We’re going to spend lots of time discussing business casual dressing, but here’s a quick fix for those of you who want to spice things up right now. Most of these ideas can be interpreted appropriately for any quadrant of the Business Casual Context Model:

  1. Think beyond black bootcut dress pants. Please! You have countless options if you’re open to them. Pinstripes, checks and false plains are a welcome change, not to mention colours like charcoal, shades of brown, ink blue, teal, eggplant, cream and white. Cigarette pants can look professional and so can a tailored pair of knee length walk shorts.
  2. Wear dresses and skirts. After all, it’s these items that were created especially for women. Take advantage of it.
  3. Add hose. You’ll be surprised at how much fun hosiery can be. A delicate polka dot, a daring diamond or a subtle floral design adds great dimension to an outfit.
  4. Build in some colour. No need to stick to neutrals.
  5. Choose blouses over knit tops and basic button down shirts. A soft blouse makes a clean, crisp and feminine change. Don’t think they’re frumpy. They’re fab.
  6. Add boots and booties to the mix. Wear dressy knee-high boots with skirts and dresses and patent booties with pants. Wear booties with skirts and dresses if you dare.
  7. Consider wearing tunics. They look sensational belted over straight leg pants or pencil skirts. And woven tunics get my vote over knit versions any day of the week.
  8. Add belts. Transform a basic button-down shirt, cardigan or blazer with a skinny or wide waist- cinching belt.
  9. Wear dressy flats if you can’t walk in heels. There’s nothing unprofessional about wearing dressy flat shoes, low wedges or heels an inch high.
  10. Add a pin. Choose one that’s appropriate for your work environment and add interest to a jacket lapel or item of knitwear.
  11. Wear (the right kind of) sleeveless items. Think impeccable sheath dresses, silk shell tops or blouses with built up shoulders, modest necklines and ample underarm coverage.
  12. Add a scarf. They’ll bring instant life to an outfit tied using either a frivolous or an authoritarian knot.
  13. Create interesting layers. Wear sleeveless blouses or knit tops over button-down shirts. Create colour and textural contrasts with camisoles. Add leggings to dressy skirt ensembles if you’re in a creative work environment.
  14. Scrunch or roll up your jacket and shirt sleeves. It adds a relaxed element to a strict suiting blazer, and a textural element to a button down shirt.
  15. Add cuff-links. Think of the fun you’ll derive from sporting vintage cuff links, and you could borrow hubby’s too.
  16. Sport fabulous eyewear and a great watch. They are the most important accessories on your body, so if you’re not happy with them, get an update fast.

Hopefully we’ll see some of these in action on our forum. Can’t wait to see you post your outfits.