If you’re a fashionable girl working in a buttoned-up, ultra conservative world, dressing professionally is an absolute must. Unfortunately, professional settings are not exactly friendly to the fashion forward. Luckily, you can maintain a level of style by working in fashionable elements through subtle accessories and chic silhouettes.
Business professional attire for women is very similar to what men are expected to wear: The Power Suit. No, this doesn’t mean you have to wear a boxy jacket, pinstripe pants and a tie… Instead, opt for a slim cut pantsuit, a skit and jacket combination, or a structured (and modest) dress.
While there are no rules in fashion, there are rules for fashion in the workplace. A few basic guidelines for business formal dressing include the following:
- Wear colors based on a neutral color palette (black, navy, cream, charcoal or grey). Unfortunately lime green and bright pink won’t cut it in the boardroom.
- Avoid gaudy accessories. Think simple, sleek and chic.
- All suits and skirts should be tailored to fit close to the body (but not tight). Skirts should hit at the knee or below. And blouses should be conservative, freshly pressed and always tucked in.
- Wear scuff-free heels or flats in a neutral color. If you go for the heels, don’t wear anything higher than 3 or 4 inches.
- Hair and makeup should be groomed, neat, and simple. I think the ballerina bun is the perfect hairstyle for any female powerhouse. It’s feminine, yet strikingly authoritative.
- Try cropped trousers paired with a sharp blazer. Perfection for achieving this updated look.
- Swap out your basic blazer for a lightly accented jacket or simply scrunch up your sleeves for a cooler and more modern vibe.
- Instead of wearing a matching two-piece suit, mix it up and wear a black blazer with a charcoal or burgundy pencil skirt or pant. As long as your colors are subdued, you should have the freedom to mix it up a bit. Traditionalists may argue that matching sets are a must, but let’s be honest here, there’s a new wave of professional women and times have changed. If you're really daring, throw in a few punchy colors here and there...
- Cinch your waist with a thin, colored belt. It’s an easy way to add a fashionable pop to an otherwise basic or drab office outfit. There are lovely assortment of skinny belts out there.
- Swap out your pencil skirt for a high-waisted A-line skirt, it is the perfect alternative to a traditional pencil skirt.