When it comes to choosing the right work clothes, it’s possible to put together outfits that are fashion-forward yet professional. Your work wardrobe should be an extension of your style and uphold your company’s image along with yours.
Fortunately, fashionable workwear appropriate for the office is easier than ever to find. Corporate clothing brands are diversifying their looks to include garments that cater to individuality. These strike a perfect balance between dress codes and self-expression.
Here’s how to stay fashionable and professional with work clothing.
Every fashionable workwear wardrobe begins by stocking up with essential staples. These classic items build the foundation of your style and can be paired with anything.
Choosing the right workwear essentials allows you to invest in long-lasting and well-tailored clothing so you’ll never run out of outfits to wear.
Capsule work clothing consists of a button-down collared shirt, a tailored blouse, straight-leg dress pants, and a fitted blazer.
For seasonal looks, women can include a knee-length pencil skirt and corporate shift dresses for spring and summer. Meanwhile, men can opt for an overcoat jacket.
Aim for dark or neutral colors in minimalist beige and pastel to make these items flexible for various palettes.
What you carry to work can also reflect your style while staying within your professional standards. In this light, the work bag should be functional and suit your daily usage needs while still adding to your look.
Messengers and tote bags provide more room to store larger items such as laptops, tablets, and books. The hand strap provides greater comfort and complements a modern minimalist work outfit.
Meanwhile, a sturdy briefcase works well to keep documents and light items organized, while the handle makes it easy to grab and go. It’s the traditional option to flatter a dressed-up formal business suit reminiscent of men’s classic corporate chic.
Since material matters in fashion, Von Baer recommend choosing full grain leather accessories to go with your work outfit, in order to establish a suave Italian style in your dress.
Workwear accessories allow you to make a statement about your style and showcase your personality.
The items should consist of single pieces that match your ensemble. Just don’t overpower it with too many trinkets at once.
Women can keep it simple yet elegant with minimalist gold jewelry or a chunky necklace as a statement piece.
For men, consider a stainless-steel watch with silver cufflinks, as BuffaloChristian.com suggests, looking out for gift-inspired additions that fit into a professional setting. A toned-down version is a brown leather braided bracelet to pair with a leather strap watch peeking out of a sleeve.
Another smart accessory to have is a patterned or printed tie. This can be striped or dotted with small patterns, including a minimalist paisley print.
Embrace Color Smartly
While corporate executives and office employees might shy away from wearing color, it’s one of the easiest ways to inject fashion and personal style into work clothes.
You can add a pop of color to a traditionally black or minimalist outfit or choose clothes in tones that still project a professional image.
Some of the most popular ways to approach color are with accessories. Try wearing a vibrant statement necklace or belt.
Shoes are another favored way to incorporate color beyond the usual black, brown, and beige. Modern-day leather is dyed burgundy or a deep green for some playfulness.
If you experiment with a full outfit, start safe with a monochrome scheme or colors in a singular hue, such as a powder blue suit paired with neutral-toned shoes.
Blend In With Your Environment
Whether your workplace has a formal dress code or not, it’s always helpful as a team member to observe what your coworkers wear and try to blend in. This way, you help cultivate a unified work culture.
Furthermore, it can give you a better idea of incorporating your fashionable style by determining what can be changed and what should stay the same. From there, you can deconstruct your work suit by swapping out a common item for your taste.
In this scheme, women can wear a tie-neck silk blouse over a buttoned-down white shirt or a pleated A-line skirt over the traditional pencil. Likewise, men can choose striped shirts or printed plaid blazers.
Do Business Casual The Right Way
Business casual can be tricky to master because the clothes must be relaxed and formal at the same time.
Mixing business attire with more easygoing garment pieces is the key to nailing this casual, fashionable, yet professional look.
For example, opt for a trench coat or buttonless jacket instead of a structured blazer. Golf shirts, fitted turtlenecks, and short sleeve blouses are fashionable alternatives to a white button-down shirt.
Remember that your work environment will primarily set the tone for what’s suitable as business casual. If any part of your attire looks out of place, you can dress it up in one of your workwear wardrobe essentials.
Keep It Comfortable
Work fashion is all about wearing practical clothes that promote productivity while allowing a company to build a professional image. Wearing layers, soft textured fabrics, and work clothing tailored to your body proportions can go a long way to establishing a comfortable style.
Stretchy cigarette pants can replace formal cotton trousers, while cardigan blazers give your body more movement than a fitted jacket. These can be layered with knitted scarves or a cable-knit sweater over your collared shirt.
The Perfect Shoes
The best work shoes strike the perfect balance between style and function. They should complete your work clothes while providing all-day comfort for work.
Men’s quintessential laced-up leather brogue shoes are the ultimate pairings for a corporate dress suit. While conventional colors would choose black or brown, you can add a personal style with navy, tan, and deep burgundy.
Women’s loafers and formal pumps are the best choices to complement office-wear pantsuits. Court and block heels create a timeless feminine corporate look for skirt outfits.
If you must wear dress sneakers when you’re mostly on your feet, consider the single-toned variety in dark colors or the thin lining of a white outsole.
Work In Style
It’s relatively easy to stay fashionable and professional. This can be done by using essential staples and building your outfits with accents of color, subtle accessories, functional bags, and classic shoes.
Then, use context clues from your work environment to inform your decisions on what’s acceptable.
It all comes down to knowing how to tweak an outfit but still fit in. Don’t hesitate to get some inspiration for such looks today.