When you are going to a job interview you plan carefully what you are going to wear. You want to present the right image, and you don’t want to lose the job before you even open your mouth. Then after you are hired, it’s a challenge to keep up the image that will get you promoted or at least taken seriously.
It’s a pretty aggravating situation for women when it comes to what to wear in the workplace. If they wear something stylish they are thought to be shallow or too sexy or not serious enough about their work. If they wear something more conservative they are considered too frumpy or “witchy.”‘ Yikes, it’s tough out there.
Many women try to bridge these two categories, but it’s not easy. Some of the current fashion trends may work in this quest. The classic colors of black, gray, and camel are fashionable now and work well in basic pieces like jackets, pants, skirts, and dresses. Add interest with scarves, jewelry, and blouses that are modest, but stylish. The current trend of gathers can be business wear if the clothing is not too tight or revealing. Sweaters are a big trap. If they emphasize your figure too much it’s a negative. If they are too loose they can look frumpy. I’d skip them most of the time. Scarves can add some interest to a basic outfit and are usually fine for office wear if they are not too bright or too big. You have to be a little careful with ruffles. If they are too big or too many it could make you look too fluffy & that could work against your corporate image.
Basic silver or gold jewelry is good, but skip the hearts, stars, and cute animals. Something simple is best. Hoop earrings should be no bigger than the size of a quarter for most offices. I know, it’s boring, but you want people to focus on what you are saying, not your jewelry. Animal prints may be in style, but at the office some will think you are too wild or on the prowl.
Shoes are another controversial topic for work wear. High heels are fine, but if they are bright red, they might be sending conflicting signals. Some conservative offices might frown on toes showing. I think sling back shoes where heels show are probably more acceptable. Take your cues from the women in management on the unwritten fashion rules at your work place.
Judging people by their apparel is really stupid in my opinion, but it is a fact of life. To keep your office wear costs down watch for sales and try resale shops. Build on classic colors of navy, black, and gray for your basic pieces, shoes, and purses. Then add color in tops and accessories. Be careful to not look too flashy, especially in more conservative offices. Some people build a work wardrobe around black and create a stylish, but professional look with it. It keeps costs down & they can often wear some of the pieces outside of the office.
Click title for link at MSNBC, and remember you can wear whatever you want outside of the office!