What to do when you work in a “no dress code” office
It’s got to that point where we’ve begun to dread the phrase “smart casual” when describing an event’s dress code. It’s great for guys, as they can simply rock up in jeans or chinos with a clean(ish) shirt. However, the term smart casual for women is horrifyingly broad. The same seems to apply to a “no dress code” office dress code. Does this mean I can come to work in sweats and my comfy old jumper? We’d say, probably not…
First thing’s first, stay smart in your first week regardless. Go for a nice dress and blazer, or trousers and shirt. This way you can focus on your new role in the company without fretting over what you look like. You can figure out the level of casual everybody else takes it to, and your new boss might just be convinced that you are a seasoned professional who knows exactly what they’re doing. Might. We can’t promise anything though.
Once you’ve settled in, you can start adding your personality to your workwear. Wear the nice version of whatever makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. Don’t try to impress anyone, especially if it’s going to distract you from your work. Sure, those high-waisted jeans you got from eBay look incredible, but the fact that sitting down in them for extended periods of time cuts off the blood circulation in your waist means that they might not be the best option for work. Neither will that dress that needs yanking down every five steps…sorry! There may be no dress code, but it’s still a working environment. It’s like mufti day in school, but five days a week. You want to express yourself, but without angering your teachers or getting a detention.
Here are a few of our top picks for summer workwear in varying grades of “smart casual”.
This is super casual but totally clean, crisp and cool. You just can’t go wrong with a shiny pair of brogues, some red lippy and a gloriously white t-shirt.
Heading more into the realms of office wear, we love this chic and classy look. A classic shirt-skirt-blazer combo, with the added quirkiness of the flowing A-line – a perfectly put together work look that retains some personality.
Kate Middleton – always pulling out the big guns. This would work so well in an office with a stricter dress code. It’s elegant and professional, but the cinched waist paired with the peplum gives it a great edge.