I’ve always had an issue with dress codes. My high school spent a strangely large amount of money and time enforcing its nonsensical dress code (zippers, for example, were momentarily banned) which made the daily ‘what to wear’ challenge even more stressful. In college I worked at a now-defunct chain that allowed all facial piercings… until a new manager told me he didn’t like how mine looked and while the company wouldn’t allow him to fire me he would keep me off the schedule until I removed it. And while it was fun at first, my years in a dressy office caused more stress than stylish relief with its standard of shift dresses and heels.
What can I say? I don’t like being told what to do.
When I started working for myself I quickly found a uniform that works. It may be tempting to stay in your PJs, but that makes it too simple to go back to sleep. Instead I swap out my pajamas for (cough, equally comfortable, cough) athleisure that is pulled together enough for me to run to the coffee shop or the store without changing. And while that works 90% of the time, I do have to meet clients for meetings or sources for interviews once in a while. I had to come up with my own form of business casual as a self-employed creative, and the answer is almost always stretchy pencil skirt, neutral colors, and one statement piece. The latest cold-weather rendition has a new pair of shoes as the stars: these gifted Naturalizer Rooney booties in a beautiful snake print.
When you work in a creative field, your business casual look may be best kept away from the stuffy and formal. I aim to look put together and authoritative while balancing a bit of whimsy and quirk. And it never hurts to include a piece people can’t stop complimenting. So far, these booties have been great for business. Little is better as a freelancer than wearing an item that makes strangers come to you and start a conversation!
Shop a few of my other creative business casual picks below to spice up any work wardrobe.