Apart from our interstate trip to see family in the lead up to Christmas, we’ve haven’t planned any other trips so I’m back on deck now. Spare me the condolences – one of the advantages of working when everyone is on leave is no back-to-work blues when everyone returns to the office at the end of the month!
Also – another perk to working now is that I get to take advantage of “January casual”.
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While most companies enforce the usual business dress code from February through to December, with the exception of Fridays of course, most of the (non-stuffy) law firms I’ve worked in relax their dress codes to casual until Australia Day which falls during the last week of January on the 26th.
The concept of relaxed dressing confuses many – and it’s not the workplace’s intention for employees to show up to work looking sloppy. Some misinterpret the idea of ‘casual’ so it’s important to always maintain a sense of professionalism.
Here are my tips to nail the “January casual” dress code:
Perfect the balance of professionalism and comfort
As a rule of thumb, I like to convert one element of my usual work outfit to casual. For example, I’ll wear a relaxed linen shirt with a pencil skirt or I’ll pair some jeans (…with no distressing or rips because, HR) with a plain tee and blazer. Keeping a structured element to your outfit retains the professionalism that you still need for the office.
Dial it down a few notches with your footwear
In my personal opinion, and it may be a controversial one, January casual is the only time when open toed shoes and sneakers are acceptable in the office. Common sense still needs to be exercised of course – I’ll avoid my Birkenstocks but will wear ‘dressier’ flat sandals and if wearing sneakers, I’ll wear minimal ones.
Here’s to those entering timesheets and traipsing around the office in sandals and sneakers!
Happy Casual January folks!
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