People who aren’t in the business of Fashion tend to think “what has my style got to do with it” The answer unfortunately is- A WHOLE LOT! In whatever career spheres we find ourselves, we must start to think of ourselves as brands and our first impression is our style. Don’t let Mark Zuckerberg’s grey shirts fool you, your style is your presentation. Dressing for success has a lot of influence on our confidence, our career and how we are perceived. Here are a few tips to successfully styling our work outfits.
Consider you career path:
You might be in the corporate sector with austere dress codes and very little room for creativity and really all the choices have been made for you, or a creative with no boundaries to style. The point is that your presentation and consistency in your style speaks volumes for your brand.
Style tip: Consistency doesn’t necessarily mean the same style of clothes every day. Stay consistently on point. Throw in surprise elements- think coloured socks, brooches or neck scarves to give your look some personality, but remember- stay consistently “on point”.
Lead by example:
You might be a team lead or a manager, or really, just another employee, but your attitude towards your appearance can send the wrong signals to subordinates and colleagues around you. As a leader, taking your style seriously and showing up sharp passes on the message of what is expected of others, without asking for it you gain respect among your colleagues and your brand oozes a professional no-nonsense persona.
Style tip: Colours are fun but when at work, play easy- tailored pieces in different colours still look professional, but incorporate accents that tone down your look- black pumps, neutral suitcase, white shirts… keep it clean, well ironed and well tailored.
Preparing your look ahead of time gives you a headstart:
Have you ever planned an outfit that you know looks bomb and you just can’t wait to get to the office to show it off. That’s what preparation does, it’s a confidence booster. When you plan your outfits ahead, it leaves you feeling efficient. You know what you are going to look like so you project the positivity into all you do. There’s no running around looking for socks or tights, it’s smooth sailing all the way.
Style tip: When preparing outfits, choose an alternative blouse or jacket that could also work with that outfit. Sometimes you wake up and find that what you planned isn’t exactly what the look turns out to be. It helps to have a backup plan.
When in doubt, get a stylist:
Not everyone can afford to have someone plan their outfits for them especially outfits as trivial as work clothes. Right? Wrong. In this new age of social media, getting a stylist is as simple as getting a style inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest, the only price to pay is a data plan. Pick someone who’s style you can relate to and get inspired to mix and match your outfits. If there is no time for social media, draw inspiration from colleagues who dress well, take cues on how they style their clothes differently and try it yourself.
Style tip: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with copying someone’s outfit verbatim, but, try to incorporate little accents that portray your own personality.
We are all professionals in our different careers, and the way we dress says a lot to the people we encounter every day. Business suits, jeans, circle skirts- whatever your style gravitates to, remember it’s not always about you, it’s also about how the people you meet in your career path perceive you. Keep it professionally stylish.