Having been a freelancer who travelled around the world, rocking my own fashion style with no second thought, for the longest time, I always felt perplexed when I heard from my friends about their settling down and wearing, what I called, ‘conformist clothes’ to work. I definitely never expected anything similar happening to me, but an opportunity for a perfect steady job arose and I was not going to pass it by just because of some dress code. Still, I must admit that I was caught off guard, when I realized that almost none of my existing clothing would suit my business role. This is why I decided to share some of my tips to help other ladies who are now in the same position as I was, to step away from their jeans, Converse shoes and band Tees, and jump into appropriate business attire, at least during working hours.
A blazer jacket is a must-have for both casual and formal work environment. The beauty of a blazer is that you can wear it with a shirt or short-sleeved blouse underneath, and add or remove the jacket depending on the situation. Buy a jacket in a neutral color like gray, black or beige. If you don’t know what kind of jacket to buy, stick to a classic style that will never go out of fashion. To tell you the truth, I spent hours on online research, looking for inspiration and guidelines. Of course, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t find the way to spice everything up, so I bought a couple of blazers in neutral colors but with sleeves that, when rolled up, revealed a bit of pattern and color – mostly stripes and polka dots.
Trust me, a good pair of pants is one of the best investments that you can make. I matched the pants with different shirts, jackets, shoes and accessories to create some rather different styles. The important thing is to choose pants with simple details that will last several seasons. As with blazer, go with a neutral scheme and plain colors. Pants that can be paired with anything are less memorable, which means that you can wear them many times without being noticed.
A business skirt is good to have during the hot season. Dresses will keep you cool and give you more opportunities for transition from day to evening wear. Dresses tend to be a little less expensive than entire suits, and I chose dresses that are a little more detailed and fashionable. Of course, it was nothing too wild. I opted for several cute womens midi dresses with interesting linings. I bought a few of those that are classic but still more to my personal taste and a couple that matched my blazers, so that I could easily add them to my ‘team’.
I know that most of you want me to say that while being so formal from head to toe, you can have fun and go crazy with the accessories. Well, while it is true that you can have fun you still have to follow some basic rules of the work environment. So forget about chunky statement jewelry and ‘look at me’ prints and colors. Still, I was quite happy with my delicate ‘elven style’ rings and earring, similar stylish brooches and scarves and stockings with some intricate details in muted colors. Moreover, the best tip I can give you when it comes to shoes is to find some completely closed ones and stick to one color. I have to say that I still feel pretty unique in my stilettos with heels wider at the bottom. You just need to find the right dose of quirkiness in all that professionalism.
Now that I have typed everything out, things do not seem so complicated, but it was hard for me when I had no idea what to do or buy first. It is important to remember that work is work and that it doesn’t determine your personality. I still wear my old clothes in my free time, I just had to get a bigger closet.