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Business Casual for Women over 50 – The Top 10 Stores

Business casual used to be reserved for special Fridays. But thanks to the influx of tech culture, unless you are in a conservative field requiring suits, meeting with clients or are giving a big presentation, dressing in business casual in the defacto dress for many companies, especially if it’s your own business. Because your computer really doesn’t need formal clothing to operate. With so much business being done over video, only your shoulders up need to look professional. Wearing business casual for women over 50 is especially advantageous to portraying a more youthful spirit.

It’s great news for working women of all ages, because dressing in business casual allows you to apply more feminine touches than largely structured suits. What’s appropriate for this dress code? Mostly, that you feel more comfortable, less restricted, and more able to express your personality while still looking thoughtful about your appearance. You can be playful, try out a trend and certainly be more flexible and less stuffy…which often translates to being perceived as open-minded and embracing new styles and ideas.

Guidelines for choosing relaxed office attire:

1. Wear fabrics with a softer side

Let it flow. Choose fabrics that feel softer against your skin. Often, they won’t hold structure on their own – linen, cotton, chino, knits, silks, soft rayon jerseys and all the new blends including modal and viscose with small percentages of lycra and spandex for a little give. Denim works, too, as long as there aren’t rips, holes, ragged edges, excessive distressing, finishing variations or whiskering.  When in doubt, choose colored denim.  All the business casual fabrics usually breathe and allow you to move freely…but not to the point you could go for a workout.  Bonus – many are machine washable, at least in cold water.

2. Look for Looser, less defined fits

Dropped shoulder seams, disappearing or exaggerated seaming and cuts on the bias. Nothing binds. Crisp takes a back seat to comfort. Flounce and flirt are welcome. Wide or cropped legs,  flowy lines and softly draped shapes. Avoid tight fits, but also stay away from completely shapeless. Showing more skin at your neckline, arms and a little bit above your knee is generally fine, but concealing midriffs, bra straps, cleavage and upper thighs will help keep the focus on business.

3. Embrace color and prints

It’s OK to be noticed for your vibrancy. Or to adopt a calming color scheme. Or add a little spunk to your pattern choice, like animal prints and plaids. Try some modern combinations, and extra detailing. Just make sure you are still wearing the clothes instead of the clothes wearing you.

4. Style with Panache

Throw on some chunky jewelry. Don a fedora. Step out of the shoe norm. Mix a tee with a fancy jacket. Skinny jeans with a button down tunic. Business casual for women over 50 does not have to mean boring. Take this opportunity to show some style smarts. If you’re a bit wary of trying to look to young, choose one piece to make a statement with instead of mixing all the trends together at once. And then own the look. That glance someone is giving you is more likely to be in appreciation than judgment.

>READ: BOOTIES FOR THE OVER 50 WOMAN

When is casual too casual?

Use these scenarios as a litmus test to keep from slipping beyond business casual into loungewear. If you can answer yes to any of these questions, your outfit may have gone too far.

  • Can you play sports, hike or take a yoga class in it?
  • Would you mow the lawn in it?
  • Could it double as pajamas?
  • Might someone call it grunge?
  • Is it what you’d wear to a concert in a warehouse, or a club?
  • Is it suitable for chasing after toddlers in the park?
  • Is it really ready for charity?
  • If you ran into the CEO, would you try to hide?

The Top 10 Stores – Business Casual for Women over 50

When you’ve got your look down, you can shop pretty much anywhere. But if you want to be sure your business casual for women over 50 stays into the “age-appropriate” professional zone – these 10 stores are your safe but stylish bets.

1. Ann Taylor

They also have a new service called Infinite Style that lets you RENT work wear!

2. White House Black Market

Often, the looks here have a little edge to their sophistication.

3. Anthropologie

You’ll even find a whole collection of clothing on the Boho Chic side that is largely business casual perfect, if that is your style.

4. Eileen Fischer

Known for their classy relaxed fits.

5.NYDJ

All of the jeans you’ll find here are business casual appropriate, plus they are expanding into other work worthy pieces, too.

6. Talbots

Their range of sizes include petite, plus and plus petite.

7. Diane Von Furstenberg

Her famous wrap dresses are the ultimate in comfortable but business chic dressing. They cost more, but stay in style forever.

8. Layfayette 148

High-end business casual clothing that you can dress up or down – also in petites and plus.

9. Topshop

Affordably priced clothing. Their business casual attire is mixed with very casual, but the price makes it worth a little sorting.

10. J. Crew

All American classic Casual Friday outfits.

In the UK

River Island

Also available for shipping in the US. Consult services if you are near a UK store.

>READ: WILL PERSONAL SHOPPER SERVICES BE STYLISH AND AGE FITTING?

Liberty London

On the pricier side, but there are more reasonable options available, too.

Did we miss some of the best stores for business casual for women over 50? Tell us who you like in our Facebook Group {Join to comment}

>SHOP: WOMEN’S BLAZERS: FASHION OVER 50 STYLE

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