Once you’ve aced the interview, or worked your way up to your dream job, it’s now time for an even bigger challenge; mastering the office dress code. Working in a high-level position often means long hours and you don’t want to waste your spare time in the morning deciding what to wear. So, what’s the latest trends in office dress codes?
By looking around your office, you can probably tell that office wear isn’t as strict as it once was. Take it back around 20 years and women at senior level were mostly dressed in formal suits, smart blouses and a plain colour palette.
But now, our work and play life are more intertwined than ever before. This means that we need our working wardrobe to seamlessly transition between the office and social activities. This has paved the way for super-stylish professionals who look great at the office and at after-work dinners.
How do you get the balance right though? You don’t want to dress overly casual as this could be seen as lazy, and you don’t want to go too formal as you might feel out of place. Read on as we give you our top tips:
Wearing a dress
Dresses never go out of style — wear with tights in the winter and bare your legs in the summer, it’s an all-rounder! Plus, they’re easy to style and meet the requirements of formal and casual dress codes.
Do you still feel as though you want to be quite formal? If so, wear a simple and chic midi dress. Steer away from loud prints as they may give off more night-out vibes than workwear. Play it safe with subtler prints instead.
For the colder months, why not try a jumper dress? Pair with thick tights and heeled ankle boots. Or, when it’s slightly warmer, go for a shirt dress — the collar keeps it smart.
Although the power suit isn’t as on-trend as it used to be, you can still make the most of stylish tailoring. Invest in a few great pairs of trousers to mix and match with your favourite tops.
One must-have is a pair of tapered trousers. These are designed so that they fit to your figure and show off your shape — the great thing about these is that they go well with both heels and flats. Keep your flats on for walking around the office, then slip into your heels before that presentation.
Consider buying some culottes or frill hem trousers too. They are quite bold though, so you might want to check your office dress code first. Stick to classic checks and stripes for an office-appropriate look.
To go more casual, pair your trousers with a loose-fitting t-shirt and slouchy cardigan. For a look that’s more formal, swap your t-shirt for a blouse. Or, wear an embroidered shirt to add some subtle detail to your outfit.
Rewind 20 years and denim in the office was unthinkable. But now, for many offices, it’s more than acceptable when styled right.
Of course, it’s best to choose more reserved styles of jeans if you want to wear them to the office. Avoid rips or distressed denim and play it safe in a darker wash.
Make sure the rest of your outfit looks smart by pairing your jeans with a smart-casual blouse and formal loafers.
For work, there’s usually three main types of shoe that you can wear; flats, boots and heels.
Loafers are always a safe go-to option — good news for you professionals. They’re the perfect balance between smart and stylish and can be worn with pretty much anything. Invest in a black and nude pair and mix and match between the two.
For the colder months, boots are a good option. Think over-the-knee boots with a jumper dress and tights or go for a heeled ankle boot a with skirt and jumper.
When it comes to heels, try to think comfort. Go for a mid-heel, closed-toe shoe for maximum comfort. Or, if you’re looking for a day-to-night pair, choose strappy sandals which pair well with wide leg trousers.
Find the perfect balance between smart and stylish and feel great for all work and social occasions.