Recently when I asked readers about their most burning style challenge, here’s what one fab lady had to say,
“I struggle with finding appropriate clothes for work. I have lots of clothes and not very many I like or wear. I feel like I should look professional since I am advising people on their finances but my preference is for casual clothes. I wear the same old black or gray pants with a few rotating tops.”
The thing that was evident is that she feels like work clothes have to be boring. Let’s admit it, casual clothes are usually both comfy and fun…not always what comes to mind in terms of professional dress.
The second thing that stuck out to me about her answer was “same old black or grey pants.” I have a feeling from her answer that these pants may be lifeless, and perhaps they’re not all that comfortable or may be ill fitting.
I have good news! It’s completely possible to dress professionally and still look fun, stylish, and attractive!
YOU CAN BE OFFICE APPROPRIATE AND STILL SHOW YOUR TRUE PERSONALITY!
So yes, you could go out and completely revamp your work wardrobe, but instead I’m going to have you re-think your pants, tops, jackets and accessories. You may find you only need to make a few tweaks to feel fab every day!
How to dress professionally and still look fun and stylish
Re-think Your Pants
If you think your only option for office worth pants is a traditional trouser in grey or black, you’ll be happy to know that nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, for an interview suit or investment suit, trousers may be your best bet.
But for everyday office attire, you have so many choices:
- Slim leg pants, full length, ankle length or cropped
- Cropped flares
- Wide legged trousers
- Cropped, wide legged pants (a.k.a. culottes)
Even adding one new style pant to your closet can perk up your style and wardrobe.
Neutral colors will give you the most mileage, but neutral can mean navy, olive, cream, beige or white.
If you work in a creative field or have a casual dress code, feel free to splurge on a colorful pant!
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Re-think Your Tops
It seems that the general consensus is that boring button downs are most professional. Not so!
Boring blouses that are neither comfortable nor stylish aren’t professional at all! When you don’t feel fabulous in your clothes your confidence suffers…not what you want when you are working towards being a chic professional!
If you wear jackets to work, you have tons of leeway for the tops or blouses you wear underneath. Go ahead; wear a beautiful silky camisole or halter-top! (Um, this is only if you aren’t taking your jacket off.)
Or for a bit more business casual vibe, choose a fine gauge, fun colored t-shirt for under your jackets. Take care that the necklines are dressy enough to be work wear.
Your choices are virtually unlimited for tops when you’re topping them with chic but basic jackets and blazers.
Re-think Your Jackets
A black or navy fitted blazer is a must have in virtually every work wardrobe, but unless if fits perfectly and you love it, it’s worthless.
If your neutral jacket is less than perfect for you, that’s a place to start.
You’ve already got a basic blazer? Then it’s time to branch out. Try a jacket in a fun color or one with interesting details. This just may become your favorite wardrobe piece of all time! (Seriously, you’ll be amazed at all of the compliments you get!)
Psst! You can wear this fab blazer with jeans for casual Friday or lunch out with your pals! The jacket shown above has the option of zipping in a variety of dickies, including a fleece hoodie, and you get a chic, streetwear look to wear on weekends.
Work in a more conservative office where a bright color won’t fly? No problem! Simply seek out one or two jackets in a different fabric, pattern or cut than your usual picks. You’ll feel fresher in an instant!
Last but not least, don’t forget about your accessories. Jewelry, scarves, handbags and shoes are a super quick and affordable way to transform your wardrobe!
As I mentioned earlier, whether you need to do a wardrobe overhaul or simply switch up a few pieces, follow today’s guidelines, and you’ll find you really can dress professionally and still look fun and stylish!