HOW TO: Dressing Casual at Work

It has come to my attention, with the onset of summer weather, that many  Rochester people struggle to understand the difference between casual and "work appropriate" attire.

Problems that arise usually involve looking sloppy like you don't care, looking frumpy like you don't update your casual clothes ever, or looking inappropriate. 

Common Symptoms...
                                   ...know what to look out for

The sloppy "I just don't give a  ---------"

The Frump - "I have no clue what is in style. I haven't shopped in years and I am afraid to show off my figure."

And, ever inappropriate, The Sexy Suit- "From club to cubicle and back again!"

Smart Solutions...
                         ... "how to" dress casually at work:

Some careers are just never casual.
Who wants to see their doctor, attorney, or financial consultant out of dress code? Not me. We want our doctor looking pristine, our lawyers to look like they own the law, and the people handling our money to look like they are at ease handling money. And ladies, cleavage looks cheap, no matter how expensive the suit was.

If you cannot find a balance, DO NOT even try to dress down.
No one will judge you for looking professional in front of a client or employer. They will if you look sloppy.

Pair soft material with structure.
Pair casual tops like malleable knits with structured bottoms like crisp ironed pants and vise-versa.

When in doubt, use accessories to formalize a look.
Expensive looking polished shoes, fine jewelry, belts, watches, and glasses all add an formal element to a casual outfit. 

Go lighter or brighter. 
A lighter or brighter version of a classic piece instantaneously gives a facelift and a casual vibe without sacrificing good form. 

NOTE: browse the rack- the same shirt/pants in light grey will always look less dressy.

Tommy Hilfiger

Never go to work in sneakers (unless you're a bad-ass barber).
Shoes offset an entire outfit and set your posture. Casual shoes will make you look less authoritative. Period. Go for a milder version of formal. Example: leather slips-ons instead of Oxfords.

Sneakers make his posture sloppy.

This Salvatore Ferragamo slip-on has a sole reminiscent of a racing shoe. Appropriately casual.
Less formal than close-toed heels, this Tory Burch wedge is classic and just casual enough.