When it comes to landing the perfect job, one of the most valuable moments is your first impression. First impressions can center around several different moments in an interview process, but it primarily revolves around how you present yourself – and that includes how you dress.
For me, one of the hardest things to do when preparing for any interview is finding the right clothing to wear. While there are several different types of business dress wear for interviews, you first have to determine if it is professional or casual. When meeting a potential employer for the first time, dressing business professional is usually always the right way to go. But sometimes you’re asked to dress business casual and if you’re anything like me, figuring out what that meant took way longer than it should have.
As if finding the right business casual pieces weren’t difficult enough, when it comes to summer in the office we really have to adapt our clothing to the season. When it’s cold, we buy sweaters and stockings. In the fall, we pair our outfits with fancy scarves and booties. We aren’t as fortunate as men who follow the generic “khakis and a plaid button up with the sleeves rolled” guideline when dressing business casual. So with the summer months here to stay, here are my favorite business casual basics that won’t have you sweating for hours before your big first impression.
Skinny Ankle Pants
A definite must-have for all business casual dressers are skinny or slim fit work pants. While the flared edge or straight cut of work pants are perfect for a more professional, pantsuit style, the skinny fit keeps you looking put together yet relaxed. My favorites are cropped, skinny work pants in fun designs like plaid or subtle stripes, as they are easy to pair with and allow you to be creative with your personal style. Consider various prints, lengths and fabrics based on what style you’re going for and match with solid colored tops and closed toe heels.
It’s always good to have a few skirts that match with everything in your closet. When it comes to business casual basics, you should try to buy skirts that are mid-thigh to knee length and look good with skirts tucked into them. I try to avoid materials that match that of professional wear and opt for lighter colors and occasionally floral patterns when dressing casual for the summer. When finding your skirt, be unique and have fun. One of my favorites is the asymmetrical flap skirt in dusty pink from Chicwish! Pair it with nude and black strappy heels and you’re ready to make the best lasting impression.
Printed Sundress and a Solid Blazer
When dressing for the office or a casual interview in the summer, you should have a flowy, modest dress that is mid-thigh to knee length and pairs perfectly with brown or nude heels. You should also always have a solid color blazer to go with everything! Honestly for me, a blazer completes every outfit, taking it from ordinary outfit to professionally relaxed in seconds. To make this combination of styles your own, consider what I do. I love my blue and ivory embroidered dress from Lulu’s and match it with my navy Forever 21 blazer. I like to tie a brown belt around my waist to give the outfit a more finished look and pair it with matching brown heels to bring everything together.
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Business Casual Basics for the Summer. Image credits: Lulu’s, GAP, Chicwish, Forever 21