Dressing for work in the past used to be a straightforward affair. If you are a man, all you need is a perfectly fitted and tailored suit and everything is alright in the world. For women, a tailored dress or skirt suit is all that’s needed. Easy peasy.
While the above attire is still standard for some industries like law, finance, and government, the truth is that workplace attire has evolved over the years with many industries opting for more relaxed dress codes. Ever heard of the term ‘business casual?’ The term refers to a laidback office dress code that doesn’t include suits. Not wearing suits isn’t a license to wear flip flops, ratty sneakers, or ripped jeans. You still have to look professional and smart.
When you think of a laid-back and relaxed dressing attire, chances are that T-shirts come to your mind. T-shirts have become a wardrobe staple and they may as well be one of, if not the most versatile pieces of clothing on this planet.
T-shirts are iconic. They are comfortable, they are beautiful, and they fit everyone. What’s there not to love about this wonderful attire that were initially meant to be worn as underwear? Safe to say T-shirts have come a long way since their creation.
Are T-shirts Business/Smart Casual?
That’s the first thing that comes to the mind of anyone intending on wearing T-shirts to work. The simple answer to that question is ‘yes’. The complicated answer is ‘it depends’ as not all T-shirts are appropriate for the work environment.
T-shirts to be worn as part of a smart casual business outfit should be plain (sorry, you can wear your spider man themed shirt to work), be of good quality, properly ironed, and be a good fit. Several USA made T-shirts fit these criteria and can be worn as part of a smart casual outfit.
Now, that you know what type of T-shirt to wear to work, let’s talk about styling your T-shirts so you appear at work looking like the slay king or queen you are meant to be
Styling Your Plain T-shirt for The Office
- Throw On A Blazer
The easiest way to transform a plain T-shirt from casual wear to smart casual or business casual is to throw a jacket over it. Blazers can be used to achieve a casual or formal look and throwing one over your plain tees make you look professional, casual, and relaxed.
- Wear Chino Pants
T-shirts combine well with chino pants for a business casual look. Even if your workplace requires formal wear most of the time, you can wear your t-shirt/chino combination on Fridays or other days when the dress code is more relaxed.
When it comes to chino parts, the most important things are fit and color. Your chino pants shouldn’t be too baggy or too tight. Instead, it should be well-fitted. When it comes to color, you should prioritize neutral colors like grey, black, navy, and white as they are more appropriate for the workplace.
- Sleek High-Waisted Pencil Skirts for The Ladies
Pairing a T-shirt with a high waisted pencil skirt or midi skirt results in an elegant but comfortable look. To put icing on the cake, wear a nice pair of ankle boots, flats, or wedges. For ladies interested in pants, a pair of white skinnies and T-shirts is a match made in heaven.
- Your Shoes are Important
Your shoes are the foundation of your outfit. Pair the right shoes with your outfit and you’ll receive appreciating and approving glances. Get your shoes wrong and you break your entire outfit.
If you are wearing T-shirts as part of your office outfit, you can’t afford to get your footwear wrong. Wearing the right shoes is key to achieving the professional, yet relaxed vibe you want to achieve.
For starters, stay away from sneakers as they will only make your outfit look more casual. Smart trainers are better, but your look will still be on the edge of casual. To achieve that professional look that’s appropriate for the office, you’ll need to rock a pair of brogues or derby shoes. Loafers can also do the trick. Ladies have the option of wearing a nice pair of boots or dress shoes depending on the look they want to achieve.
The color of your footwear is very important, and you can never get it wrong with classic colors like black and brown. Any shade of these colors will work fine. A common mistake to avoid is open-toed footwear as there’s nothing professional or business-like about them.