“Is my shirt too casual? Is my dress too tight? Is my skirt too short?” Getting dressed in the moring can ruin your whole day. As I have mentioned in my previous post, over the past years I have found some personal guidelines that will definitely help you chosing the right office looks.
Prepare your outfits for the upcoming week.
I have to admit that I don’t follow this rule very often even though it makes life so much easier. Not only will you never wear the same clothes two days in a row, you’ll also save precious time in the morning. How about drinking your coffee on your terrace while reading the newspaper?
Apply the 3-color-rule.
When it comes to office looks, less is definitely more. A great rule of thumb is to choose up to 3 colors: Pick 1 base color (e.g. black, white, grey, beige or navy) and add max. two other complementing colors. Here’s a simple example for illustration: black pants & heels, blush pink shirt and a grey blazer.
Dress for the job you want – not for the one you have.
As an ambitious woman, you have to be smart and look ahead. I’m not saying that nice clothes alone will not make you managing partner at your law firm. All I’m saying is that a bad apperance might add some unnecessary obstacles to your carreer path. We don’t want that, right?
When in doubt, be overdressed.
If you are not sure if your jeans or your jumper is too casual, then it probably is. In that case, you can elevate your look with a sharp blazer, heels or a pencil skirt. However, if you’re having an important presentation or are still not sure about it, I’d advise you to go for something else.
Adapt your style to the industry you work in.
Whether you’re a lawyer or a marketeer at a PR company, office looks will vary by a great deal. In order to define what’s “appropriate”, observe what the bosses are wearing. You can also pick some colleagues (or fashion blogs) that you consider well-dressed. Use their styles for inspiration without copying them completely.
Invest in high-quality basics.
Especially if you are at the very beginning of your career, you should keep this rule in mind. Basics like a white shirt, a navy two-piece, black pumps and a beautiful silk scarf will never, ever get old. So instead of buying a cheap polyester blouse that will lose its shape after the first time you wash it, invest in a beautiful silk shirt that will last you for years. Cheap is expensive, believe me!
Only wear clothes that really fit.
The most exclusive desginer clothes won’t look good if they don’t fit. Avoid everything that’s too tight, too big or too short. Tight clothes easily make you look slutty while big clothes make you look messy. A simple rule of thumb: If you can’t move or breathe, it’s too small.
Always keep an emergency outfit at your office.
Frankly speaking, you won’t need it very often. I just want to save you some troubles when someone spills coffee all over you or your pants crack. Been there, not funny at all.
Skip casual friday.
If you’re wearing a two-piece suit from Monday until Thursday, it will look weird when you show up with ripped jeans and a sloppy t-shirt on Friday. If the gap is too big, chances are that it will not only confuse others but that it will also distort the sharp image you’ve created.
Last but not least, you have to feel comfortable and self-confident during your meetings, your presentations and your day-to-day business. If you are having second thoughts about your outfit, you will be easily distracted from what’s actually important – your work.
What do you wear for work? Do you have any other hints, you’d like to add? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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