Starting out in the career world can require an entire overhaul of your closet. You suddenly have to reconsider everything you once knew about fashion and totally reevaluate your standards for daily dress. Fortunately, there are many ways to blend style and business, leaving a variety of outfit options for the trendy, professional woman. So if you’re not willing to sacrifice style as you dress for your new job, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Get a feel for your work environment.
Before investing in a new wardrobe, evaluate the level of professionalism exhibited in the dress of co-workers. Some places may allow dark jeans, for instance, while other offices prohibit denim entirely.
The same is true of vibrant patterns, colorful garments and more “fun” outfits. If you find that these are common in your workplace, feel free to explore some of those options — rather than sticking to slacks and blouses.
Leave your flip-flops at home.
Shoes can make or break your professional outfit. Flip-flop and thong sandals should be left at home, and you’ll have to gauge how your office feels about flats — some environments consider them too casual. Avoid neon, party-girl high heels, too. Generally speaking, shoes with a neutral color, closed-toeand small heel are your best bet.
Keep it simple.
Style doesn’t have to come by sacrificing simplicity. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to keep outfits and general appearance simple in the workplace.
This means put a cap on colors and patterns, jewelry, elaborate hairstyles, etc. There’s an art director in New York who wears the same white shirt and black pants every single day, for example. While you don’t have to be quite so simple, there’s value in keeping it basic. Not only will this leave you looking no nonsense and professional, but it will save you time in the mornings, too.
Tame your hair.
Failing to style, or at least tame, your hair will send a message that you’re messy and unprepared.
Make sure it’s cut nicely and styled in a way that’s no too extravagant but not untidy, either. Avoid pigtails, cornrows and vibrant, unnatural hair dyes. Keeping it down and natural, or pulled back in a single knot or ponytail are some safe, chic and easy ways to wear your hair as a career-woman.
Embrace the color black.
Black pieces are perfect for balancing the vibrancy of colorful garments. You could confidently pair a patterned skirt with a black top or a bright blouse with black pants, for example.
You can also put black pieces together, or go with a conservative black dress. Not to mention, black matches almost everything and is generally a safe bet as far as business attire is concerned.
Invest in a blazer.
Blazers can take a business-casual outfit and transform it into something interview-worthy. For a casual environment, they can dress up a nice outfit with jeans and show off your professionalism. Plus, blazers can be paired with almost anything, making them a perfect go-to piece.
Just because you have a career doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to be dull and boring. Follow these tips, and you’ll feel confident, stylish and professional when you head off to work.