Let’s talk business casual…
(Sorry for formatting, I’m on mobile)
So this past week I’ve had my first experience with business casual attire. For some background, I’ve been in the military for five years, so I’ve never had to even think about, let alone wear, anything business casual. In order to be able to get out of the military you have to attend a week long seminar with a pretty strict dress code of, you guessed it, business casual.
Needless to say, I was not prepared. I had about a week to find an entire weeks worth of outfits. There wasn’t any time for tailoring so I had to hope to be able to find clothing that fit me without needing to be altered. Not to mention that I wasn’t sure how to dress business casual in a way that didn’t make me look like I was forty years older than I am. I scoured the internet and wasn’t able to find much to help me in my quest.
I spent hours that week at Kohls, Macy’s, and JC Penny. I walked away with one pair of trousers that was a little too big.
For reference I’m not tiny but I’m not large either. I’m 5’5” and right around 130 so I’m pretty average for my size. But holy hell was it hard to find pants that fit me properly! Most trouser brands ranged from 4+, which is slightly too big for my waist. However, most of the petite brands that fit my waist were too short for me.
Time was ticking, and I was running out of options. So I went thrift shopping.
Ladies, I cannot express how much of a lifesaver my local goodwill was. After a cumulative 6 hours of shopping that week and countless numbers of pants that didn’t fit at my local mall, I walked in and out of goodwill with three shirts, two pairs of pants, a shirt and a pair of shoes in an hour. All clothes fit the way they were supposed to, and the total of all I got that day was only twice as expensive as the ONE pair of pants I had got from JC Penny earlier in the week.
In grand total, I got three pairs of pants, one skirt, three shirts, a pair of shoes, and a belt. 12 outfits for a grand total of ~$85.
For some inspiration, or anyone who maybe wants some specific outfit styles or a visual of what constitutes women’s business casual, I made an album of a few of the outfits I wore this week below.
Tl;dr: business casual isn’t scary, it can be comfortable and fun to dress to impress. Also goodwill is a life saver.