If there’s one thing I really miss about working in an office (as well as the tea rounds and juicy politics), it’s workwear. An unavoidable excuse to don a voluntary ‘uniform’ of sharp tailoring, floaty skirts and a whole new category of shoes! Often underestimated, the power of workwear is not to be sniffed at. Adding contemporary pieces and stand-out items should be top of your agenda to kick arse in your career.
Professional and stylish, the office wardrobe can hold the secret to a whole host of future benefits – from promotions to pay rises, respect to recognition – breaking through the black jacket ceiling, could be your best move yet. Weirdly, it was my days working in a corporate environment in Mayfair that I really found my fashion feet and not the laid-back freedom of a magazine office. There was something about ‘suiting up’ and joining the sea of businessmen (and women) in the boardroom that challenged me to break the rules by adding an abstract print here and sky high hot pink heel there.
It taught me the power and the psychology that lies behind dressing for, not only the job you have, but also the job you want and the person you want to portray. For me, that position was a little out of my comfort zone so all of my outfits were super confident because most of the time I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing! But I felt so sure of myself and my ability purely because the well put-together ensembles that gave that impression.
It’s the age old saying of if you look good, you feel good and that couldn’t be more true of workwear. It’s an armour that we adopt which can instantly change our mood and stance. I’ve always had a very strong affiliation with my work wardrobe over the years – from rocking a pair of studded leopard print stilettos the day after I was handed trumped-up disciplinary papers (which were later thrown out!) to the most beautiful pastel pink tailored suit for my first board meeting presentation to 25 middle aged business men. It can bolster you up or put out a very clear signal that you mean business.
Breaking out of the neutral colours and stuffy silhouettes is no mean feat but with brands breaking the workwear mould, these are a few ways you can shake up the office wardrobe…
As we come into spring/summer, the minefield of staying cool yet appropriate comes with it it. A great midi or shirt dress is an ideal way to maximise your workwear potential, and the bonus is that they can easily be worn out of work too.
It’s a well known fact that women often don’t feel confident to wear a suit. Often seen as a must-have for those middle-aged business men I mentioned, I’m so glad it’s finally becoming more mainstream on the high street as suits are having a real moment right now. Not only does a beautiful suit have the ability to be mixed and matched as separates, it’s the perfect hassle-free outfit that’s both professional and highly stylish.
A well-cut blazer is a failsafe buy to add a chic addition to your workwear edit. But swap the trusty go-to’s for a striking print or a more subtle check for a more contemporary look. Whatsmore, this is an item that can easily be worked into your weekend wear as well.
Blacks, greys and navy’s is the workwear safe zone when it comes to daily dressing. Sure, it looks smart and non offensive, but there’s no rule on applying these same factors to a more adventurous colour way. Wearing head-to-toe in one hue or simply adding a stand-put piece to an otherwise neutral outfit can instantly m are your outfit more modern and stand-out. Blending in will never nab you that promotion – it’s time to start standing out.
If you’re not quite ready for an electric blue suit, adding fun and striking accessories to your workwear wardrobe is a fantastic way to start. Not only are they great conversation-starters in the lift or office kitchen, they’re a subtle way to inject some personality into your outfit.
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