It is disappointing to me when I hear young professionals say “I can’t be bothered to dress up nicely for work. It’s just too much effort”. Every time I hear this, I think, what about your first impression? What about your professional appearance? Don’t you want to seem classy, elegant and confident? Don’t you want to increase your chances of getting a raise or promoted? You don’t want to appear lazy, do you? Unfortunately, a lot of young professionals nowadays seem to think that dressing casual is alright in almost every setting. When in fact, that is not the case……especially in an office setting. Appearance is more important than you think. Whether we like it or not, we are judged on our appearance. Here are some simple tips to help you dress the part:
~ Switch from a solid blouse to a patterned one. It can transform the entire look and elevates your outfit to the next level.
~ Wear a pop of color. If you are wearing a black and grey outfit, you can add a red scarf to brighten up the look. Who does like a pop of color? It is not only fashionable, but it can make for a great conversation starter.
~ Make the effort to wear a heel. I know, but hear me out on this one. A high heel for the office does not necessarily imply that you are obligated to wear a pump. I suggest you wear is a kitten heel or heeled ankle boot. It just gives you a more polished look.
~ Add a sash or belt to cinch your waist. Sometimes, we women can feel insecure about our bodies. I totally get that. However, when you are feeling self conscious, you end up buying clothing that is very baggy and that do not flatter your figure the right way. For all of those loose dresses and long baggy blouses, I want you to add a sash or a belt. Remember, the waist is the smallest part of a woman’s body!! By adding a belt to your baggy clothes, you are accentuating your small waist and doing yourself a huge favor. Not to mention, adding a belt to a look provides versatility in your wardrobe and teaches you a new way of styling your clothing.
~ Replace your cardigan with a blazer. Although I do love a cardigan, cardigans in general do not tend to have their place at the office. They are normally overly slouchy and too relaxed for the corporate environment. Not to mention, certain cardigans can look outdated and unflattering. Stick to what works best: blazers. If you are into trendy pieces, then you could wear a long, fitted blazer. Just make sure your blazer is tailored properly at the waist, that the shoulders are not too large and that the sleeves are not too long.
~ Refresh your wardrobe. This is SO important!! Too often I see people wearing old, stretched out, faded clothing at the office. It is extremely unprofessional and does not show your coworkers that you take care of your appearance. I get that it is easy to let ourselves go when we get comfortable, but that does not mean it gives you leverage for wearing anything sloppy at the office. You never know who your boss could be or who you can end up wanting to work for. Be sure to always be dressed appropriately, as first impressions mean everything.
~ Get your clothing tailored. I say this all the time!! Wearing baggy clothing to work that does not fit you properly is not professional. If you lose weight and your pants are too loose, get them tailored. It is important to wear clothing that flatters your body seamlessly. Trust me, the extra tailoring cost is worth your while, as you will feel more comfortable wearing clothing that fits you right, than clothing that does not.
~ Wear one neutral item as your base. This is the simplest way to always look fashionable at the office. You should start with a neutral base that will act as your blank canvas for the rest of your outfit. For example, you can choose a neutral pair of navy blue trousers as your base. From there, you can build upon the look by adding a patterned blouse, a neutral blazer and a matching pair of heels. Finish off the look with a simple necklace, watch and bracelet. Lastly, do not forget to grab your structured bag before you rush out the door. Evidently, each outfit will be different.