As you step out of your college life into your first job, you might find yourself wondering what to wear – the old jeans and tee combo will definitely not survive in the corporate world. As a professional stylist, I’ve encountered a number of girls going through the same situation, and yet over time watched them master the art of business wear with the best business attire trends!
So here are some of my best tips that’ll have you conquering the corporate jungle – one dress at a time.
Start with a Cleanse:
No not the diet. The closet. Your wardrobe may be impressive by the standards of your college days but it simply won’t do for your nine-to-fives. This may be just the opportunity for you to let your closet mature. Go ahead and pack up all your ‘sexy’ clothes. That includes tank tops, tube tops, low cut dresses, fishnets, and so on. Anything you can wear to a club should never make its way into your office. Your dress should support your work and not overpower it.
Clothes make the woman. Whether you’re working one-on-one with the clients, or simply doing paperwork, your daily wear comes right after your job performance. Certain clothes can help you look more efficient and organised than others.
Plain button-down shirts are a must have for a working woman. They are versatile and can be paired with a pantsuit, or skirt. Speaking of which, you should have at least one decent and well-tailored pencil skirt in your closet. If you want to change things up a bit you can try a flare skirt but a general rule of thumb is to try stay within the knee-length.
Straight cigarette pants are a stylish nod to the 60s era and combine confidence with style. Items like smart blazers, jackets and pantsuits are a must have for those office meetings where you need a little extra effort.
Try to have a collection of good-quality handbags that will add glam and will be functional in carrying your daily needs. Invest in good pumps, wedges and comfortable heels that won’t hinder you in your tasks. Women with desk jobs can afford to wear espadrilles and stilettos as well.
Understanding Office Dress Code:
There may be certain rules and regulations regarding the office dress code that should be looked into before you think about trying something ‘adventurous’. They can range from your skirt length to your accessories. Ignoring the rules can get you in some serious trouble with office HR.
Moreover, a good tip is to try to understand what clothes suit your job specifically. For instance, most customer service industries such as law, HR, insurance, and banking require more formal wear than creative fields like marketing, design, advertising, customer care, or sales.
Your fresh image may have landed you the job, but it’s highly doubtful that your CEO will promote a fun, young girl to a higher position. They’ll want someone whose very presence says power, responsibility, and who stands out amongst her peers.So go for stylish, tailored wear in subdued hues.
Darker colours imply dominance and ambition. Lighter shades in neutral tones can add a touch of maturity to your look. Pastels are a great way to keep your outfit professional and feminine.
As far as accessorising are concerned, understated and expensive jewellery piece – pearls, gold watches, simple necklaces – all add a touch of maturity to the look. Avoid jangly wear, or chunky items. Your outfit should not outshine your work.
Just because you’re dressing for work doesn’t mean you have to go through a rigid routine for it. With a handful of common sense, you can even define your own office style by mixing and matching different items to create new looks with the same clothes. Not only is it fun, but it also helps stay on your budget. Accessories like scarves and belts can revive old outfits and add the fun element to your attire.
Once you have the general idea, dressing for work will be something you look forward to and you’ll be climbing up the corporate ladder in no time. Good luck!