Whoever invented uniforms was a pretty sharp sort. For business casual, uniforms simplify the “What is appropriate?” problem, all the while helping build a Consistent Personal Leadership Brand. Or, you know, generally looking like yourself from day to day.
I see an early pattern developing in this California Business Casual wardrobe. One uniform schema involves knit blazers with a tee. The other, cashmere v-necks and button-fronts. The knit blazers, as we have discussed, provide comfort and implied informality. V-necks, on the other hand, offer visual contrast for broad shoulders, and frame a smidgen of collar. Very helpful for the natively scarf-avoidant.
Purple represents a veritable tectonic shift for me, caused either by the graying of hair or that joyous process by which older women decide they are No Longer Embarrassed. You see, High WASPs, despite popular mythology, rarely wear color except when en vacances, at Alumni Day games, or Christmastime. Purple sweaters shake one up, after a lifetime of navy, black, and khaki.
We’re silly, I know. Your culture has surely long since embraced purple, lavender or even orange. We will catch up. But in the meantime, you’ll rarely find us inappropriate in our various and widesprung offices.
To counterweight the slightly collegiate effect of a v-neck, I wore my grandfather’s cufflinks. In my ears. My dad had these made for his three daughters, and even though the 80’s love for large button earrings is but a distant memory, I pull them out when I feel the need for to bump up otherwise non-notable garb.
It’s an ongoing project, this What To Wear When You Return To Work. Just as I started here, when I retired, and wound up here, I will improve my business casual over time. But last time I made a transition I neglected to take pictures and invite you all along. How rude. All kinds of behaviors can improve with effort.
A lovely Wednesday to all.