“I just got a job that requires ‘business casual’ attire, but I have no idea how to make that look fashionable, so I either end up over-dressing or just wearing boring slacks and a button-down. I work in the recovery field with mostly men, so I also need to stay on the conservative side. The specifics: I am an hourglass size 10/12, I live in San Diego (so heavy winter options are unnecessary here), and I cannot wear jeans. Help!!” — Michelle
Ugh, business casual, such a nebulous, unclear concept, right? If it was really casual, you’d be able to wear sweatpants with impunity. And if it was really business, you could wear biz suits and not feel out of place. But alas, it is in the weird, stupid void in between. I feel your pain.
The key to dressing biz cash is finding the appropriate mesh of fabric and silhouette. You need to find items that are in textiles that are comfortable and wearable, and in shapes that are flattering. I think a few cotton or rayon A-line dresses could do the trick. Paired with a blazer and flats, and you’ll look professional and polished — but not too dressed up. Let me know what you think of these…
Got a style question or dilemma? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.