Business Professional vs Business Casual

Just google “plus size professional clothing” and you’ll see images of women wearing everything but what you’re looking for. Ask a blogger what to wear to work and they might show you a snug fitting printed pencil skirt with a gorgeous blouse tucked into it and a pair of 4-5 inch Louboutin pumps – and even if the outfit is cute, its not necessarily practical or appropriate for everyone because what I’m describing is business casual. If you work in fashion or in the corporate world, chances are you are not expected to wear a suit and business casual looks are just fine – that’s what my #corporatetocouture series is all about.

For today’s post, I teamed up with Lane Bryant to illustrate the difference between business professional [specifically interview attire] and business casual.

One of the reasons I started blogging during my second year of law school was because I didn’t really know what to wear as a young professional. As I researched this topic, one of the sentiments that I ran into that was particularly disparaging was the notion that women in the legal field should wear skirts, not pant suits. What? Yes this is a thing – read about it here, here or here.

Working in law firms has taught me that what women actually wear varies greatly but there are some hard and fast rules that we should follow:

  1. Skirts should reach the knee when you’re sitting
  2. Pants should not be too fitted and should never resemble leggings
  3. Hosery is not always necessary
  4. Geographic location may play a big role in ultimately determining what is appropriate
  5. When interviewing, always wear a suit
  6. Cotton or Ponte suits are not appropriate for an interview or court
  7. Bright colors are not appropriate for an interview
  8. Low cut blouses or dresses are never appropriate
  9. When ordering a suit, size up and have it tailored. A suit that doesn’t fit makes you look sloppy and unprepared.

There is a huge difference between what might be appropriate for the office vs what is appropriate for court. Let’s be clear – wear a suit to court, always. Just ask my bestie who works in criminal law and she’ll tell you how many times we’ve discussed this.  Another attorney I worked for wore beautiful bright dresses to the office – many of which were sleeveless. On Fridays, I’d even see her wearing jeans but she almost never stepped foot in a courtroom due to the nature of her practice.

1.Business Professional [interview attire]

For this look, I chose a gorgeous navy blue pinstripe suit with a silky crepe top. This look is classic – and perfect for an interview because it is clean but does not draw attention away from what should be the focus of the interview: your skills and qualifications. I chose a simple bracelet and watch and paired it with nude pumps and a nude bag. I’m wearing a 22 in the slacks, 26 in the jacket and it fits great after being tailored. [links below]

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For the after work look, I simply removed the jacket and added a beautiful layered necklace and my fav new sunnies.

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suit jacket | slacks | top  [similar] | sunnies  | bracelet | watch | necklaceheels

2. Business Casual: For this look, I chose a vegan leather jacket [22], button up blouse [22] and pencil skirt [18]. I paired my brightest bag with this look because I think bright colored accessories are great for casual Fridays in the office – or even with workwear during the week if business casual is appropriate in your office. When starting a new job – always play it safe. After a couple of days you’ll have a much better understanding of what is appropriate and what isn’t.

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booties | jacket | blouse | skirt | sunnies | bracelet

 

 

 

All clothing for this post provided by Lane Bryant. Thank you to Lane Bryant for Sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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