Choosing an appropriate outfit for the office doesn’t have to be complicated. You only need to understand the rules, plan ahead, and have some fun with your look. With just a touch of practice and these four simple tips you’ll be turning heads and dressing to impress with ease.
1. The Dress Code
Putting together an appropriate outfit for the office begins with the dress code. The majority of offices will have one of three dress codes.
Business professional is the most formal and is generally reserved for executives and people who are at the front lines representing the company. Think dark colored suits and shirts with collars. A conservative dress is also appropriate.
Business casual is the style that is most common. Tailored suits are still popular here but prints, brighter colors and sleeveless dresses become acceptable. While it’s a more relaxed take on office attire, be careful not to go too far. Business casual may not include jeans depending on your office setting. So make sure you've read your office policy or talked to someone in the human resources department.
The third and most relaxed style is smart casual. If your place of business has this dress code you can wear jeans and sneakers to work. However you should always keep it professional. It should go without saying but you're not at work to hang out, so DON'T wear items like short shorts or tank tops that you might wear on the weekend with friends!
2. The Agenda
Regardless of the dress code, you should still consider what you will be doing that day and dress appropriately. Is there a meeting you will be attending? Are you scheduled to see clients? Will you be working with people that may follow a different dress code? If you have important events on the agenda, you might need to alter your attire.
When you need to make a good impression or fit in with people who dress more formally, consider dressing up your style. Put on an appropriate blazer, collared shirt or blouse, and pumps for an easy transition from casual to business professional.
You can also opt for a simple dress. Spice it up with a blazer, classy heels, and some tasteful jewelry for a feminine look that still demands respect. Pull out all the stops with a complete tailored suit and show them you mean business.
3. Extra Curricular Activities
Now that you have your work day figured out, take a look at your plans for the evening. If you’re heading out directly after work you will need an outfit that can make the transition from daytime diva to evening vixen.
If you want options, layers are your friend. Wear a cute top under a white collared shirt and a fun blazer on top accompanied by an over-sized purse with a pair of skinny jeans inside. After work, remove the collared shirt, swap out the pants, and you’re ready for drinks at the bar!
4. Your Style
The most important thing to keep in mind is when you look good you feel good. If you’re forcing yourself to wear clothes that you don’t like it’s going to show. Whatever the dress code, professional engagements, or plans for downtime, there is always a way to make it your own.
Incorporate your style to anything you wear and you’ll feel more confident and comfortable. Even a business professional suit gives you a bit of wiggle room to make it your own. The suit itself might be a non-negotiable but you can accessorize it and put your own touch on it by customizing the details to your taste.
What’s your favorite look for the office?