One of my most common requests from clients is to find them outfits to wear to work that don’t feel stuffy, plain, or boring. Professional style for women can feel both overwhelming and really limiting. Suits in traditional colors like black or navy, paired with a solid color button-down are not what my clients want to wear in order to feel excited about getting dressed. I’m here to show you that professional and boring don’t need to go together, and how opting for the “safer” options (i.e. previously stated plain suits and plain shirts) will actually end up holding you back.
The whole point of why I run my business (and why you’re reading this blog) is because of how style and self-expression are inevitably linked to your confidence and how you show up, excluding restricting uniforms for safety reasons like scrubs, lab coats, and work boots. If you have a dress code, but not a uniform, you can (and should) incorporate your personality to help you bring the best version of yourself to work.
Pro Tip #1: Minimal/Minimalist is different not the same as boring
No pressure to be a minimalist, but that can be a smart way to go for work wear, both so you can invest in quality pieces and focus on versatility versus statement looks for work.
-Opt for tonal neutrals – Apricot, olive green, and different hued grays are so fun to play with.
-Mix in textures
-Add a subtle trend – instead of a traditional blazer, try a cape!
Pro Tip #2: Do the unexpected with professional attire
We are yawning over a traditional neutral suit, so try something a little unexpected when it comes to your choices in colors, fabrics, or silhouettes.
Suits in bold, bright, or vibrant colors
–Bright Green Peplum Suit Jacket – comes in a suit
–Powder rose suit
–Multi stripe dress
Suits with modern interpretations of classic fabrics
–Rainbow Tweed – comes with matching shorts
–Geo print jacket – comes in a suit
–Faux leather shirt dress
–Arc Swirl Dress
Try modern silhouettes
–Jumpsuit with back cutout
Pro Tip #3: Don’t feel limited to a traditional suit (jacket and pants)
Feel into what you like when it comes to your professional attire. If pants and a jacket don’t feel like you, try something else like a jumpsuit with a blazer, a dress, or a skirt.
For my minimalists that like to have fun, you can also mix and match! Create a cool color blocked effect with your outfit – if your company/business is more conservative in their style, color block with neutrals. If not, go bold!
Pro Tips for styling the dreaded conference/event “unisex” t-shirt
(for when you can’t get out of looking like one of the team)
–Tuck into high waisted jeans or a fun patterned or bold colored pant
-Roll up and safety pin the sleeves to make the arms a little more flattering
-If the main design is on the front, pair with a pencil skirt and fun denim or leather jacket for a laid back conference look
-If there’s a significant part of the design on the back of the shirt, layer it over a midi dress and tie the hem into a knot for a unique t-shirt and skirt look. A dress like this one from Everlane is perfect, or go for a fun jumpsuit like this one that makes a smooth transition to happy hour.
Your professional style = professional development.
If you feel like you’re ready to seriously go through your work wardrobe make sure you check out my blog post on the questions to ask yourself while cleaning out your closet or download my handy flow chart to get you started.