There seems to be a serious lack of consistency when it comes to learning what people really mean when they say, “business casual“. I’ve researched, interviewed and asked more people than I can remember, and their answers always vary. Depending on the employer, the workplace and the circumstance, I’ve found business casual to mean anything from t-shirts, jeans and sneakers to a full suit without the tie.

Despite the inconsistencies, there are 5 golden rules for the ladies out there.

1. Don’t get careless with denim.

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Your boss gives you those three divine words you’ve been waiting for – and no it’s not, “here’s your raise!” Whenever your boss lets you know that, “jeans are fine“, there’s an instant sight of relief. We’ve all been there. However, that doesn’t mean that any type of denim is fair game. Make sure to keep those ripped, bleached, boyfriend or bootleg cut jeans in the closet. Jeans may be fine, but you still need to keep it professional.

2. Don’t overlook your shoes.

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I know, those Valentino open-toed sandals with studded detailing are just dying to make their way into your wardrobe. But when it comes to business casual, open-toed is usually a no-no. Stick with flats, heels and boots for the office and leave the sneakers/open-toed shoes for before and after.

3. Don’t overdo it with animal print.

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I’m all for rocking some sweet leopard print flats or an awesome pair of sunglasses, but keep the animal print to the minimum. If you feel like you must indulge, make sure to use simple blacks/whites as your building blocks for the outfit. A couple statement pieces are great, but too many will turn your office into a jungle safari.

4. Take the stitches out of your clothes.

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You may not know it, but walking around with the stitches showing on your dress is the equivalent to leaving the tag on your clothes. If you buy a new pencil skirt or even a new blazer, always check that you’ve removed the stitching from the slit on the back! Most manufacturers put the X-shaped stitch in to make the garments easier to display, but it’s meant to come out before you wear it.

5. Most importantly, don’t let a dress code kill your style.

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If you’re new to an office-type workplace, you may just opt to buy a handful of ordinary pieces and decide to call it a day. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone has their own personal style, whether it’s flashy or simple. If you’re the flashy type, just know that there are options out there. Bold statement pieces, jewelry, and much more is available these days. You just need to take the time to find it. Best of all, that’s what we’re here for at Spread! Need some inspiration? Take a look around and explore. You’re new personal style might just be a click away! 🙂

Images: The Every Girl

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