What are bare essential clothing items for a new job dress code of "dressy casual"?
My daughter and I are going to shop for necessary clothing items for an internship with a private corporation serving the education industry. Her new boss says "dressy casual." We do not have a lot of money.
I would say dress pants and khakis would be a good idea. Some skirts or even dresses will work, as well. She can also wear some nice sweaters or blouses. She is lucky she will not have to worry about wearing a blazer. Those are really annoying. It is a good idea to buy a nice sweater in a neutral color in case she is wearing a blouse and it gets cold. She can always keep that at the office and wear it when need be.
I've found that New York & Company sells a lot of reasonably priced dress casual outfits. She should head to the sale area, or sign up online to receive coupons. Sometimes if you get the coupon and great sale items, you can walk out the door with about $200 worth of clothing for $75.
"Dressy casual" is almost a contradiction in terms. When I was a human resources director (I've been retired several years), my company approved "business casual" attire for workers.
Business casualwear is more comfortable than the more formal businesswear of old. Think pressed khaki slacks with a navy blazer and low-heeled (but closed toe) shoes rather than a dressy suit and high heels.
You can find many examples (with photos) of business casualwear via search engines or books. The key, I think, is that if it's too casual, it's not for work. You're not taken seriously at work if you don't dress neatly and with a measure of thoughtfulness about what you're wearing. This is especially important for a woman.
Your daughter's boss may be using the word "dressy" with casual to get across the point that dressing in a manner that is too casual is not appropriate for work, but to save for after work. Employees who show up for work looking sloppy may be sent home to change clothing! However, if your daughter isn't sure what the term means in her company, she should ask her new boss for guidelines about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.
Your daughter can dress appropriately for her job in business casual attire without breaking the budget. Try discount stores or even thrift shops to find good-looking clothing that will fit the description for inexpensive cost.
I agree with Jeannieinabottle (cool name by the way) with the dress pants and khakis. Men can usually wear khakis and a polo shirt for just about every situation, but it is a little harder for women. For the top, I would say to make sure you have some solid short sleeve blouses with no plunging necklines. My work is also "dressy casual". I try to buy short sleeve blouses in a polyester or silk-type fabric. That way, they look a little more dressy and also stay new-looking longer.
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