Do you work in an office? How formal or traditional is your dress code?
During college and graduate school, I worked as an assistant in a handful of offices, most of which were fairly casual. Nonetheless, I’ve always found that whatever the dress code, dressing nicely in a way that suits my style makes me feel work ready. Polish and poise only go so far, however. Even at work, it’s important to allow your unique taste to shine. I’ve rounded up a few basics that can be dressed up or dressed down–and more importantly, each piece may serve as a canvas to show off your personality.
For example, this simple black dress by sustainable vegan designer People Tree can be worn with your favorite statement necklace and brightly-colored tote. I can also see this dress being glammed up for post-work drink: just add strappy sandals and let down your hair!
This simple and versatile Jack Wills blazer could serve you in many professional settings. Pair with a fitted dress (like the one above) for a more traditional office ensemble. If your office is more casual, wear your blazer with a lace cami and dark skinny jeans for a sexy-yet-professional look. To personalize your blazer, drape a sheer scarf under the lapel or add a vintage brooch.
Don’t like heels but tired of ballet flats? Try a pair of man-chic oxfords. These oxfords by vegan brand NAE (no animal exploitation) would pair beautifully with tailored slacks–or, for a more eclectic look, wear them with a flowing skirt (what could be more comfortable?)
Pencil skirts don’t have to be stuffy. Finding one with a pretty pattern or in an unexpected color (like bright pink or chianti) will make your outfit anything but boring. Pencil skirts are flattering on almost any figure. To make the most of their elongating effect, pair with nude pumps.
Office fashion doesn’t stop with your clothing! One of my favorite ways to personalize my look is through nail color. Variations on a classic color keep your look modern. I’m particularly loving new neutrals–like this soft, dove grey L V X polish in “Cashmere.” Whatever color you paint your nails–or even if you don’t polish them at all–keep them neat (and not terribly long). The chicest nail polish does nothing for you look if it’s chipped and dull.
For most office settings, makeup should be kept simple. Ideally, you want your makeup to enhance your natural glow and beautiful features without stealing the show. It’s hard to go wrong with a matte, neutral eyeshadow palette like this one by Jane Iredale. For an extra soft look, skip the eyeliner pencil and use the brown or black shadow to line your eyes. Add mascara and you’re good to go!
Finally, no look is complete without a little color on your lips. Hydrating color sticks are perfect for the office. They tend to have a more sheer application than traditional lipsticks, so smudges are less noticeable. More than just a pretty hue, this Juice Beauty Conditioning Color Stick moisturizes lips with jojoba and sesame oil. It’s always lovely to know that you’re beautifying and treating your skin in one fell swoop!
What are your favorite office fashion staples?
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Photos: People Tree, Jack Wills, NAE, Anthropologie, L V X, Jane Iredale, Juice Beauty