Photos by Michelle Heppner | @michelleeheppner on Instagram
Nineteen is an awkward age for fashion. Am I supposed to look like I’m on spring break or do I suit up like I’m on my way to a 9-5? You have your classic blazers and button-ups versus crop tops and ripped jeans. Where is the line drawn between dressing business-casual and looking like you’re a 40-year-old business professional?
What is ‘business-casual’ anyway?
Business-casual is a hard fashion style to set rules for since people have many different views on what counts as ‘too casual’. With millennials trying all sorts of fashion trends these days, our misconstrued vision of ‘appropriate dressing' can come into effect.
I’m no fashion prodigy but here are 10 unofficial, but practical tips on dressing business-casual as a young adult, from your fellow fashionably-challenged friend.
1. Color can dictate whether or not something is "business appropriate". Neons may come off as childish or extreme whereas pastels and neutrals are a perfect go-to. (Choose your neons carefully.)
2. If it's laundry day and you're at a loss for office outfits, throw on some jewelry to brighten up a dull outfit.
3. If you’re worried that a long skirt could come off as “prudish” or “boring”, throw on some tights to liven up the outfit.
4. Monochrome patterns can seem classy whereas colorful ones come off as a bit busy.
5. Cropped black pants can signify your youth but still keep your business mandate in tact.
6. If you only have a few button-ups, throw a sweater or vest over. No one will notice you're reusing your shirt, and you'll also create a new outfit to add to your collection.
7. Trench coats over everything is life - you don't even need to take off your coat and you will maintain the professional but trendy aura.
8. Blazers with shoulder pads embody female power, but if you're not up for bulky shoulders, there are a variety of laid-back, almost cardigan-like options available.
9. Your choice of shoes can make or break an outfit. Short heels can be comfortable but also boost your business look.
10. Since jeans aren't typically acceptable in the work place, your choice of bottoms can be limited. Try tighter, high waisted harem pants if you're bored of dress pants.