Coming from a medical device company to the marketing department of a fashion retail company was one of the easiest decisions I ever had to make – but trying to dress for my new position was anything but. As I had previously spent my work week wearing combinations that almost always featured black dress pants and a neutral colored top, getting dressed for the first day of my new work was daunting. It was like trying to get dressed for the first day of a new school year, without even having the chance to go back-to-school shopping.
But the idea that you have to work in fashion in order to inject some of yourself into your work wardrobe is largely a misconception, save for within a few industries – there was no reason for me to have only owned black pants. During the last few years, we’ve seen trends shift in a largely more tailored direction, which means you may already own much that could be worn to work, and your work wear may be good enough to wear on the weekend, too. Hot items for the last few seasons have been work-friendly, such as trouser pants, midi skirts, suits, button-up blouses, and loafers, and in addition, classics such as blazers and pencil skirts will never go out of style.
The basic idea is to play on these work pieces and insert your personality via interesting colors, prints, textures, cuts, materials, and detailing. It’s definitely okay to make a statement – but don’t go all Susie Bubble on your staff. If you’re unsure of yourself or situation, simply one statement piece. With this rule of thumb, I think you’d be surprised at how much of your personal style you can bring into the office.
If you’re into skirts, consider:
-Pleather midi skirts
If you prefer pants, consider:
-High waist pants
For tops, consider:
-Peter Pan collars
-Statement or novelty prints
-Rolled up or scrunched sleeves
And don’t forget to accessorize!
-Bright bags or shoes
-Statement making jewelry
The most important thing to consider when trying to dress up your work day looks is your work environment. In my current position, I come into the office wearing Halloween spiderweb tights, and while I’m certainly the only person in the office who has tried that, no one flinched, whereas in my last job wearing heels as a 5’10" woman was cause for office alarm. Every office is different. Know your boundaries…and then run with what you can.