Men’s clothes are pretty straightforward when it comes to business attire, but women have a few more options. If you’re looking to add some excitement to your wardrobe or are entering the business world for the first time, here’s everything you need to know about women’s business attire.
Business Casual Vs. Business Formal
The first thing you’ll want to do is establish whether your office is business casual or business formal. The answer to that question might change depending on the day. If your team is doing a presentation for the boss, you’ll probably want to come to work more dressed up.
If you’ll just be sitting at a desk all day, more casual is usually fine. Business casual is usually pretty simple for women. You can come to work in a pair of slacks and a dress shirt or blouse. You might wear a skirt with a sweater or a simple dress. Business casual typically means closed-toe shoes. If you’re uncomfortable in heels, flats are acceptable. If you’re being asked to dress formally, you’ll want to wear a business suit or blazer.
In some situations, a blouse and skirt might work, but you might want to have a blazer to throw over the blouse. You’ll also need to make sure your formal clothes are all neutral colors. Think about what the men in the office will be wearing: black or grey suits. Your outfit should match the formality of the rest of the office. Once you’ve determined which situations call for casual and which call for formal, you’ll be able to dress appropriately any day of the week.
Every woman should have a fantastic business suit. Even if the dress code at work doesn’t explicitly call for one, there will be times when you’ll want to rock a power suit. Maybe it’s an important business meeting or a day in court. Having a well-fitting suit will make you feel professional and confident. A women’s business suit can have either slacks or a skirt, and buying a suit that comes with both will give you more options.
The skirt should hit around the knee, and the entire suit should be in a neutral color. Having a grey or black suit will give you more flexibility. There are very few situations where a neon suit will be appropriate, but you can’t go wrong with a grey pantsuit. Whatever you decide, make sure it fits you perfectly. If you’re buying off the rack, bring the suit to a tailor so he or she can adjust it to fit your frame. The better it fits, the more confident you will feel.
Dress shirts and blouses can look professional while still showing off a little personality. If your office is more casual, the shirt might be where you make a statement. A floral or other colorful print with a neutral pant will bring some fun to the workplace. Like with the business suit, make sure your blouses fit well. They can be fitted close to the waist or a little looser. Don’t buy anything too revealing. You don’t want to be discussing OKRs with your boss when you realize he or she can see down your shirt. The right dress shirt will look fantastic, feel comfortable, and fit perfectly.
If you know you’ll never need a full power suit, at least buy one blazer. It can be a challenge to find a blazer that fits perfectly, so when shopping, look for one that fits you in the shoulders. That will give you a good idea if the blazer fits you. Check the sleeves and see if they cover your wrist.
Try buttoning the jacket and see if it bunches when buttoned. If that’s the case, it’s too small. You want this item to look fantastic buttoned and unbuttoned, so make sure it looks great before you buy it. A tailor can also help you make any adjustments needed. Ultimately, this piece can help you feel professional and confident on even your worst days.
Don’t be intimidated by women’s attire. Stock your closet with a few well-fitting pieces and you’ll enter each workday ready to get things done.