A guide to dressing professionally with style

While it’s important to follow the basic rules of dressing for an interview, internship or job, dress codes can get confusing. What exactly is “business casual?” Are jeans appropriate for work? Understanding these concepts can help avoid an office blunder, so check out this guide to dressing both stylishly and professionally.

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Casual Friday

Casual Friday is an opportunity to incorporate louder colors and patterns, casual silhouettes and denim into your office wardrobe. Keep it professional with a dark-wash, straight-leg jean and button-down shirt. Add a bright sweater and ankle boots for personal flair.

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Smart Casual

For a more formal look, swap the jeans for patterned trousers. A chiffon blouse in a neutral color and pointed-toe flats make this outfit office appropriate. Accessorize with subtle colors like maroon and forest green.

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Business Casual

Trousers, knee-length skirts and blazers are business casual standard. Shoes should be simple and sophisticated, like these suede flats. A little color-play is appropriate – jacket, blouse and bottoms don’t need to match. Finish the look with beige nails and a structured purse.

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Business Professional

A business professional outfit should be classic and monochromatic. Pair a matching black suit with a white button down. Wear heels, but make sure they are low and easy to walk in. Accessorize subtly with a watch, bag and minimalistic earrings.

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Cocktail Party

Dress appropriately chic in this high-neck, knee-length shift. Add a loud patterned heel and dark lip for interest. Don’t over-accessorize. A simple clutch, watch and pair of earrings is all you need to pull this look together.