In the workplace, I find too often that women are afraid to stand out, or worse, do it in the wrong ways (such as wearing ill-fitting clothing or inappropriate work attire). While there are certainly work environments that call for navy suits, bone-colored pumps, and slicked-back hair, I think many women deny themselves the opportunity to showcase their personal style in a professional way, so today’s post is about some basic tenets of work dressing that allow you to shine while you’re in the office (and transition more easily into your evening activities!).
Rule #1: Don’t Be Afraid of Color
These examples may seem a bit extreme to you (turquoise and lime green? at work?!), but with neutral makeup, polished hair, and a nice bag, you’ve got a fabulous work outfit. If you want to keep things simple (i.e., reduce your chances of creating an over-the-top ensemble), start with a shift or wrap dress, and choose a contrasting but complementary color for your shoes and jewels. Many times, I find myself choosing a unique pair of earrings or shoes and building my outfit from that instead of the other way around. The bottom line: if you’re stuck in a neutrals rut, give punchy pink, cool blue, bright orange, or another lovely color palette a try. You won’t regret it!
Rule #2: Make a (tasteful) Statement
I recently came across this article about how statement jewelry can help you network, and I can attest to the fact that a pretty piece certainly gets some attention in the professional arena. I find that the easiest (and many times, most effective) way to incorporate a statement piece is to take something you already love, such as your favorite black dress, pull your hair up, and add a funky necklace or cocktail ring. This is a great way to start a conversation and help you feel confident, and it’s an easy wardrobe upgrade that helps you reflect your style.
Rule #3: Invest In Some Classics
If none of the other rules in this post ensnare you, at least give this one a try: pick up some killer classic pieces that you can go to for years to come. The color palette is up to you, but invest in some beautiful pieces that are sure to last you and that make you feel polished and pretty. I love the color palette of lipstick red, sharp black, and cream, because it pairs well with a high bun and bright lips, which can further boost workplace confidence, but create your own go-tos and just make sure they fit your body well.
Rule #4: Must Have – Structured Bag
Whichever color you choose, you should definitely have at least one structured bag in your closet for work purposes. Not only will it help you stay organized because you can carry everything in it, it keeps you from having to rummage through your bag to find what you need (we’ve all had that one hobo bag that is the bottomless pit!). If you choose an investment piece, I encourage you to aim for something colorful that makes a statement – you’ll be surprised how much you find yourself reaching for it!
Rule #5: Must Have – Time Piece
You know how many job interview articles include the statement “wear a watch” to help your boss know you’ll be on time? That certainly applies once you’ve landed the job, too. Whether it’s a simple piece from Target or an Apple watch, buy yourself something you know you’ll use and wear the heck out of it. Just like the statement necklaces, it can be a conversation starter (how many times has someone asked you what time it is when you’re out and about?) and reflection of your awesome style.
Rule #6: Update Your Neutrals
You know how important neutrals are in your closet, which is all the more reason to update them often to keep your wardrobe fresh. Check out this post on updating your neutrals and basics here for more hints and hacks!
What are your tips for keeping your wardrobe professional and still showcasing your personal style?