Business Casual for Women in Industry

One of the most difficult dress codes to crack is Business Casual for Women. More especially when it's a woman working in a mail dominated industrial environment.

How easy it was when business-wear meant a two piece suit! Nowadays, whether it's just a Friday dress-down day you have to deal with or a more casual environment altogether, women run the risk of making a fashion 'faux pas' more easily than their male counterparts.

Particularly in industry the jeans and polo shirt approach is usually completely acceptable for the guys, whereas a professional woman often needs to maintain a slightly more 'uniform' approach if she wants to avoid being mistaken for the receptionist!

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It's a man's world...

In many industries it's both practical and acceptable to wear casual clothes daily. However, when women are in the minority it can sometimes be difficult to judge what is appropriate wear.

It's often commented that a woman needs to work twice as hard in order to be regarded as an equal to the man working next to her. 

Whether he's wearing a business suit or jeans no-one is going to mistake him for a secretary - but if a woman's appearance doesn't project some kind of authority it's easy to be overlooked.

The easiest way to approach Business Casual for women in industry is to develop and adopt your own 'Uniform'.

Why Business Casual for Women is so important...  

  • You will be required to adopt 'Business Casual' at some point in most businesses
  • If not on a daily basis there will be 'dress-down days', team building exercises, out of hours meetings etc.
  • A confident image demands that you be taken seriously
  • A put together and organized appearance indicates an organized working environment
  • Looking competent shows you mean business and are capable of getting the job done
  • You don't want to look like the office girl, someone's sister or someone's mother
  • You need to avoid being 'over-dressed'
  • If men are dressed down, women need to look 'non-threatening'!

Business Casual for Women in Industry

  • Develop and adopt your own kind of 'uniform'
  • Build a collection of simple but classic separates in neutral tones that will mix and match
  • Dictated by individual industries but pants are usually the most suitable; dark wash jeans, other deep toned denim, khaki or straight leg pants
  • Tops should be classic; button-down shirts, softly draped blouses, knits, tailored or silk tees - simple enough to top with a jacket
  • A third separate, jacket, blazer or cardigan, makes the 'outfit' - this does not have to be too formal but is essential to elevate your look to 'meeting' status
  • Jeans should be teamed with smart jacket
  • Dressier pants are better teamed with a cardigan otherwise it looks too formal
  • Sensibly heeled or wedged shoes, boots or loafers
  • Hair, makeup and jewelry should be 'restrained'
  • Add quality and unfussy accessories

Business Casual for Women does not mean...

  • sleeveless tops or tanks
  • see through blouses
  • close cut tee-shirts or bare midriffs
  • strappy summer sandals
  • sneakers
  • killer heels
  • usually skirts
  • the latest fashion

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