Last week as I was getting ready for work my husband peered at me, frowned suspiciously and said that I looked like I was wearing pajamas. I dismissed this as I usually do when he doesn’t understand my outfit. Truth be told when my husband is confused by what I have on I generally consider the ensemble a success. But I could see where he was coming from; my silky, slouchy ASOS joggers and Equipment button down blouse did have a decidedly pajama-esque vibe. What saved the look from being in-the-house-appropriate-only was the fact that the joggers were slouchy but not sloppy and the blouse was beautifully draped but not messy. Factor in killer leopard print d’orsay pumps, carefully chosen delicate accessories and a great bag and we now have an outfit that is office appropriate yet stylish.
This can be a hard balance to attain, especially if you work in a corporate environment. You may be tempted to resort to the “power suit” or something else equally as sad and dated. I’m here to assure you, my fellow lovers of fashion, that looking both professional and fabulous as the same time is an achievable goal. A few key principles to keep in mind:
1. A blazer makes everything okay
As I attested when I made the Case for the Black Blazer, adding a blazer to an outfit adds instant polish. Next casual Friday add a well-tailored jacket to your denim and sneakers and tell me if I’m wrong. I dare you.
2. Keep fit in mind
My aforementioned pajama outfit did not look like actual pajamas because I made sure that the fit was right. Slouchy is cool. Frumpy is most definitely not.
3. Have fun with details
While mad 3D nail art will probably get you noticed at work it might not be in the way you want. Instead show some personality with muted but fun colors. Personalized jewelry, a chic broche or a cool hair piece can elevate an otherwise blah look and remind people what a sartorial bad ass you are.
A great printed pencil skirt, blouse or shoe is another great way to showcase you personality and dope sense of style. Unless your job has a more creative dress code, stick to one print at a time. Or break up the prints by wearing a striped top and leopard shoes with a solid bottom in between.
Obviously, right? I’ve always been of the opinion that the shoe makes or breaks an outfit. What’s more tragic than an otherwise good outfit absolutely ruined with a bad shoe? Okay, lots of things are more tragic than that but still…keep your shoe game on point. This doesn’t necessarily mean stilettos every day, there are a ton of on trend flats happening right now. But please, for the love of all that is holy, leave the Uggs and Crocs at home. Or better yet, at the store.
There’s no need to suppress your femininity or your sense of style in any work environment. My own office is fairly corporatey and I hold a manager level position so I’m mindful about what I wear every day. Putting together outfits that won’t make HR send me disapproving emails while expressing my personal stylistic point of view on the daily is a fun challenge and allows me to flex my creative muscles. So don’t be afraid to be fly at work. Get yourself noticed because you look amazing and confident and then wow them with your brilliance. Go on and shine.