Saturday, April 30

Business Casual is my life.

For some strange reason, I'm passionate about professionalism. It's a theory that's been drilled into me since high school. 

 Necklace: 17th Birthday Gift from Friend
 Blazer: from China (about 20$)
T-Shirt: Next Era (Old)
Wrap Skirt: 6 Degrees (Unknown)
Tights: Forever 21 (unknown)
Shoes: Nine West Oxfords (Stolen from my mom)

I feel like "business casual" is a good way to describe my personal style. I NEED to work somewhere where I can wear pencil skirts, heels and suits.  For example, this outfit was just for a normal day where I had nothing exciting planned. If you know of any blogs that have a business or professional style, please let me know!

In the meantime, I've got a few tips to share with you. These are things I've picked up in my time, which, please understand, hasn't been that long.

1. Peeptoes are never appropriate with a suit. Unless you're rocking an Elle Woods suit or something like that. Peeptoed shoes can look sexy, flirty, but rarely professional. If the outfit is a flowery blouse and pencil skirt, peeptoes are great. If you're wearing a suit, peeotoes just don't work.

2. You're a woman (in a man's world). In order to succeed in traditionally masculine  industries, women often dress like them and wear straight cut pantsuits. After wearing my fair share of pantsuits, I've come to realize that I'm a strong believer of skirt suits over pant suits. A lot of petite Asian girls think that wearing skirt suits will make them seem less credible. It's too girly looking, or too young looking. The opposite of that is true, at least when it comes to college aged girls. I'm sure higher positions (not to mention politics) have a different set of standards altogether. There's nothing worse tor a  girl than  an ill-fitting suit. I should know. My mother brought me my first suit when I was fourteen in the ninth grade. It was a size four petite. That size doesn't sound too wrong, but it didn't fit me then and it doesn't fit me now. You have to be comfortable in your suit, otherwise, you look like you don't belong there.

Don't wear pants if you have assets. Men's suits look a certain way for a certain reason. If your cut is masculine but you have a feminine figure, it's going to look odd. No one's going to turn down your application if you wear pants but there's a certain image you have to show your clients. It's subtle and unconscious--professionalism. 

Unfortunately, there is the issue of actual prejudice. I've met and heard of individuals (both men and women) who believe that women shouldn't wear pant suits. No ifs, thens, or buts. I don't agree with that. Pant suits can look fierce as often as it looks inappropriate. Know your body.

Side note: If you're wearing a skirt suit, wear pantyhose. Always.

3.Your job is not to be sexy. Suits should make you feel powerful, professional, but if we can see cleavage, if the slit if your skirt is too high, if the control top of your pantyhose is showing? You're not sending the right message. Don't take items from your "I'm young and siiiiingle" outfit to wear with your "I'm a young professional" outfit. This applies to your shoes as well. Unfortunately, there is a height limit on heels. Five inches is probably too much for the courtroom. I've also found that patent leather (or shiny black heels) are more nightlife than office appropriate.

4. Less is more. Suits are getting amazing and crazy these days. But if you're looking for your first suit or your power suit, put the ruffles down. Put the giant bow down. Put the short sleeves down. A LACE suit? Don't even think about it. We're going for plain and simple. 

This list a collection of pet peeves--most that I've seen in action. I'm constantly learning more (what to wear with striped suits, gray suits, what men wear, and professional hair and makeup tips).  If you have any tips please share them! I'd love to know. 


  1. I just loved this post!
    And the outfit was beautifully put together. ^-^

  2. Very helpful tips, and lovely pictures.


  3. great post! i too, love "business casual." i personally don't agree with all these points, but still quite interesting to read. i think ruffles can still be professional, but with an added feminine touch.

    i have to prove this true, haha! it's quite likely you know of her already, but her style ...i love!

    another point i'd add is no nail design whatsoever. neutral/clear/nude nails only.

    love that you paired these shoes together, instead of the common stiletto heel. they're a nice touch to give it that casual feel.

  4. good tips to know! I like peeptoes, but i can definitely see how they would be terrible with a suit (especially a pants-suit).

  5. I'm the WORST professional ever. I'm too spastic and nerdy to keep things matching and buttoned up. I'd probably wear your outfit with giant earrings, bright pink tights and boots with zippers. I can't help it!

    You look great, though :) Loved this post. Maybe one day I'll actually take your advice and stop looking like a big hippie!

  6. great post! i love your tips! please add more pictures of you in professional clothes =)

  7. Great tips! I hardly need to wear very formal business suits, but when I do, I opt for black simple skirt suits :D

  8. What a helpful list of "do's and don'ts" for the office! I have yet to even get a job, let alone a coorporate one, but having advice on how to dress and not to dress is always so very helpful.

    Oh, and by the way your oxfords are just beyond darling!

    Thank you ever so much for the lovely comment on my blog :D

  9. I do agree with your list. That is why I ate the office look. I am more a free spirit. Wear jeans to go to work and I am loving it. I hate suits.
    By the way, I love your wrap skirt.

  10. great tips, great style, love your skirt! :)

  11. I love your outfit, it's so chic and polished! Love your blog and now following! Thank you very much for visiting my blog, and for your lovely words:)


  12. love this post so much! and so true about the last one! some "suits" are getting a bit ridiculous!

  13. Because I am frequently presenting at colloquiums and since I am a grad student, I live in business casual/professional clothes. The key is to find ways to make them super fun and cute while retaining the professionalism. I live in blazers, but I dress them up with bright colors underneath and fierce-ass shoes. I refuse to dress "like a man," and I try to make my suits at least mildly sexy.
    But I carry a natural sex appeal with me, so that isn't difficult.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  14. I used to work in business casual and have been for all my jobs. But now I can go casual!! :) I love it. Not that casual means sloppy, but it's nice to have the option to wear jeans everyday if I wanted to!

  15. I think it's important to look professional depending on the job. My jobs though have been pretty relaxed so my usual attire was jeans and tops. I think people would've looked at me funny if I had come in a suit!

  16. great post doll, a lot of good tips ;)


  17. nice tips!! totally agree with pantyhouse and flaunt the curves if you're a woman! I work in tech so they're a lot more lieanant on what we wear, like today I'm wearing dark jeans and and a sweater. I'd love to dress in a more professional environment sometimes but other times after a long weekend it's nice to just be relaxing

  18. great outfit you did a great job in business casual love it!

  19. Totally agree! Especially with the less is more concept. One of my pet peeves is a woman in a suit with bows and a conference room.

  20. I work in a professional field and dressing the part is especially important. I always try to go for nice basics and interesting pieces to keep from looking like a total snooze fest. Dresses keep things interesting :D

  21. Such a cute outfit, those brogues are so cute and pretty with the skirt! xx

  22. nice post! I like the outfit, skirt and shoes are amazing!

  23. Somehow I missed this post! I love the draping in this skirt and especially how you paired it with the blue - very pretty!

  24. Thanks! I get that question alot these days, my photos have def improve since the beginning. I actually take photos during the day near the window, lol.

    Cute skirt, btw.


Thanks for your comments!