Looking fashionable at work does not have to be a headache. You can manage to look professional, chic and fashion-forward. Wondering how? Well, let us explain!
As the saying goes, ”Dress for success” and don’t forget that dressing doesn’t mean your style has to be completely devoid of character and personality. Remember, part of what will make you shine is being your most authentic self. You absolutely can have a keen sense of fashion at the workplace without compromising your professional polish.
When getting dressed for work, your ultimate goal should be to project a professional and competent image through the way you pull your look together. For many, professional and fashionable are mutually exclusive and but professional and polished does not have to mean boring and conservative. Of course, your office environment does matter but for regardless of office policy, you can find ways to dazzle.
When thinking about how to nail work wear style you have to bear in mind the colour, length, and fit of your pieces. People will immediately associate the way in which you present yourself with the ability for you to effectively do your job. Human nature means that we make snap decisions based on what we see and, first impressions do matter.
It might not seem fair, but if you want to get ahead, you have to abide by certain rules. Taking your career seriously means taking your clothes and the way you present yourself seriously, as well.This does not mean that your wardrobe has to be boring, far from it in fact.
We have compiled a few style tips that will make sure you’re on the right track with your work wear style without sacrificing any of your individuality and fashion flair!
Get the right fit
The first and most important rule of everything to do with style is fit; fit is everything. In particular, when talking about sophisticated and professional work clothes, you need to ensure that whatever you put on is well-tailored. Bottoms should be fitted and free of visible panty lines.
Skirts, especially straight styles like pencil skirts, should be loose enough to sit down in comfortably and Jackets should be able to button up comfortably. Finally, there’s nothing worse than seeing a blouse that is simply too tight; ensure that your blouse skims over your torso well and there are no gaps between the buttonholes.
Bear in mind, the right fit means that your outfit should fit. Just as much as you shouldn’t wear clothes that are too tight, you also shouldn’t wear clothes that are loose, baggy and shapeless; they will make you look sloppy.
Choose pieces that are decent and flatter your shape. Make sure they properly accentuate your waist and highlight your figure. For some added oomph, a nice waist belt goes a long way towards getting that perfect silhouette.
If you prefer pants, make sure you stick to high-wasted and mid-waist pants as opposed to low waist which will sag around your hips and look unsightly.
Knee-length dresses/skirts have been toted as the ideal for a corporate setting and that’s correct but that doesn’t mean that you cannot play around with longer lengths. The reason knee- length is suggested is so you don’t end up feeling uncomfortable and walk confidently without worrying about pulling down your dress/ skirt and showing off a little too much.
A midi skirt with a pair of heels will elongate your body and make you appear taller. They’re also super stylish and a must-have for every woman’s wardrobe.
When it comes to trousers, a well-tailored pair of pants will speak volumes and flatter every body type. Whilst ankle length trousers are a classic, wide leg palazzo pants add a healthy dose of style drama to any look.
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Slouchy handbags look, well, slouchy, and in a corporate setting, that’s a no no. Those type of bags are better for relaxed weekends with friends. For work, we recommend a more structured styles like top-handle bags and structured totes.
These silhouettes present a more sleek and sharp image which will make you look more organised and ready to handle business. Take a leaf out of Tracy Nwapa’s book with this structured Lady Dior tote. If your outfit is fairly neutral, you can afford to have a pop of colour with your accessories like this dusty pink bag.
Contrary to popular belief, colour is allowed but we have to be careful about the shades and tone because sometimes, colours speak louder than we intend them too. When selecting your outfit, pay attention to your colour choices. Darker tones have more of a sense of gravitas than really bright neon shades. and they convey a stronger impression than lighter ones.
Be sure to be extra cautious with bright colours. Clothes that are too flashy are a distraction the visual equivalent of yelling. Research has shown that people in the work place are less likely to be taken seriously by their superiors if their clothing is too brash.
Warm colours like mustard, teal, berry and burgundy are a great way of incorporating colour into your corporate style. Not only do these colours compliment every skin tone but they also they’re versatile and very wearable.