No matter where you work, your style and beauty choices can help set you apart and convey professionalism. Sometimes this works in our favor, and sometimes there are rules that have to be followed in the workplace that may not fit with our style. Many jobs are far more open to a woman showing off her individuality than in the past – we’ve really come a long way! – but there’s still a time and a place for everything. Regardless of whether you work in a laidback or conservative environment, there are two things to keep in mind when choosing career fashion: 1) How you want to feel, and 2) How you want to be perceived. Unfortunately, they’re not always the same – you may be a big risk taker when it comes to fashion, but certain companies may view that as dramatic or loud. You could feel most comfortable in casual wear, but it could be perceived as sloppy or lazy – you see what I’m saying!
Whatever your job environment, I do believe that you can express yourself, feel comfortable and confident and still dress appropriately. So I put together three outfits based on not what the job is (that varies greatly), but the workplace vibe and environment. See which fits you best below…
Laidback + Casual
Work environments that don’t require a dress code offer much more flexibility than others. But it’s super easy to take that really liberally, and it can be tempting to roll into work in tennis shoes, jeans and a t-shirt every day. My suggestion is to always be a little dressier, as long as your outfit is comfortable to stand a full shift in, than you need to be. Jeans are totally okay, but make sure they’re an appropriate fit. Keep it classy! A swap as simple as exchanging a cotton T for more sophisticated silk, or throwing on a structured blazer will promote confidence and professionalism.
Especially here in Los Angeles, there are countless creative career paths, such as entertainment or fashion. For these, it doesn’t quite make sense to dress in your everyday “business casual” attire. Yet, you still meet with industry professionals regularly, so you want to go a step further than casual. If this is you, experiment with fashion and don’t be afraid to take risks. Those who express their personalities are generally more memorable in this type of environment. A bold, brightly colored dress, strappy shoes and statement jewelry comes off as polished and put together, but if you aren’t one for color, monochromatic looks can make a statement too.
Traditional or Conservative
Although some of the more traditional offices and work environments still have (often unspoken) rules, such as your skirt being a certain length, wearing sleeves and avoiding open-toed shoes, this uniform doesn’t have to be stuffy or boring. If your options are neutrals and modest cuts, I have two tricks: focus on the details, and focus on fit. For the details, an embellished blouse like the one above tucked into a skirt can add interest. As for fit, find structured, flattering pieces that make YOU feel good. This INSTANTLY transforms an outfit from bland to chic.
Which of these fits your work’s style best? How does it align with your fashion sense?! Join the discussion below!