I think the big question for lots of people when they go into the real world is “What should I and shouldn’t I wear in the workplace?” That’s a difficult question, but it doesn’t have to be.
1st: define your industry
First, let’s consider what industry you will be working in first. If you are working in a bank, outfits should be business casual to business formal; those in the fashion/marketing industry may be able to wear shorts; those in a start-up or game developing company may wear casual attire.
Wait! “What is this casual, business casual, business formal lingo you speak of?” Let me explain.
2nd: casual vs. business casual vs. business formal
These are just terms to categorize what is appropriate in the office.
Here are some rule of thumbs:
casual = anything you would wear on a normal day (be it jeans, sweats, but it is the workplace so try to tone down a bit on the ‘bling bling’)
business casual = cardigans, skinny pants, at least one or two parts of your outfit should shout business (e.g. blazer+graphic tee+black skinny pants)
business formal = the WHOLE get-up (blazer, blouse/nice shirt, trousers)
The stereotype is that business formal is always dull and very uncomfortable, but there are ways to turn your business formal clothes into your OWN style.
Remember: you wear the clothes, the clothes do not wear you!
For business formal attire, even with the blazer, blouse, trousers, you can still choose prints and colours that reflect you but are still appropriate for the workplace. Let me give you some examples:
- This Zara floral graphic blazer is subtle yet looks similar to a kimono and adds colour to a white blazer:
- A military inspired double-button up navy blazer from ASOS for a different colour than black and cutting to flaunt your curves
- Try trousers in the season’s hottest colours, such as this Pastel Blue Striped Trousers from Zara
- Or some High Waisted black trousers from ASOS to make those legs look extra lean and long
I hope you have learned a bit about what to wear to work, now it’s time to get some inspiration from a few outfits I put together.
OUtfit #1: running to meetings
OUtfit #2: Seeing stripes
Outfit#3: All About the jacket
Don’t forget the simple jewelry! I tend to stick to studs for earrings, a simple rose gold ring and a chain bracelet or pendant necklace. Nothing to extravagant you can save that for the employee appreciation dinner or the Galas.