A Newcomer's Guide to Business Casual

 Just after being told the super trendy cute shorts I bought at LOFT were not gonna fly at my office. 

Just after being told the super trendy cute shorts I bought at LOFT were not gonna fly at my office. 

Ha. Just kidding, this is not a guide. I've been trying out this business casual thing for about a month now and I still can't figure it out, nor can I figure out how I feel about it. I'm told business casual is a spectrum ranging from anything nicer than bluejeans and a tshirt and anything short of full suit. At best, I have landed myself at the extremely low end of this business casual spectrum, and maybe I'm getting the hang of it (one morning I woke up and declared that I liked being forced to put real clothes on every day) but sometimes it feels so wrong. And sometimes you get your wrist slapped for exposing your lower legs to the world. So much oppression of thighs in this world. 

I work in a very small office with one male coworker who wears sneakers and teeshirts to work and has never gotten any flack for it. I wear (non-jean) shorts to work one day and those words get thrown at me: “business casual”. I'd fallen right off of the end of the spectrum. In my defense though, I didn’t just pull these shorts out because I felt like it, I did because my job that day was volunteering at our Farmer’s Market for 6 hours and the forecast said “92” and “100% humidity”. I hadn't planned on wearing a dress to load and unload produce from trucks at a farmers market. Did I mention I’m wearing a button down with these shorts? They've got Ann Taylor's stamp of approval! 

Two identifiable issues here really. 1) men have business casual so easy, it means almost nothing, and double standards abound. I shouldn’t have to dress 5x nicer than male coworkers to be taken seriously.  2) I’m still learning to live the business casual life (read: haven’t fully transitioned, still dabbling in very casual aspects of business casual) because 98% of women’s business attire is fugly. Please show me dress pants that would a) fit my body type and b) not look like circus tents with legs holding them up or have pockets that are perpetually gaping open because hi, hips. Actually if anyone has suggestions I’m desperately in need of some. The cropped ankle skinny black pant look is the only one I don’t hate and it just doesn’t translate if you don’t have the hips of the mannequins in LOFT. I do brush my hair before work now though, if you were wondering. Baby steps. 

 Peep this screenshot of Emily casually doing business in some great business casual attire. 

Peep this screenshot of Emily casually doing business in some great business casual attire.