When you’ve finally landed that dream job, you don’t want to mess it up by getting the dress code all wrong. Rewind 20 years and the office dress code was all about power dressing — formal suits, smart blouses and monochrome colour palettes.
But with a rise in colleagues heading for after-work drinks and social events, the office dress code seems to have relaxed.
So, how are you meant to know the balance between work and play? QUIZ, retailers of occasion dresses, has shared its tips on mastering the new generation office dress code:
Denim: yes or no?
The biggest change to how we dress for work now and how we were allowed to dress for it 20 years ago is the trend for jeans. But there are a few rules! Arriving on your first day in slashed jeans is a big no-no, so keep it classic with plain, rip-free denim. It’s wise to choose a darker wash to give a more formal vibe.
Since jeans are typically casual attire, it’s best to match them with something more formal. How about a tailored blazer, simple court shoes or a fitted plain shirt to strike the right balance? Of course, if your company has a strict dress code, you may not be able to wear jeans at all, so it’s well worth enquiring before your start date to avoid any fashion faux pas!
Tailored cuts and formal trousers
Power suits are for the ‘80s, right? Not necessarily. You can still bring the confidence that this fashion style evoked into your work persona using tailored trousers and shirts. Trousers are having a moment right now, so make sure you have a few pairs of tapered designs to hug your figure. They look great with both smart flats and heels, too.
Perhaps you had something a bit more informal in mind? Culottes and frill hem trousers are great alternatives, but you’ll need to make sure they’re office appropriate. Just like dresses, shy away from bolder prints and colours and stick to classic checks and stripes.
When your office has dress-down days, wear a pair of trousers with a loose-fitting plain t-shirt and slouchy cardigan or plain jumper. But when there’s an important meeting going on, swap the t-shirt for a smart blouse — an embroidered shirt would be the perfect choice for an on-trend look, too.
What is the office-perfect dress?
Regardless of era or workplace, the dress has always been a fashion piece we all can rely on. If it’s your first day and you’re not sure about the vibe of the office, choose a simple and chic midi dress. Stay away from lace, bold prints or bright colours as they can make you look like you’re dressed for a night out instead of a day in the office! Stick to plain styles or subtle prints for versatile looks you can work throughout the year.
After a few weeks or once you get the tone of the dress code in your new workplace, why not mix it up and go more casual? Shirt dresses are a great choice during spring and summer, as their collars will naturally make them feel smarter, while their fit and range of patterns and colours bring more personality to your work attire.
Footwear: how to get it right
Once the rest of your outfit is sorted and you’re confident that you look on-point, you have to consider the shoes. For us, there are three main choices: flats, boots and heels.
For the professional environment, loafers are a safe but on-trend option. Smart yet stylish, they’re the perfect work shoe that can be worn with trousers, dresses and jeans. You’ll definitely need black loafers, and it’s wise to invest in a nude pair, too.
So, we know we can wear pumps and often flat ankle boots, but what about when we want to add height to our look? You’ll need to choose a sensible heel, so leave the sky-scraping platforms at home for work. That doesn’t mean you have to wear kitten heels though; mid-heeled, closed-toe shoes are the perfect choice. Strappy sandals are your perfect day-to-night office choice – team with wide leg trousers for a chic daytime look.
So, take these tips and get creative with your work wardrobe!
Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to real style for the way you live, from fabulous fashion,health and beauty, and accessories, to gorgeous gardens and stunning interiors, plus the latest products and tips for throwing parties, weddings, and events of all kinds.
Photo Credit and Disclaimer: Photos used with permission by Quiz Clothing. This Office Dress Code post is a paid guest post and was supplied.