What Work Wear Should I Go For??
Nicole Molders from High Latitude Style takes the guess work out of work wear in her book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Let me start though by saying that it seriously applied to all ages, not just middle aged women. The book discusses how you should dress for all life events, I focused on work wear as I find it’s often confusing as to what we can and cannot wear at work.
For a job interviews, alternatives to suits that may convey mixed messaging depending on the industry you are interviewing are. Look more modern and on trend with:
- Shift dress with short or long sleeves
- Blazer, blouse or button down dress shirt and pencil skirt
- Blazer, blouse or button down dress shirt and straight or wide leg pants
Keep it in neutral colours.
Pair them with closed toe pumps to be on safe side if you work in a conservative field. Keep away from anything too pointy or too high.
If you are in a creative field, you can permit yourself to be a little less formal and more colourful.
Ensure you follow any dress code there may be. Also, look around you, what are your colleagues dressing in? This should give you a cue. What can you take and adapt to your style?
For your first day, go with your interview outfit but dress it slightly down. What does that mean? You can take off the blazer for example.
Introduce your style into your work wear with a coloured or printed top, a scarf or statement necklace.
Try these as options:
- Coloured blazer with crew neck top and skirt
- Sheath dress with cardigan
- Straight leg pants with a colourful top
Most office allow jeans on casual Fridays. That doesn’t mean grab your ripped jeans and pair them with fishnet stockings and a cropped top. Trust me, while I’d love to as fashionable as I can at work, there are some thing you just have to stay away from. It’s not the place for it. While you are well intentioned, others may have a different perception of you. Word travels, and the next time you want that promotion, well guess what?? You ain’t gettin it!
So take something that fits the work wear definition and scale it a bit down:
Social Office Functions
Depending on the type of office you work in, party and time of the year, you’d have the adjust the outfit accordingly.
- Festive office party: go with an LBD and accessorize with bold holiday jewellery
- Corporate office party: keep it neutral such as a grey or black pleated skirt with a colourful blazer or cardigan
These types of events call for business work wear or business casual depending on the field. Here’s what you can do:
- business work wear, try a 2 piece suit
- business casual look, go for a tweed skirt, a blazer, and silk top
Galas are a fun time to put on a full length gown if it’s a formal event or a cocktail dress for a semi-formal night. Try something like this:
Your company may have some company BBQs, picnics or employee appreciation outings where you can go for a business casual look. Something like this works well:
Before you go anywhere and no matter who you work for, make sure you check the weather for your destination. Depending on the season, pick your fabrics accordingly. the structure though should be based around this:
Conferences & Seminars
For these offsite events, opt for business casual. Avoid large jewellery and busy prints that steal the sunshine away from the presenters…lol…
Pants tend to be more comfortable in such settings:
The Gist of it
Whether you are dressing for the interview or casual Fridays, knowing what to wear to the office or work functions is very important. After all, they don’t say “Dress the part” or “Dress up for the job you want not the job you’re in” for nothing. It’s just as important to take note of what you wear to work daily to ensure a successful career.
You represent yourself when you enter those doors, make sure the impression is a positive and lasting one. Follow Nicole’s advice to be on your merry way to dressing for success.
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This is Grace
Grace from Color & Grace. Based in Troy, Michigan, Grace is a 42 year-old petite woman who loves colours. Born and raised in China, she moved to America for love in 2007. Her day job – teacher. Her dream job – fashion blogger. Make sure to go and check out her blog and leave her a comment on her awesome outfit.
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