Dress Coding: Casual Work Attire

For those of you who are lucky enough to enjoy a casual work environment thank your lucky stars! Generally speaking, casual dress code can be symbolic of a company’s attitude toward its employees. In a way, it’s a sign of respect and trust. Apple, Google, and Nike all have very casual, laidback dress codes. Formal dress doesn’t always mean success. That is not to say, dressing like a slob is sanctioned casual work attire. Professionalism is still paramount. Make sure your ensembles are appropriate, modest, and always clean and put together. You should also take note of my General Work Attire Commandments as these still apply to you.

The best thing about a casual dress code is almost anything goes (unless it conflicts with The Commandments, of course). While most people are forced to bury a bit of their style sense when they clock in each morning, you don’t have to leave your personal style at home. More often than not, casual work wear involves wearing jeans on a daily basis. If this sounds like your work uniform, switch it up by wearing faux leather leggings or cropped pants. You will be surprised by how a simple swap can update your entire look. (Did I mention leggings are incredibly comfortable too?)

Below are a few outfit ideas for all you casual work wear ladies to consider…

1. Laidback Lady:



Jaeger Circular Hem Sweater, 7 For All Mankind Roxanne Jeans, Butter London nail polish in British Racing Green, LC Lauren Conrad Bow Ring, H&M Cap Toe Flats, See by Chloe Loki Bag

2. Eclectic Chick:


Miss Selfridge Ochre Dress, Topshop Crop Jacket, Deborah Lippmann nail polish in Naked, Madewell Caravan Bag, H&M Platform Heels

3. Femme Fatale:


Essie nail polish in Wicked, American Vintage Cardigan, Paper Crown Serena Leggings, T by Alexander Wang Shirt, YSL Link Bracelet, Madewell Almanac Boots, Missoni for Target Scarf

4. Hip Miss:


The Row Roger Modal Tank, J Brand Bette Flared Jeans, Topshop Floral Kimono, Laurence Dacade Tigo Platforms, Cursive Initial Pendant, OPI nail polish in You Don’t Know Jacques

5. Girl About Town:


Current/Elliot Cropped Jeans, Equipment Sophie Shirt, LC Lauren Conrad Oxford Shoes, J Crew Newsstand Tote, Deborah Lippmann nail polish in Boom Boom Pow, Marc by Marc Jacobs Claude Stud Earrings

The bottom line? Make sure you’re fresh and put together each day. Your casual work attire will differ based on the type of work you do. Adjust accordingly. If you’re on your feet all day, wear comfortable shoes. Ballet flats, low-rise wedges, boots, penny loafers, and oxfords are all excellent options. Just be sure to mix it up and avoid getting stuck in a shoe rut. Wearing the same shoes everyday will actually make those tootsies hurt even more. If your job involves some level of manual labor, wear lightweight cotton pieces that are easy to move in (and okay to get a little dirty). And if you’re still unsure about what to wear, check out what the next highest female at your company is wearing and take a cue from her. Needless to say, at the end of the day clothes come off and what really matters are the accomplishments we have to show for ourselves.

What’s your go-to casual office outfit?

If you work in a formal setting, be sure to check out my post on business professional attire. And for the majority of you who must dress business casual, click here.

XO Lauren

P.S. Based on the comments to my 9 to 5 Style blog, many of you work in the medical field where you are required to wear scrubs. Since you have to wear scrubs, focus on your accessories and your beauty routine. Try out fun hairstyles, new nail polish colors, and interesting pieces of jewelry. So look on the bright side–instead of splurging on work clothes, you will probably have extra pocket change to spend on your non-work wardrobe (lucky you)!