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How To Dress Classy in a Business Casual Work Environment

Dear Classy Career Girl,

I’m a 23 year old recent graduate and I just accepted a job offer yesterday (yay!).  I will be doing a brand new role for a start-up tech company. It is a small office right now (~10 people) and the CEO told me it is a casual dress environment. Everyone I’ve seen there is wearing jeans, etc., although they look polished (men have shirts tucked in, women look nice).

Do you have any tips on how to dress for a casual office? I’ve racked up a lot of expenses lately, but I would like to buy a couple of new pieces/shoes for my first week of work.  I’m thinking comfy, casual, and classy all at the same time.

I’m afraid I will start to get lazy and just throw things on if I don’t have to dress up.  

Thanks, Casual Career Girl

How to Dress Classy & Comfortable

Dear Casual Career Girl,

Congrats on the new job! It is awesome that you are taking the time to plan your outfits ahead of time to make a great first impression! Studies show that the impact that you make at work during the first few weeks on the job directly impacts your future direction at the company. The effort that you put into your clothing choices at the beginning of a new job is extremely important.

[Related Post: 5 Things You Must Know Before Your First Day at Work]

Having some key items in your wardrobe will also make getting ready for work much easier.  I recommend investing in collared long sleeved shirts, smart dresses (both long and short sleeved to take you through summer and winter) as well as a good pair of heels as your key items. Once you have these key items, you can easily interchange your looks when paired with jewelry, accessories, blazers and cardigans. All these key items are not very expensive and you can have fun with the latest trends.
Although others around you may be dressing in flip-flops, tank tops, tennis shoes and jeans (with holes), don’t dress like the rest! Try to stand out and show your professionalism by dressing up just a little more than those around you. Dressing to impress will make you feel more confident and help you perform better.  I know when I am wearing jeans to work, I tend to be more tired and want to go home early. Putting a little time into my work outfit makes me feel more professional and helps me get excited to take on the many challenges of the day.

Here are the staples I recommend to dress classy and casual:

1) Khaki pants
2) Casual Skirt
3) Cardigan
4) Dark Jeans
5) Flats
6) Collared Blouse
7) Casual Dress

[Related Post: 5 Places to Shop for Affordable Career Fashion]

Readers – How do you dress classy for a casual work environment?

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