The right way to do business casual

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dressChoosing the right outfit can be difficult, but when the event calls for business casual, the challenge is even greater. Finding a happy medium between formal and casual can present quite the challenge, especially for college kids unaware of what business casual really calls for. Well fear not fellow confused students, I hope to spell out the spiffy requirements needed to assemble the perfect business casual ensemble.

Knowing what NOT to wear is almost as important as knowing what to wear when it comes to business casual. Seeing as the attire is generally worn for more conservative, business-y events, it’s essential to be modest in choosing the right outfit. Short skirts, sky-high heels, and low-cut tops should be saved for the weekends, not worn during presentations. Similarly, men can leave the jeans and sneakers in their dorms to retrieve after the event, as those are huge no-no’s as well. The first step is choosing an outfit appropriate for the occasion, which means limiting your options to only the modest and conservative pieces of your wardrobe.

Although more forgivable than a skimpy, casual outfit, formalwear is also inappropriate for business casual events. Save the suits and cocktail dresses for weddings. The outfit you’re looking for for most Bryant events is a bit more casual. Finding the right balance can be difficult, but with a few key items of clothing, the perfect business casual outfit can be achieved!

Many items required to create an appropriate business casual outfit already exist
in your wardrobe! Khakis are a staple for both men and women; matching most every color, they’re an essential piece of clothing to own. Black or blue dress pants would also be appropriate, although they cannot be ill-fitting, both tightness and bagginess should be avoided, as they do not project a professional image. For women, dresses and skirts are suitable, but again, the fit is important, and the hem should fall no shorter than the knee. Panty hose aren’t required, but they’re probably a good idea for cold New England winters, or events leaning towards the more formal end of business casual.

On top, both genders can don button downs or polos, being careful to avoid any revealing or particularly shimmery fabrics. Tailored knit sweaters and especially sweater sets, however dull they may be, are perfect for business casual events. Men, although not required, can throw on a tie to complete their ensemble when in doubt; but sports coats are an unnecessary addition.

To finish the look, it’s safest to stick to subtle jewelry, a watch or simple earrings or a necklace for women is enough. Men should remove earrings and stick to conservative, neutral socks, paired with leather shoes or loafers. Women should be esspecially careful

to keep their makeup neutral; less is more when it comes to business casual events. In addition, nails should be well groomed and nail polish, if any, should be chosen very carefully. Save the crazy colors for another time.

Though somewhat confusing, as Bryant students, we need to know what business casual entails. Picking the right items should be as simple as looking in your own closet, and

if that type of clothing isn’t present, any clothing store carries the items you need. Keeping it understated is the key; rock your unique style at other, casual events! Whatever you choose, make sure everything is clean, unwrinkled, and fits properly. When prepping for an event, just remember modesty and keep in mind the image you’re trying to project; confident, competent, and mature.

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