I want to preface this blog post by saying that every single office environment is different.
In today’s world, some offices are very causal, others super conservative, & everything in between. Gone are the days of knowing what exactly is always appropriate to wear at one office to another.
This opens up a lot of options for women in the workplace, which excites me. I love workwear. I love getting dressed for my 9 to 5 each day. I know some find business outfits boring, but I disagree—I think there is a lot of serious style to be had in the office that most just haven’t tapped into yet.
For example, my office is pretty casual. I could easily just wear flats, jeans, & a semi-dressy blouse to work every day. However, in some other offices, this could only pass on a Friday. In addition, it’s fine to wear open-toed shoes at my workplace, but I know that for some other corporate offices that would be a no-no or frown upon. Each type of workplace is different, so it’s important to find what can work for you.
I think you can still show your own unique personality & style while also dressing in a way that works well in your office. With all this being said, I complied three looks that I feel make a bold statement, while still remaining professional.
Again, please note that these three looks are fine for my office environment, but may not for others.
Look #1: A Bold Printed Skirt
Everyone loves a good skirt for the office. I didn’t rock the boat too much with this look other than the color & pattern of my skirt. This skirt from the WHO WHAT WEAR collection at Target is a mega favorite of mine. I love the midi length, the fun floral pattern, & the bold colors. I felt that this look was a bolder choice for the office, but still professional given the cut of the skirt, especially when added with a white button down. If your office isn’t one for open-toed shoes, a simple pair of black pumps would do well or flats. This look goes to show that simply adding a statement piece can completely upgrade your whole look. If my skirt had been a more muted shade of colors, or perhaps a smaller print—would it have had the same effect? Probably not.
Look #2: Polka Dots & Plaid in Neutral Tones
This look is great if you aren’t huge into color, but still want a more playful look for the office. I am mixing two prints (polka dots & plaid) but it doesn’t feel overwhelming or crazy, because the prints are both in the same shade, which is a neutral as well. I’ve done this look with stripes & polka dots as well and the result turns out great. I love how simple this outfit is, yet does make a statement when you notice the details. Another great way to spice up your day-to-day office looks without going over the top is by wearing a plain outfit with a statement pair of shoes.
Look #3: Mixing Bright Colors & Prints
This outfit was very experimental for me. I felt like I could have been working for a creative agency or something similar with this look. Not only are the colors quite a statement on their own, but the mixing of the prints, & the statement heels all made for a very bold look. The skirt, which is a pinstripe pattern, had a paper bag tie waist, & a bit of a ruffled hem definitely adds a unique touch on its own. I decided to kick the look up a notch by mixing patterns with a very bold blouse. Since I was feeling so saucy, I felt that some colored heeled sandals would complete the look. This outfit it definitely the boldest of all three & for some office I think the heels would not go over well. Again, you have to find what works for you. Regardless, I had fun wearing this look for my office.
Next, I wanted to highlight a couple workwear trends that I feel can be worn in a variety of settings, depending on what level of office you work in, that can make you stand out, showcase your unique personality, & still be professional.
The Colorful Suit & Suit Separates:
I absolutely adore this trend & really need to jump on board soon! Black, navy, & grey suits are very common, but I love the idea of spicing it up with some color. This can be done either in a bold shade like these bright blues & reds or can be toned down a bit with more pastel colors. Regardless, it still makes a statement & is super professional. If you don’t want to do a full-on suit, having a blazer or trousers in a more colorful shade can achieve a similar result.
Culottes for Work:
I recently wore a pair of white culottes to the office with a nice silk button down blouse & loved my outfit. With that being said, culottes are very trendy & to me showcase a bolder attitude than regular cut pants. I feel like these pants are great for someone who doesn’t want to branch out too much from their usual workwear looks, but still is looking to add a bit of flair. Culottes also come in a variety of lengths & fabrics, which you can play with to be more professional if needed.
The thing about mixing prints, at least in my opinion, is you just have to do it. People either are comfortable with this kind of look or not. I like it! I think it’s fun, but definitely should be done right. I love mixing stripes/plaid with polka dots, especially black & white looks (as seen above). There are some patterns that seem to work well together. I feel like a stripe or polka dot tends to match well with nearly any other print. Also, many people believe that leopard print is a neutral & can go with any type of other print. Again, personal preference comes into play, but the point is being option to try new things. What makes this look bold, yet professional is you can easily wear a skirt & button down, which are office appropriate pieces, but just play with the patterns to create your more standout look.
Printed suits are booming right now as well! I am a huge fan of suits, so anytime I see suits getting more of a focus I get excited. A plaid suit is a classic, but often times can still make a statement– this also works well for those who don’t want to step too far outside their comfort zone. On the flip side, florals, stripes, etc. are being seen on lots of clothing websites & that look to me is quite bold! As mentioned before with the colorful suits, you can easily just wear one of the pieces rather than both to create your statement look.
Another simple statement you can make is with one piece alone. A uniquely cut blouse, or lots of detailing on a blazer, etc. can definitely elevate your look, showcase your style, while not being too far out there. Again, workwear does not have to be boring & can show your personality while still remaining professional.
Last but not least: menswear for women. Wearing a suit to the office is one thing, but a suit, tie, maybe a vest, maybe some suspenders, etc. is another. I just love it! This is taking the menswear look all the way home & I think if done right, it can work really well & make you stand out in your office. Think Diane Keaton if you need some more inspiration.
I’m dying to know your thoughts– What do you think about bold workwear? Would you wear any of these styles to your office? What does your go-to work wardrobe look like? Please let me know in the comments!
Cheers & stay chic!