BY: ANGELA H
Getting dressed in conservative office wear does not necessarily have to equate with getting your soul sucked out of your fashion sense. With mass retailers such as H&M, Zara, J. Crew, and Ann Taylor offering stylish and affordable separates, there has always been a way to adhere to stricter office dress codes while maintaining a sense of femininity (let’s face it, ladies – we want to show some character while wearing an otherwise bland grey suit).
As an employee in the financial and legal sector myself, I am familiar with the sense of professionalism that one needs to convey when, say, meeting with a high-stakes client. However, I have found that the following allows me to retain my sense of style:
- If your company dress code requires a suit jacket, choose a detailed or brightly colored top to wear underneath (this works better on days when you do not have any client or upper management meetings)
- Pick dresses with texture and details, or in a different fabric from the usual wool, such as tweed for fall and winter or seersucker for the warmer months
- A suit is a suit, but find a brand that has cuts that flatter your body and do not make you look like a box
- Carry an amazing bag on days when you do not have too many papers and your laptop to lug around (the Chanel quilted classic in the jumbo and maxi sizes fits a modest amount of papers if you fold them, and the Hermes Birkin and Louis Vuitton Neverfull can fit file folders)
- Incorporate interesting jewelry, such as a statement necklace
- Wear a pair of great shoes (I personally favor my Christian Louboutin black patent Decollete 100mm pumps, which go with everything)
All things considered, remember to still exercise restraint. You do not want to be that girl who wore the low-cut fuchsia tank top underneath her suit jacket. A sense of style is much appreciated, but so is decorum.