If you’re planning to move to Paris, work in a French company, or just generally want to up the fashion sensibilities at your workplace, this article is for you. Paris is celebrated for the glamour that it puts out in the streets. Everyone looks magnificent in their own petite ways. However, to know where to add the touch of class and where to be sublime is also an art that living and interacting with Parisians teaches you. Enter – Business Casual.
Many people don’t quite understand that word due to the simple fact that it has no standard definition. However, in the context of Parisian workplace attire, business casual can simply be taken as ‘dress to show class but not show off’. (Yes, I came up with that to best describe the scenario here.)
Usually, the business casual varies from company to company. However, the Parisian business casual can easily be considered as a standard with minute variations depending on where you live. it is also interesting to note that the French culture proposes that if a person is not dressed right for the place, they are not interested enough to be in that place, and maybe that makes all the difference.
Before we go onto the style tips, let me create a basic understanding of how Business Casual is perceived globally.
“Women should wear a combination of a skirt or dress slacks, blouse, sweater, twinset, jacket (optional), and hosiery (optional) with closed toe shoes. Sandals or peep-toe shoes may be permissible in some offices; flip-flops are never considered part of business casual.
Consistency in style is very important. No matter what kind of company you work for, maintaining a consistent image helps to establish trust and credibility with you as an employee.
When the dress code is business casual, it’s not appropriate to wear your favorite old t-shirt, ripped jeans, ratty sneakers, or flip-flops. Remember the “business” part of business casual, and leave your old comfortable clothes at home; outfits should still be clean, pressed, and fit properly.” (thebalance.com)
Once these are established, it is safe to say that you’re ready to embrace the Parisian styling tips in all their glory.
1. Go for Clean Cuts and Classics
Even in fashion, the safest choice will always be to go for what has already been tested. So, go for button-down shirts or high-collar accentuated blouses underneath a suit. Or if it is just one of those days, go for a sweater on a skirt. Choose strong colors, stay away from logos or raunchy graphics. Remember, you can even wear a bomber on straight cut pants and look classy if your ensemble is clean enough.
2. Befriend the Trends
Now, when I was trying to style myself in the business casual tone, I chose the it blazer from Fall/Winter 2017 collection – the Grey Checkered double-breasted blazer. It serves not only uplifting and to compliment fashion knowledge but also to seek style inspiration to befriend trends. After all, who can give you better fashion advice than the biggest fashion gurus and designers, themselves?
3. Don’t hesitate to add your personal touch
Individuality is what most corporates, cultures, and societies are after. The Parisian fashion scene accommodates and boasts of that well. Moreover, if you are confident enough in what you are wearing, it makes you confident enough to ace your challenges efficiently. So, don’t hesitate to add an element of your personal touch when dressing up, business casual or not. Like I used a navy hat with my suit ensemble or my formal backpack.
4. Chic it up with a Scarf
You’re already aware of the French obsession with scarves. And rightly so because of the unforgiving winds here. However, that is not it. A scarf chics up your outfit in an instant, adding character and also giving the effect of effort and class. Which is exactly what you aim for in business casual dressing from the point of view of Parisian.
5. Keep it strong but natural
This is in reference to not only your attire but also your makeup. Practicality is what the discussed dressing is all about. So, make sure you are comfortable in your attire as well as your makeup. Keep it light and highlight your naturally beautiful features.
If this is a little too much, just remember the 5 S of Business Casual – Suit, Scarves, Shoes, Sweaters, and Skirts. You should be fine as long as you run with those. Feel free to share your take on the business casual in comments below.
For more of my travel in style adventures, keep following ertsy. Till then, be your own desire.