The guys get it pretty easy, when it comes to dressing for work. If they work in an office, they wear a suit and all they have to remember is to not wear the suit on dress-down day. For the women, though, a little more thought has to be put into work wear. You want to look like you mean business, but you don’t want to lose all your femininity and dress like a man. You want to look stylish and fashionable, but not look frivolous. What you certainly don’t want is to be noticed in the office because you made a major fashion blunder. Here are ten tips on how to look fashionable at work and still look professional.
1. Steer clear of too much colour
A splash of colour is far more effective in the office environment than an outfit that has too many different colours that clash. You could try wearing a colourful top with an understated skirt, or adding a statement necklace to a plain outfit. The trick is to look feminine and stylish, but not to let your fashion choices distract people.
2. Keep an eye on what everyone else is wearing
Office wear has definitely become more casual over the years, but different companies have different generally accepted standards of work wear. It’s often not a formal dress code, but more of a common standard that everyone adheres to. If the men are dressed in suits and ties, then wear more formal outfits, but if they are wearing chinos, you know that you can dress more casually.
3. Don’t dress down too far
Even if ripped, worn denim is still in fashion, it’s not the thing for the office. Sometimes fashion does swing towards the distressed look, but in most offices, that would be going too far. If people do wear jeans, then a pair of smart dark jeans will still look casual enough for you to fit in, but still not look scruffy.
4. Don’t over-accessorise
If you are sitting in a meeting and your chunky bracelet keeps banging on the boardroom table, people are going to notice that and it will be distracting. You want people to be taking notice of you, your skills, and your personality, not your jewellery. Stick to just one or two pieces of jewellery and don’t wear anything that is too big.
5. Don’t show too much skin
If you show too much cleavage or leg, people won’t be concentrating on what you have to say and they won’t take you as seriously as they should. You can still wear feminine skirts and blouses, but always err on the side of caution when it comes to how many buttons you have undone, or how short your skirts are.
Heels do wonders for your confidence at work, they look stylish, and they make you look taller too. You can wear heels with trousers, a skirt, or a dress, and they will always add a touch of style to any outfit. Be careful to make sure that you feel comfortable wearing your heels though, because you don’t want to be hobbling around the office all day long.
7. Tailored jackets
Tailored jackets are a must-have item for an office wardrobe. They add the final finishing touch to a professional looking work outfit. They are also very flattering and smart and they can transform a fairly casual outfit into a much more business like one.
8. Dress to impress
A good way to choose your outfits for work is to dress for the job that you’d like to have. Dressing just a little bit smarter, than the job you are in actually requires, will tell people that you want to get somewhere and it will get you noticed. When the bosses come to sit down and decide who is going to get a promotion, if you stood out a bit from everyone else, and you looked the part, they will be more likely to consider you for that promotion.
9. Don’t let your shoes let you down
Some people say that you can judge a person’s personality just by looking at their shoes, so don’t let your footwear let you down. Invest on two or three pairs of classic heels and flats, and never wear shoes that are scuffed or worn. If your shoes look a bit worn down, it won’t matter how fantastic the rest of your outfit looks, because everyone will be looking at your feet.
10. Keep make-up fresh and natural
Save the dramatic smoky eyes and bold lipstick for the weekends and keep your makeup looking fresh and natural for the office. Dressing for work is about looking the part, so smart and understated will be far better than bold and brassy. You don’t need to fade into the background, but you don’t want to be noticed for all the wrong reasons either.
What to wear for work? What are your ideas?