Dress codes can be a drag, and if you’ve ever had a job before, there’s a good chance that you’ve had to follow at least one of them. While your workplace wardrobe might have seen better days, and you could be feeling a little frumpy when compared to your colleague’s stylish threads, your closet isn’t hopeless. You can use these eight suggestions to help you bring the life back to your work style.
Many professionals aim to have both day and night looks prepared in their arsenal of attire, but dressing for work, a meeting, or the office isn’t black and white. You can still create looks that let you stand out and professionally appeal.
Within reason, you should be dressing for the role that you want. Let your style be functional and comfortable for the projects that you work on, but ensure that you add a touch of spice and creativity.
Calling All Color
When it comes to the office, it seems like black, white, navy, and grey are the primary colors. Though, have you ever thought about showing up in a pair of blush slacks or a lavender blazer? Pairing a lavender blazer with a classic black dress, or even just adding a pair of bright pink heels to the dress could do wonders.
Ensure Your Clothing Fits
Wearing clothes that fit you, even to work, is exceptionally important. Purchasing clothes that aren’t your size because you feel like you have love-handles or want to hide your curves isn’t recommended. When it comes to boxier forms, the same philosophy applies. Those forms look good in blazers and trousers, while the structure adds sophistication and style.
Unfortunately, stores fill their shelves with the current trending items, so there’s a chance you won’t be able to find your cut or fit. That’s where you can return to your closet and pair some of your older items that fit you right with modern looks. For an hourglass and pear-like shape, look for pencil skirts that can highlight your curves. If you’re tall and slender, look for long and lean cuts of clothing.
Follow Your Leader
You certainly don’t want to be the employee that copies your manager’s work style, but how they represent themselves can give you some solid ideas. Company leaders not only need to make an impression on their staff, but they need to do so on the higher-ups, too. Try reflecting on what they wear, but putting your spin on it. Do they tend to lean towards the more casual side? Is it formal? Or a nice balance? These questions can help you determine your starting point when building a new wardrobe for work.
Building Your Basics
Taking it all the way back to the beginning, you need to return to your closet and figure out what fits and what doesn’t, and what stays and what doesn’t. If any pieces have lost your interest, donate them to charity. Work clothes can be expensive, and many people could use them.
Once you’ve completed that task, you can build your foundation for a professional workplace wardrobe. Invest in the staple white or cream button-down shirts or blouses, purchase a quality blazer, and a good pair of work-appropriate shoes. It’s also a good idea to add a sleek, albeit professional, dress that works with the blazer, and conservative heels. You can add more color and accessories to your wardrobe once you’ve built your base.
Find Out Your Signatures
Everyone has a signature item in their closet or jewelry box that they wear daily, and you need to determine what yours is professionally. Maybe there’s a particular necklace that seems perfectly professional or a pair of cufflinks that you can’t get enough of. Perhaps you have a lucky pair of socks that you wear every Monday morning to make sure the week starts off great. Whatever it is, your signatures help define who you are and help to make you stand out in a crowd. However, they can also help add extra life to what could be an otherwise typical office outfit.
Never Fear Leather
Leather can have a bad reputation. People think bars, fashion magazines, and even outlaw bikers when they think of the material. Trying different textures at work could be trendsetting, and cause you to get noticed. Look into investing in a lovely real or vegan leather pencil skirt, and pair it with sweet pastels or florals. The combination is amazing.
Personalize by Accessorizing
Even if your work dress code is formal, it doesn’t need to be cut, dry, and stuffy. You can implement tidbits of your personality into your wardrobe with the accessories that you wear with your attire. Jewelry, scarves, hair accessories, socks, shoes, and even suspenders are all ways that you can bring your personality to your outfit. Just ensure it isn’t too distracting.
Once you’ve worked in a particular place for so long, it’s possible that you settle into a certain style and grow content with it. Switching things up by adding in some simple pops of color can change things drastically for you. You don’t need to set your closet on fire, but you can surely upgrade with some colors, textures, and accessories. The change in your workplace appearance could even change your motivation for work.