Looking good on the job is priority one for many of us, and yet office dressing can feel like the Wild West of fashion—what can we get away with? What are we being too conservative about? Where are the official rules?!
Enter Stacy London, style expert and host of new show Love, Lust or Run (which premieres tonight at 9/8c on TLC). Here, she arms us with her tips to live by, lest your work wardrobe become an occupational hazard.
1. Cultivate an image.
"I'm tired of seeing women who put no effort into their outfit BECAUSE they are going to work. As if work doesn't require a deliberate style or image! No matter where you work, the way you dress makes a difference in the way you are perceived. Make no effort in your outfit and you risk the consequences of being perceived as lazy or disrespectful. Every day, at work or not, is a chance for you to craft the image of yourself exactly as you want to be treated. Remember that and take the time to really shine."
2. Dress based on your career, not on trends.
"The rules for office dressing don't necessarily change from year to year—they change from occupation to occupation. More conservative lines of work, like finance or law, really do demand a stricter dress code. Whereas a graphic design or architecture firm may allow, or even encourage, a creative style in the work place."
3. Nail down some confidence-boosting pieces.
"There are many factors that make clothes confidence-builders, such as a fit and colors that flatter—these pieces make you FEEL happier and are conversation starters. For some women, it may be a suit, well-fitted blazer, pencil or A-line skirt, and a silk blouse. I can't tell you what the one thing is for all women, but all women can find at least one that makes them feel most happy and confident."
4. Remember: This is 2015.
"I feel as if the term 'professional' dressing has certainly broadened over the years. One 'professional' style does not fit all. Matching hat, bag, and gloves are certainly not a must—or even a thought!—any more. Gone are the days of pantyhose as a uniform requirement. And gone are the days where woman felt they had to obliterate their femininity in an unflattering suit to work in a predominantly male environment."
5. Never show too much skin.
"I think crop tops, skin-baring V-necks, and micro-mini skirts/dresses are just inappropriate unless you work at a tanning salon or strip club."
6. Tailor your office clothes as much as possible.
"The one thing ALL work wear should have in common is great tailoring."
7. Incorporate touches of menswear into your look.
"The new menswear style for women is something I am particularly fond of. It's a softer mix between feminine and masculine silhouettes. Think a silk blouse paired with a mens style cropped or slouchy trouser and a flat shoe. Women aren't required to wear heels to feel powerful and stylish anymore. This said, a fitted masculine blazer with a pencil skirt and strong stiletto isn't any less of a wonderful option."
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