Campus Style: Students sport business casual wear

By Jillian Greene
Columnist      

The right cardigan will complete a business casual outfit. (Flickr.com)
The right cardigan will complete a business casual outfit. (Flickr.com)

If you had the chance to stop by the Opportunities Fair last week, you definitely saw some fellow classmates all dressed up in their ‘business casual’ outfits. Business casual is different for everyone. Many students at the fair treated it as they should, but others, in my opinion, were a tad overdressed. Who knows — maybe those who were overdressed impressed some employers and landed an internship or job. So, what is business casual and what does it mean to you?

Business casual for women could be a dress without the heels, replaced by flats, or a pantsuit without the jacket, replaced with a light cardigan. I styled my beige Calvin Klein capris with an orange and white blouse and nude flats. Some of the employers I spoke to were sporting similar outfits. Although, I must admit I did feel a bit out of place when I saw some girls walking around in full pantsuits and heels. But, I just kept reminding myself that the email said the attire was business casual.

There’s no need to wear a tie to the Opportunities Fair. (Flickr.com)
There’s no need to wear a tie to the Opportunities Fair. (Flickr.com)

As for the men, I saw many in full suits, ties and all. But I don’t think this falls under business casual. If you’re going to wear dress pants and the sports jacket, then I’d lose the tie. I actually had a friend come up to me in this exact outfit and ask if he looked OK. He said all of his friends kept asking where his tie was and he was starting to feel underdressed. I calmly reminded him that he looked stylish and that the dress code for the career fair was business casual.            

From what I hear, working in an office with a business casual dress code is the way to go. Supposedly for guys, wearing a tie every day gets old fast — although, that could just be my brother — who has a corporate job — being lazy.

You never want to be underdressed at a career fair, job interview or first day of work, so yes, you can overdress in these situations. But be sure to keep the outfit true to your style and closet and don’t overlook the importance of comfort. It’s not worth wearing heels if it means you might not make it through the day without a few falls. I recommend shopping at Marshalls, TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack for business clothes — I’ve found some really great bargains at all three stores, including my Calvin Klein capris.