The dress code in my office is business casual, so jeans are sometimes okay, like on Fridays. Most of the time though, a more formal look is required. I started work right out of university and after 20 years of school, I had little idea of how to dress for an office environment. I got a lot wrong in my first year – I veered from way too formal (seriously, I looked like I was walking into a job interview some days) to way too casual (jersey summer dress, anyone?). I feel now that I am much more tuned into my office’s dress code. We’re not corporate lawyers, so we don’t need to do the closed toe shoe-nylons with a skirt suit look. But we also can’t come to work in yoga pants either.
So, in my pursuit of the perfect office garb for my particular place of work, I have developed a sort of uniform, much like Stacey and Clinton espouse on What Not To Wear. My uniform consists of a flattering pair of black pants, paired with a fun blouse (button up, ruffled, oxford shirt etc) and paired with ballet flats, a cardigan and assorted jewelry. It looks good, it is appropriate for the office, and it doesn’t take me long to plan for the week. It also is a nice division between work-me and home-me.
It definitely works. But it is also a bit boring:
Above is a dream-rendition of the kind of outfit I wear to work. It is nice, yes? Even classic. But a bit boring. Very ‘late 20-something in an office located in an urban centre’.
A lot of the time, I feel like Pam from The Office before her hair makeover, when I really want to be more like Wilhelmina Slater from Ugly Betty. But how does one get there? Especially in a more casual office. Well, it’s all about the baby steps. Here I’ve put together some ideas for a more adventurous than what I’m doing now work uniform:
For me, this means cigarette pants instead of traditional wide leg pants, tops that are less office, more going out, a heeled shoe instead of flats, and a more modern silhouette for the cardigan.
I’m sure lots of people are already rocking this look, and I know its not exactly original. But I’m not rocking it. I am stuck in a very safe place in regards to my work wardrobe. So here is to baby steps towards a more stylish work wardrobe!