Written by Charlotte Wood (last updated February 2, 2022)
Some people hear "business dress" and think stuffy, stodgy, and stiff. They think blazers, loafers, and boring. Despite this semi-founded stereotype, an office job need not necessitate boring clothes. Business dress and dressing for the office actually opens up whole new vistas of style, dress, and fashion opportunities!
Dressing for a business audience or for the office gives you a chance to look truly professional and put together. You may look great in your baby doll tee and boot-cut jeans, but it doesn't quite convey the message you want to when you're in a professional setting. In fact, stodgy and stuffy won't always fly in the business world; you need to look assured, confident, and polished. Wear nice form-fitting clothes that professionally flatter your figure.
The office is most definitely not a place to try out that new halter top. If you're second guessing your chosen outfit, wondering if it might be just too inappropriate, err on the side of caution and don't wear it. While frumpy is not very attractive, trashy is worse. At least with a banal look, you can still pull off professional, while something too low, too high, or too tight destroys whatever image you're trying to create and stops people at the get-go, instead of giving off that professional air that lets you show them what you, as an employee and colleague, have to offer.
The key to looking beautiful at the office is to always look polished and put together. Three-quarter length sleeved sweaters, form fitting blouses, straight leg trousers, and pointy, low heeled shoes are some of the ways you can look professional and beautiful. Keep the colors toned down a bit, but that doesn't mean you have to look boring. Jewel tones complemented by a chocolate or black jacket or pant look great! Heels always give an extra zip to your ensemble, but keep the stilettos at home for the nighttime.
Depending on your job, you may not even have to look super business dressed everyday. Dressy khaki capris and a slight heel complete with a colored blouse would help give your look some variety. Dressing for the office doesn't have to be drudgery, but rather it can be a chance to show a different side of yourself and give your persona that extra kick it may need for the professional arena. Regarding makeup: keep it more toned down so as to keep it professional. It can be noticeable, but not distracting.
With hair you can really do what you want, again within the bounds of being professional. Curly, straight, up, down, whatever you feel like as long as it's appropriate. With hair color, keep it natural looking without crazy colors. The office isn't the place to try out funky hair dos.
Dressing for the office can be fun and can give you more opportunities with your wardrobe and your own personal style so have fun with it!
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