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If you have to be semi-smart for work what do you wear?
Google for business casual, our place is like that (design office) Having said that for the men they just wear suit trousers and a dull shirt without a tie.
- more interesting colours - tailored trousers or skirts with fine knits, silk blouses, flat or interesting shoes or smart boots - blazer rather than matching suit - more interesting jewellery/accessories, opaque tights - slightly more relaxed dresses although I don't feel too floaty/flowery is very professional.
I would not wear jeans except on dress down Friday when I wear new looking dark blue ones. Sorry but I wouldn't wear chunky knits or tunic/leggings outfits, but it depends on the job of course.
I used to wear skinny jeans and a shirt or blouse. Or a tube skirt with a vest type top. Or a knee length dress with tights. Shoes wise I wore converse trainers (which were acceptable but not air max type trainers) or brogues/pumps. In winter it was the same with a cardigan or plain knit jumper on top. Generally if something has a collar it will look smarter. I always had full make up and my hair done unlike my colleague who looked like she didn't even brush hers, was naked faced despite actually, really needing a bit of slap and wore a furry, sack-like tunic.
I have the same issue OP - used to wear suits for my old job but would feel over dressed now. At the moment I'm mainly wearing black or navy trousers or skirt with a nice top, but I feel the need to branch out a bit!
Say for instance you used to wear a back/navy pencil skirt suit with a matching jacket and a shirt and heels.
Instead wear the same pencil skirt, but with a cream jumper and ballet flats.
Wear the jacket over a plain simple top (even a good quality t shirt) with dark slim fit jeans and kitten heels.
Or say you had a suit dress that you used to wear with a matching jacket. Wear the same dress with a nice cardigan instead of the jacket. Wear the jacket as above, or with a tube skirt in a different but otherwise neutral-ish colour (say the jacket is navy, go for a burgundy red skirt).
Depending on HOW relaxed it is, you could even get away with dark slim fit or skinny jeans, with an untucked shirt and jacket, and then converse (but a plain pair, not like leopard print or anything!) or your old heels.