outfit, you can spend more time solving problems, building relationships, and bringing value to your company.”

She concludes, “Building outfits for our customers to help them feel confident is what stylists at Trunk Club do every day. They understand it’s about investing in staples that fit you well and make you feel good. If you’re going to be fidgeting with a hemline or worrying about wrinkles, you won’t feel confident and that will impact the way you feel throughout your day. What you wear should serve as the backdrop for the amazing work that you do, which is what will ultimately drive your professional success.”

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