Looking fashionable in your place of work isn’t just a case of throwing on some designer clothes from the latest range. From corporate office suits to beauty and spa uniforms, stylish agency dress codes to smart casual clothing for retail and restaurant environments, every business has its own style where there’s still room for employees to look fashionable. But staff should still look professional, aiming to leave a lasting impression on colleagues, clients and customers – all for the right reasons.
To help you achieve the right look at work, here are six tips to look fashionable and still professional in the workplace.
Be edgy but appropriate
When dressing fashionably in the workplace, a key aim should be to look stylish but appropriate for your job. While some edgy looks might make you stand out on a crowded high street, they aren’t really appropriate for a work environment. This includes clothing that, when put together, shows a lot of flesh, like a low-cut top or sleeveless blouse with a short skirt. Opting, instead, for a less risqué outfit, like stylish bootleg trousers or an edgy pencil skirt, teamed with a bold, short-sleeve top or a striking long-sleeve open-collar blouse, can limit the amount of skin on display, while still promoting a striking image.
Choose a tailored look
Well-fitted clothing is still very much on trend in UK fashion. However, when it comes to fashion in the workplace, it’s better to avoid the very tight styles – the super slim and skinny shirts, jackets and trousers – and go for a more tailored look instead. Tailored pieces fit close to the body and emphasise shape, without looking too tight. For both men and women, this helps to create a sharp, clean, stylish yet sophisticated look.
Don a jacket
A stylish blazer can transform many a look from simple and casual to smart, classy and stylish, so it’s worth investing in one for your work wardrobe. For men, adding a modern fit blazer to a shirt or, for women, a notch neck jacket to a blouse, can bring an outfit to life, while promoting a serious sense of style. Jackets and blazers of different styles and colours can also be used to brighten up dark or plain clothing, while heightening your professionalism in the office. This can create the message to your colleagues that while you’re fashionable and like to look good, you still mean business.
Dress for the season
A way to look effortlessly fashionable at work throughout the year is to match your clothing with the seasons. A crisp, white, open-collar short sleeve blouse, for instance, might look stylish and effortless in the heat of summer, but it’s likely to look washed out and ill-timed and lose its impact during a cold winter. So it’s wise to think about clothing and splashes of colours that fit the different season, as and when they happen. This could include heavy and fuller clothing in dark shades, with the subtle use of pastel colours, in the autumn and winter, for instance.
Enhance with an accessory
From scarfs and ties to jewellery, an accessory can bring an outfit together, set off a specific style, or define a more personal look that’s ideal to stand out in an office environment. Other accessories to consider include jacket handkerchiefs and cufflinks for men, or large belts and pendants for women. It’s worth mentioning that it’s best not to go overboard when accessorising. Just one accessory can add a touch of class to an outfit, while too many can quickly cheapen it, so a less-is-more approach is best.
Also, think about your daily grooming routine as a way to accessorise too. A stylish and well-maintained haircut, or a well-groomed, on-trend beard, for instance, can act as an accessory and provide that finishing touch to your fashionable look in the workplace.