What is Business Casual for Women

Let’s face it, times have changed since the Women’s Business Council began over thirty years ago and so has the way women dress for work. Being in the sports industry, there are days I wear khakis and a polo and other days I wear a business suit. As health and fitness is becoming more and more intertwined in the workplace, there has been a shift in the way women dress for work. I thought it would be interesting to ask women in the Capital Region who are in the health industry what their sense of style is in the workplace.

I encourage you to interact with this post and comment below. What is your sense of style? How has it changed over the years? Is less more?

Here is what some Women’s Business Council members said about their personal style:

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Victora Carosella Baecker, Manager, Community Relations & Corporate Events, CDPHP

“CDPHP is causal five days a week. We allow our employees to dress how they feel most comfortable. For me that still means I am dressing each day for work. In my role I am meeting with people in the community mostly every day, so on the occasions I dress down and wear jeans is always paired with a pair of heels and a blazer. I think you can still be casual and look smart, professional and comfortable. My personal style has always leaned more towards the preppy side, so there is certainly a thread of that in everything I wear. ” 

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Bo Goliber, Community Relations Fingerpaint Marketing

“I’m fortunate to work in a setting where the dress code is very relaxed, however, my role in community relations has me interacting a lot in public. One thing that’s always a priority for me is to make sure I feel like myself when dressing for an occasion. I’m just not the kind of person who would feel like “me” in a traditional business suit—so if I have to dress up, I always make sure I find the balance between looking professional but still wearing something that makes me feel true to my personality. Thankfully I’m able to have that option! And I also always try to wear a nice blouse or top if I’m wearing jeans so I don’t feel too casual.”

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Jeannine Trimboli, Strength Coach, Weight loss specialist, and Founder real [FIT] life
 “People think it must be great to get to wear workout clothes all the time, but to be honest, I get tired of them. I’m a girly girl even if I do spend most of my days around iron racks, barbells, and covered in lifting chalk.  I like to wear jewelry and I love dressing up.

When I’m working out, I definitely wear fitness clothes that I can move in and that are breathable. But when I’m coaching our real [FIT] life’rs I’ll wear pretty much anything, as long as I can squat in it. Stretchy leggings are perfect. Sandals too. We keep the studio cool for our members so I’ve been known to throw on a sweater or light jacket during our sessions. (It’s their workout, not mine!) I’m not partial to any particular fitness wear brands. If it’s cute, unique, and comfy, I’ll wear it.

I do love to dress up when I attend networking events.  Ann Taylor has been my go to for years. And when it’s open toe season, I’m a very happy girl.”

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Deborah Merwitz Ruggiero, MS,RN, CWPM, Associate Director, Clinical Account Management, MVP Health Care

“I’m a big fan of a knit, unstructured dress-think Athleta. I can throw on a scarf or accessories to dress it up for meetings and then grab my sneakers for a walk at lunch.”

Sachi Vines, Director of Marketing and Promotions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Athletic Department

“My attire is business, athleisure wear/ workout attire”.

3 thoughts on “What is Business Casual for Women

  1. Great feedback on business casual and different points of view! Nicely done as always Sarah. As for me, my company just rolled out a pilot program of dress for your day for the month of August. Most days I’ve dressed in my usual business casual and for me that’s dress pants and a blouse and flats. But when I’ve had any meetings especially in the evening I dress for my day with a dress usually colorful and heels usually black. I’m no fashionista that’s for sure but the dress for your day hasn’t affected me too much yet as I’m also in a role where I meet with community members outside our four walls. I did wear a denim skirt with blouse and sandals one day and that was a nice change of pace.

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  2. Great post, Sarah. I think what I love most about the changing landscape of the work dress code is being able to not wear stockings. When I first got out of college, it was suggested to me by my company peers to wear a navy or black suit with heels and cream colored stockings- even in the winter. I love the ease of wearing a dress in the summer (with bare legs!). I guess I also dress for my day like Katie mentioned. I still wear suits at times but I also wear a much more casual mix of pants and a blazer and on Fridays, when we are allowed to wear jeans, jeans and a blazer.

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  3. Business casual has definitely changed and I think depending on your role in the organization and what type of work you are doing, it will affect what to wear. As I mention, I think I wore a suit every day for the first 3 years as Executive Director, but when I was pregnant, there’s not a huge selection of “maternity suits” lol!

    Since then, I have followed similar to Katie and dressed for the day. I would be curious to see if the way you dress affects your productivity – positive or negative.

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