Updated: Aug 23, 2021
With most of us back at work after working from home for almost the whole of 2020, it‘s a good time to consider your workwear style.
Have you recently changed job/position or are you re-entering the workforce after having babies and feel overwhelmed with the question of what to wear to work? Do you ever feel what you wear to work no longer reflects your identity? Has your body shape changed so that what you wear no longer fits?
Workwear style is a form of personal expression through the choices of clothing and accessories we make while putting a work outfit together. Style does not always mean following fashion trends, but it can mean introducing on-trend touches to your own personal style.
A lot of women struggle with the sense of style when at work. I'm going to give you some styling tips to help you find your own personal style so you will be looking right on point and feeling fabulous!
Dresses are not only stylish but practical for work attire, but there are some guidelines you need to consider. Personally, I prefer dresses to a skirt and top combination, since you don't have to worry about tucking in or becoming untucked. Fitted sheath dresses are best for the corporate world, but make sure the fabric has a significant amount of elastane, for comfort and stretch. I love dresses made out of Milano Knit. This fabric is luxurious and stretchy, yet firm enough to hold in all the right places.
A good undergarment is imperative when wearing a dress to work. ‘Shape wear’ body suits are excellent because they smooth out any lumps and bumps and eliminate visible panty lines. Wrap dresses and shirt dresses are another great option to wear to work. And if you are looking to "casualise" a dress (maybe for casual Friday) consider pairing a midi or A-line dress with some white sneakers, for a comfortable on-trend look, or styling a dress over slimline pants.....
Jumpsuits have been popular the last few years and can add edge and sophistication to your work outfit. Layered under a jacket, jumpsuits can effortlessly take you from your work day to after work drinks. I recommend choosing solid colours, but if you are a print-lover, choose small patterns instead of large florals.
Polka dots (provided they are small dots!) can also be appropriate for work situations.
These are key items in your working wardrobe, since most offices tend to be on the cool side, a jacket is a welcomed layer. Blazers and Jackets can take you from zero to hero in an instant. They also increase the professionalism of an outfit, and will add authority to your look. Always remember a good fitting blazer will not only give you that professional look, but will also enhance your silhouette. An open jacket, creates a vertical line down the centre and if you are vertically challenged, elongates your frame.
Try wearing a head to toe monochromatic outfit to work. The trick to styling a monochromatic outfit, is to bring in different shades and textures of the same colour together. Wearing one colour head to toe, lengthens your silhouette and makes you appear taller.
Play with Prints
One way to play with prints is to add just a ‘touch of print’ by pairing your pattern with a solid colour, e.g. wearing a printed top under a jacket. Or you can go all out with a ‘print-clash’! This means styling two different prints together. When print-clashing, remember to choose prints that have a colour in common and make sure you mix bolder prints with a more muted pattern.
Add a Pop of Colour
If prints and patterns are not your thing, consider adding a pop of colour to your work attire. Work attire should not always draw you to black, white or grey. Incorporating colours into your work outfit will elevate your work attire and depending on the colour you choose, can also affect your mood.
Split your Suits
Who ever said you have to wear a complete suit to work?
Wear the blazer with a pair of jeans (dark blue or black) or a pair of jogger-style pants.
Try wearing a t-shirt under a blazer instead of a shirt.
Mix and match your suits, so that you wear the pants of one suit, with the jacket of another suit.
Accessorising an outfit is the icing on the cake to any ensemble. Adding a statement necklace or scarf can elevate your workwear outfit to another level. Scarves add sophistication and interest, while still keeping the look professional. A statement necklace can add some interest to your outfit and show off your own style and confidence.
Your work bag needs to be professional, functional and chic. Nowdays, workbags need to carry laptops, wallets, lunches and all other essentials! Investing in a ‘tote’ or ‘structured bag’ will not only add a professional touch to your work look, it will be fashionable for many years to come.
When choosing shoes for work, comfort is a must! If you are a fan of heels, consider block heels, wedges or shoes with a platform for support and comfort. And if you are on your feet a lot, you can't go past ballet flats, loafers or rounded top brogues for a masculine touch. Colours of choice are usually black or grey, but also consider a nude pair to extend the look of your leg, making your legs appear longer.
Hope you have found these styling tips helpful and motivational. After a year of lounge wear and comfy t-shirts, you can head to work, confident that your style game is right on point!