How to Rock Casual like a Pro

Posted March 13, 2014 by Adrienne Asselmeier in Building Your Brand
casual office

I know I’ve already said this, but I love the fact that I don’t have to dress business casual any more. Call me a dirty millennial, but I think that jeans should be a welcome part of business wear. They’re not just for farmers any more. My personal opinion aside, I’ve realized that it can be difficult in a casual office to dress how I want and still look like a professional. Yes, I want to wear jeans. No, I don’t want to look like I’m not working, or not the level of staff that I am. For that reason, I try to keep a few things in mind to make sure that I’m rocking my casual attire, and yet avoid looking like it’s laundry day.

Here are my favorite ways to dress casual and be all business!

  • Know how to pick your jeans. I think that light denim looks awful on me, and darker jeans are more slimming anyway, but picking a darker jean tends to look more like you’re going to work and less like you’re going to a Duran Duran concert. I love thrifting for clothes, but I always pick dark jeans that fit great with no sign of distress. Also, pay attention to pocket placement. Sometimes a well-fitting jean will look bad from the back if the pockets are too big or not placed right.
Like my hero, Tina Fey

Like my hero, Tina Fey

  • Want to wear a t-shirt? Just add a blazer! It’s true. I have a couple dark blazers with cool accents around the sleeves and lining and they are perfect for dressing up a patterned or graphic tee with jeans.
  • Snappy shoes or boots. Skinny pants and a knit shirt can easily look too casual, but pairing them with a cute sequin flat, or a tall boot can look great and still be casual and comfortable.
  • Make your head happy with a headband. I have also been digging a slightly messier look. My hair loves to dry naturally, and be kinda big and crazy. I tame it a little with something to accentuate the waves, and the pull it back with a nice headband. Doing a cute pin on the side with bangs or straightening the front up to the headband line can dress up a natural look and keep it from looking like a mop.

shopping (2)          shopping          shopping (1)

  • Pick one accessory to dress up your outfit. A nice silk scarf, sparkly necklace, or a few flashy bangles can help make something like jeans and a 3/4 sleeve tee look a lot more polished.
  • Button up with a vest. I have a lot of athletic quarter-zip pullovers and it’s always been my dream to work more of my running clothes into my actual wardrobe (a lofty goal, I admit). I recently realized that I can dress up a solid-color pullover by putting on a fitted vest over it and wearing with dark jeans. Love it!

If you’re rocking casual and still feel like you aren’t quite professional enough, make sure that you’re acting in a way that shows you are a pro. Take your job seriously, avoid spending too much time chatting or looking like you’re not busy, and take credit for your hard work and good ideas. If you’re a silly person like me, it can be a challenge to stand out as an expert and to get the point across that you’re serious about your job even when you’re joking, but it can be done.

And it can be done in jeans!

About the Author

Adrienne Asselmeier

Adrienne "Dren" Asselmeier is a writer and marketing specialist. Dren has a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature and is a blogger, runner, over-achiever, and friend to everyone. She likes to write about science-based health and fitness, small business ownership, and motivational topics.