Business attire can be a confusing topic for women. Men can settle on a business suit or slacks and a shirt—and call it a day. But for us ladies, our definition can be much more broad. We, thankfully, have an abundance of choices which in my opinion, allows us to inject our personality into the outfit.
The first thing is to determine how casual or formal your office dress attire should be. I suggest taking some cues from the overall office environment. If you have been at your job for quite a while, then you probably already have a sense of how dressy or casual you should dress. If you are at a new job, pay attention to other employees and their attire.
For the casual office setting:
I’m a firm believer that you dress for the job you want, not necessarily the job you have. Dressing down, being too comfy or casual is typically a mistake. Showing your boss, your co-workers, and the clients you serve that you take pride in how you present yourself can go a very long way to reflecting your dedication and commitment to your career. Now does that mean that you should overdress the part? No. But a hint of finesse is key.
Pants and a blouse are the perfect solution for that relaxed office setting. If others are WAY casual like in tennis shoes or flip flops—choose a pair of nice flats instead. You are not headed to the beach or the gym, so class it up just a hint! Another great way to keep it simple but add a touch of style and class is with some well-chosen accessories. Think of it as décor in a home. Your favorite room may be casual and relaxing, but a vase of fresh flowers or candles always adds a special touch, right?!
In the winter, I love wearing flat boots. They look so stylish, kind of edgy, yet they are easy on the feet, and at least for me, they are ALWAYS a confidence booster because they make you feel a bit tough—like you could conquer anything!
Slightly formal office setting:
If your office environment tends to be a bit more formal, perhaps more corporate, you may want to step up the attire a bit. One of my absolute favorite looks is a women’s pantsuit. But I’m not talking about a conservative traditional suit. I think those look too overly mature, bordering on boring. If you want to go the suit route make it trendy or has flair. For example, a capri length, tailored leg fitting suit says I may be serious, but my personality is vibrant and fun. Or choose a suit that has an unusual cut or design.
I think that skirt suits tend to be too dressy and formal, unless you are an attorney or on a serious corporate track. I tend to steer clear of those.
Let’s talk dresses. I love a good, well-fitted dress, or a stylish pencil skirt. They speaks volumes about confidence and femininity. Typically solid colors or color-block patterns are flattering and reflect professionalism. The dress or skirt length is critical. Make sure to steer clear of short mini lengths that are much more suited for the club than the boardroom. Save those for your fun date nights or a night out with the gals.
A great dress or skirt length is just above the knee. If it is slightly shorter than that, then pair it with flat pair of boots or booties which makes a stylish statement without being too seductive. If you go for the midi length, then heels are great! As for the heels, stick to those not too high (ie. 2 ½-3 ½” heels) are best. They make your legs look spectacular, but don’t scream sexy. They just hint at it. And, definitely stay away from platform heels unless you are wearing pants. The platform heel has a tendency to seem stripper-like so that is usually a bad choice. In most settings, closed toe shoes are a safer bet. Although I will confess that in the summer, I love to wear beautiful sandals. Just make sure the pedicure is on point!
There is one thing that I always try to do with my outfits. I ALWAYS add a flair of my personality to it, and you should too! Whether it’s a fun piece of jewelry, a statement necklace, a scarf, or a handbag. Don’t hide your personal style. When the outfit feels like you, it will instantly make you feel more comfortable and confident. It will feel like you are wearing the outfit, not the other way around. Never wear something that feels like someone else’s style rather than your own. Remember YOU BE YOU ladies!
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I thought I’d share one of my favorite fall fashion looks with you!
Let me know which outfit ideas are your faves and if you want some direct shopping links so that you can step out in stellar style!
Remember to stay fashionable and dress to impress my lady bosses!