Cracking the work dress code can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to strike a balance between personal style and appropriateness. You want to look and feel confident and professional, all while taking into account the office vibe. To take the pressure off (you’ve got a job to do!), we’re laying out the basic tenets to follow if your workplace is conservative, creative, or casual. Scroll on for our no-fail tips, and shop our picks of what to wear right to work now on Spring.
Dressing for a conservative office is all about keeping your look subtly stylish. Stick to a mostly neutral color palette and pieces that are tailored but not too fitted. Quality construction and luxe fabric matters, and will make simpler pieces look special as opposed to cookie-cutter corporate. To play with style a little, go for classic silhouettes with modern details like high waists, ties, and asymmetry. Prints don’t have to be avoided but keep to smaller, organized repeats rather than wilder ones. Avoid over-the-top accessories: jewelry should be sleek, heels closed toe, and bags should be structured.
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Dressing too staid can actually be detrimental to you in a creative office, so go bolder. You want to be perceived as forward-thinking and inspired, so mix prints and colors (don’t be afraid to clash!), embrace trends, and remember: styling matters. Layering pieces in an unexpected way, popping a collar or rolling sleeves can make all the difference. Fun sneakers, denim, and bolder jewelry are totally acceptable in a creative workplace but be mindful of not veering too far into weekend wear; you’re still in an office, after all.
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The comfiest of all the dress codes for sure (lucky you!), feel free to wear lots of denim and chambray in a casual office. You can get away with a relaxed look as long as it isn’t sloppy, so count among your accessories easy footwear like sneakers, loafers, and ballet flats and bag shapes like backpacks, crossbodies, and bucket bags. To assure you look pulled together, stay away from showing too much skin and torn pieces, like jeans, should be mixed with sleeker separates to balance it all out.
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