A Lawyer Finds Office Casual Is Still Rather Dressy
Office casual can be confusing enough. It can be even more difficult—and costly—for lawyers who change jobs and find themselves in a different fashion culture.
One lawyer who noted the changing office environments is Neonu Jewell, now an export compliance counsel with Accenture in Chicago. She told the Wall Street Journal that moving from one law firm or company to another can mean a costly new casual wardrobe.
When she worked at a Fortune 500 hospitality company, employees got around the ban on denim by wearing sweats. That casual attitude wasn’t allowed when she moved to a Washington law firm that even disapproved of open-toed shoes on summer Fridays. On business casual days at Accenture, Jewell often wears suits or nicely tailored pants and blouses.
The article offered its own business casual advice culled from interviews with wardrobe consultants. They said both women and men shouldn’t stray too far from traditional business attire. Men could go without a tie or could wear dress pants and a blazer instead of a suit. Women could wear pants, blouses with collars and unmatched jackets. Accessories should include well-made shoes and good watches.
“And no garden-party looks,” the article warns women, “like capri pants and sun dresses.” Also out are clingy and revealing clothes, high stiletto heels and bell-bottomed pants that make you look “like Charo.”