Whereas business casual for men can be a source of endless hilarity, business casual for women is an altogether more serious affair. The fashion pages are full of advice about what constitutes a fashionable business casual outfit (4 inch heels, lipstick, flesh, layers and big jewellery) but from visiting chemical companies and holding our own training seminars across northwest Europe, a different picture emerges. This season the continent’s petchem business women will be favouring:
2 trousers (not jeans)
3 wool (jumpers, tunics, thick tights, waistcoats, tabards)
4 low-cut tops (English women only)
5 any Blackberry
And for the US, it’s all of the above plus flesh-coloured tights and acrylic nails.
While for Singapore, it will be pashminas and pastel-coloured jackets for warmth against the fierce air-conditioning.