For some of us, professional dress codes and even uniforms make sense. For practical reasons wearing whatever you want to work doesn’t always work. Not all of us are lucky enough to be in the HR department of a fashion forward magazines and get to wear whatever is ‘on trend’.
Im very lucky in that the area I work in, education, allows the dress code to be a little more relaxed, but at the same time I can still dress up and wear my killer stilettos if I want. However, I am limited to things that a) don’t show off too much skin and aren’t suggestive and b) allow me to do my job. Seems simple enough right? Wrong. let me tell you my top tips for navigating the professional wardrobe minefield.
First things first. Watch other people in your workplace. Do the men wear suits and ties? If yes then women should dress to the same standard. No? Ok, don’t panic we can narrow this down further. Do the men wear a collared shirt? Yes. Ok great, think casual elegance; crisp pants, shirts and dresses. Classic lines and colours. For the first little while, stick to your basic colours; black whites and neutrals. Try wedges or sandals.
One of the easiest ways to figure out an ambiguous dress code is to watch the other women in your work place. Then you need to decide that if they are dressing casually is it through laziness and a lack of inspiration or is it simply a casual workplace.
Often you see men and women who become ‘stuck’ they have their go to outfits and parade them once a week in the same cycle. Don’t be like them. Simple changes to an outfit can make it look totally different – don’t tell anyone but for the first 5 weeks of the working year of 2016 I have not doubled up on a single outfit. I kid you not. And no I do not have a crazy bank account, nor do I have endless patience with online shopping. Instead I make sure I have pieces in my wardrobe that I can mix and match every. single. time. The look results in the impression that I have a different outfit for everyday of the week. Enough about that though – read more about becoming a chameleon later.
Back to the dress code.
If you’re just starting out then don’t stand out too much. You want to make a name for yourself by being always elegantly dressed. However you don’t necessarily want to be the out there, fashion forward trend setter in the workplace – often this back fires. If you dress just a few notches above every one else without succumbing to the OTT syndrome, every single day without fail them people will start to recoginse this and they will admire it.
Lets say that you have to wear certain things to work everyday. How do you work around this? Try the Little things in life. Try some earrings or necklaces. How’s your bracelet collection going? Does it need to be updated? What about shoes? Can you try new colours?
There are so many things you can do to update your work wardrobe and I’ll be posting more about this soon lovelies.
In the meantime don’t forget to check out 925 Wear’s Instagram for some inspiration!