Learning what kind of attire is adequate for the office can be a bit tricky, especially for those who are new on the job. With more relaxed working environments come more casual outfit choices, yet while you have more options, forgoing certain wardrobe boundaries can eventually influence your attempts at making a positive first impression at work.
Old office staples include pant/skirt suits, monochromatic ensembles, black and white combinations, crisp shirts, closed-toed shoes with medium to high (not sky-high) heels, pantyhose etc. Such wardrobe items continue to be favorites of many as they’re perceived as the embodiment of professional attire. Taking your office ensembles to the next level is oftentimes allowed, even encouraged in working environments where dressing tastefully and on trend is not a behavior that clashes with the company’s code of conduct.
If you’re just starting out in a new working environment, don’t wear anything too bold, too bright, or too short (ultra-sexy is a big no-no regardless of how relaxed your wardrobe boundaries may be). You can wear high heels, but save the stilettos for other occasions as you need heel types you can walk in without wobbling down the hallways. Working a full-time schedule is painful enough without you having to subject your feet to sheer high heel agony.
You should buy basic pieces that look neat and conservative enough to satisfy even the pickiest of superiors, and then mix them up with more ‘friendly’ pieces that would fulfill your hunger for great fashion. But until you learn to blend in with the rest of the crowd, simply survey your environment and learn from what your co-workers are wearing. Take note of what the most successful peers are donning, and try to incorporate what you see into your own style.
As far as colors are concerned, grey, black or navy will always be popular, yet there are numerous other shades that can also look polished and serious-minded. Go for dark greens and blues, or pick light, powdery shades to assort them to conservative, neutral colors.
Oxblood red is the number one color this season, so you may want to pair that with greys and blacks for a professional, yet fashionable look. Navy is also really popular, and opting for a fitted dress in a great length can be a sexy and adequate look. Really bright hues aren’t office-friendly and can make others perceive you like you’re trying too hard to impress, so avoid neon hues and any other shade that hurt the eyes such as hot pink.
Working in a casual environment means you can embrace your fashion-loving side as long as you know how to edit your wardrobe to maintain a sense of conservativeness. Steer clear from statement-outfits (yet embrace bolder accessories), lingerie-inspired attire and gym-like looks. You can also sport a bit of cleavage, or wear skirts and dresses with hemlines above the knees, but maintain decency in mind whilst planning your outfit. Never show too much skin at work if you ever want to be taken seriously (or keep your job for that matter).
For The Office