Dressed for Success
Getting dressed for work is harder than it’s ever been. The term ‘business casual’ often causes confusion for both YP’s and established career professionals. It’s a double-edged sword. In a business casual setting, we have more options available. We also have more opportunities to make mistakes.
To help simplify the issue, YPC and the Iowa chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators co-hosted “Dressed for Success” at the Des Moines Social Club in May. The fashion show-and-tell event featured live models showcasing what’s appropriate to wear in today’s business settings.
Building your wardrobe doesn’t require having a lot of clothes or spending a lot of money. Being intentional about your image, choosing quality fabrics and tailoring is the key. Remember, the first word in business casual is ‘business.’ You’ll stand out as being professional and polished when you dress ‘one notch above’ the rest at a meeting or event.
Standard Business Casual
This level is the most accepted and popular form of business casual within many companies and industries. Within a creative environment, this could be your everyday attire. Upgrade the fabric and fit and use a third piece to add a touch of polish and convey competence. The third piece can be a casual jacket, vest, cardigan sweater or a scarf.
Executive Business Casual
Within a conservative company or industry, this is the preferred level of business casual. Choose fine fabrics like wool and silk that are well constructed. Tailoring is essential. At this level, a jacket or blazer must be worn. Executive business casual shows professionalism and reliability, but not formality.
What about trends? Following clothing trends is expensive. Classic and conservative is always en vogue. Let your modern style and personality show in your accessories. Shoes and handbags for women, or colored socks and a sleek briefcase for men can help you look current without your wallet looking empty.
**Tyson Greiner is a Vice President with Dardis Communications. He teaches and speaks on communication, leadership, image and sales. He is an advocate for modern etiquette and professionalism. Follow him on Twitter: @tysongreiner