I have been working for almost 8 years now and while I find the usual business casual dress policy a tad bit boring for my taste, I have had the privilege of being part of the consultancy world where the environment is more laid back and hence I get to personalize my attire in a way that it reflects me best – trendy yet comfortable. In this post I will be talking about work-wear do’s and don’ts while also sharing some of my recent office fashion looks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed putting them together.
How we dress at our workplace has a huge impact on the impression we make, and in turn on our career. It can be tricky to determine what is acceptable and what is not. Definitely read your company’s dress-to-work guide, to know more about what they expect from you. It is the best way to know what is acceptable at your work, and what is not.
My cousin just started working recently and while helping her shop for work clothes, the idea of writing this post came to me. Here I am mainly focusing on women’s office fashion and will be talking about men’s office fashion in another blog post, soon.
Dress to Impress: Why is it important?
Dressing well for work is very important. Not only is it nice to look good at work, how you dress is important in the way people perceive you at work. A polished, professional image leaves a lasting impact on your co-workers while making you feel great!
Tips for business formal dress code:
Do wear …
- Business suits are your best bet, if your office has a strict dress code
- Keep the length of the skirts just above the knee or below, not too short please
- Pants should be neatly pressed and nothing too tight
- Dressy blouses or button-down shirts work best, many companies do not allow sleeves blouses/tops so cover it up with a cardigan
- Dresses can either be worn alone, or with a suit jacket, blazer or cardigan
- Keep the shoes closed-toed, polished and scuff-free
- Accessorize with tasteful jewelry but do not overdo it
Don’t wear …
- Anything too short, too revealing, too tight or too sheer
- Blouses that are low-cut
- Open-toed sandals, flip-flops or overly casual shoes, or those with extremely high heels
Tips for business casual dress code:
Do wear …
- Casual pants including cropped pants or capris that hit around mid-calf
- Skirts and dresses in more casual styles in an appropriate length are acceptable
- Button-up shirts, blouses or sweaters work best
- Open-toed shoes, including dress sandals can work if your work environment is casual enough
Don’t wear …
- T-shirts!! Or tank tops!
- Keep the jeans only for casual Fridays
- Shorts of any kind – even longer styles that hit right at the knee
- Street wear or beach wear shoes, like flip-flops or sneakers
- Casual sundresses must be worn only with a light cardigan or jacket
Other Tips for Presenting the Best YOU!!
Do not let a dress code hinder your style! Adding color and patterns to your wardrobe is a fun and easy way to showcase your personality while still maintaining professionalism. Definitely invest in some wardrobe staples, like black pants, white shirt (wrinkle-free shirts in general), good black shoes, a reversible black/brown belt and a good neutral shade cardigan, these can help simplify things. A rule of thumb to follow is, no matter what you choose to wear at the office, your clothes should always be clean, pressed, stain-free and conservative. For those accidental spills or stains, keep a stain-stick handy at your desk. A trick that I always follow: if you doubt you will wear that with your parents or in-laws around, then do yourself a favor and do not wear it to work!
So without further ado, here are some of my recent office looks!
My favorite stores to shop for work wear are Loft and New York and Company. Mostly all my work tops, shrugs, cardigans and pants come from either of these 2 stores. In my opinion the outlets have just as good a collection as the stores in the malls. Shopping online at these stores is also made quite easy because they have a size chart which is pretty accurate and also offer free returns in store with no hassle guaranteed!
Another store that is climbing high on my list is Cato’s. They have a wide variety of locations all over the US, one can follow this link to shop their online collection or even find a store location close to you: https://www.catofashions.com
Going back to the collage, my palazzo pants are from Old Navy and Aeropostale, I wasn’t able to find them on the store’s website, but I am linking some similar options below:
I am totally crushing on many of these
My work shirts and tops are either from Loft or New York and Company and I have work shirts from Gap as well. Here is where you can find similar ones:
My work dresses are mostly from, you guessed it, New York and Company or Loft, but the one in the collage above is from Target and I am linking similar options below:
I am all for comfort and my shoes reflect the same. I hardly wear heels and flats are my choice almost 99% of the time. In the pix above I am wearing shoes from Payless, Tommy Hilfiger and Boots are from Aerosoles. Follow the links below to find similar items:
I like to accessorize with earrings, necklaces and scarves. They are from all over the place – Charming Charlie, Old Navy, AE, Aeropostale, Hallmark, Forever 21, Cato’s, Rue 21 among others. I pick them up from any place just depends on whether they are my style or not. Trust me when I say I absolutely love jewelry and scarves and have way too many! Haha!! I will be talking about these in another blog post, soon.
Hope you enjoyed my post. Do comment below and share your work wear dos and don’ts. Feel free to ask specific questions regarding any of my looks above and I can surely pass you more details, till then, stay stylish! Ciao!