It’s been a minute since we’ve had to think about our work attire. After two long years of working from the comfort of our couches – what is an appropriate work outfit anyway? As fashion trends continue to change in the blink of an eye, this question is becoming difficult to answer. Luckily, it’s one that a lot of us are asking at the moment.
Therefore, here is a quick cheat sheet for getting your professional fashion groove back – after all you are (partially) what you wear!
Show that you care
Determining what constitutes appropriate work attire has never been more difficult. For the past few years, a combination of sweatpants and a button-up were more than enough. However, this outfit won’t work once you’re back in the office. Even if the company has a laid-back approach to work outfits, dressing the part is still important – it shows that you care! Unlike Zoom meetings, you can’t just turn off your camera when all eyes are on you.
Rather, you’ll need to capture your colleagues’ attention by both what you say and what you wear – this means dressing the part. By taking your looks seriously, you’ll capture your peers’ attention before uttering even a single word. Thus, after you’ve figured out what you’re going to say, don’t forget to plan your outfit as well!
It’s not just about the outfit!
There’s a lot more to choosing an outfit than just putting pieces of fabric together. Sometimes even the most expensive or show-stopping outfit can fall short because of the person wearing it. Thus, although that new suit may be objectively amazing, it just won’t work with an ungroomed beard or visible bags under your eyes.
Therefore, along with taking care of your work outfit, don’t forget to take care of your physical appearance as well – it’s what ties the whole look together. Figure out what cosmetic products work best for you and start putting a morning routine in place. After a while, you’ll look and feel better, both in and out of the office!
Read the room
Dressing for success is by no means bad advice. However, there is such a thing as overdoing it. Thus, when choosing your work outfit, make sure to take in the environment around you – consider how your colleagues and superiors are dressed. After all, if your supervisor isn’t wearing a traditional pressed suit, chances are that neither should you.
While lawyers will need to keep it professional, outdoor workers will have a bit of wiggle room when it comes to choosing their outfits. Men’s workwear and protective gear should always come before the correct color pattern. Ultimately, high fashion isn’t going to save you from getting injured on location, but the right work wear just might!
The fortunate fit
It’s not uncommon to be mesmerized by an outfit only to find out that the store doesn’t have it in your size. In the fashion world, this is a tale as old as time and while the heartbreak of letting a stunning outfit go may be hard, it is no excuse for buying it in the wrong size. More often than not, people buy clothes that are either too big or too small for them.
Although these pieces may be beautiful, they won’t work for every person. Non-intentional oversized blazers will look strange while petite dresses will come across as unprofessional. While the right outfit is supposed to be beautiful, it also has to be comfortable – once you feel great, you’ll work well too!
Stay true to yourself
So far, these pieces of fashion advice have been applicable across the board. However, there’s no one formula to a fashionable work outfit – what works for one person may simply not work for another. The universal truth is that whatever the outfit, it needs to remain true to you.
Thus, even the most professional suit should hint at little pieces of your personality. Be it the color pattern, a piece of wildly colorful earrings, or unique cuffs – personality is what makes any look. So, the next time you’re on the hunt for a new work outfit, don’t hesitate to ask if it’s still true to you!
Over to you
Although you may have expected tectonic changes in work fashion, it appears that almost everything has remained the same. Thus, while color patterns may continue to change, the right fit, attitude, and uniqueness will never go out of style. With that in mind, it’s time to hit the shops!