Last month I attended a networking event in NYC that was targeted towards mid-career corporate professionals. As I was observing the women at the event, I noticed how many of them had similar work attire: dark color suit, neutral colored shirt and some variation of a shoe. What I didn’t see was everyone’s individual personality come across in their work-look. What they were wearing didn’t tell me anything in particular about them.
As woman we are lucky to have access to so many different clothing options (which can also be pretty overwhelming) that we aren’t forced to fit into a corporate work-wear stereotype. Very different from our male counterparts who wear a suit, shirt and tie day in and day out. Me, as an example, I have an outgoing and expressive personality, and my clothes tend to reflect that– bright colors, patterns and bold jewelry. I take risks with my clothes while still being professional and aligning it to my personal brand. Think back to your outfits this week, did they say something about you?
Let me share a few tips with you on different things you can introduce into your work look that let’s you stand out, but still be professional:
- Color – Add a pop of color for a vibrant work look. You can accomplish this with a shirt, scarf, jewelry – the options are endless.
- Patterns – Whether bold or subtle, patterns introduce a new element into your outfit.
- Separate your suit pieces to create new looks – my favorite thing to do is wear a colorful or printed bottom (skirt or pants) and add a solid colored blazer. But mix-and-match creations can be endless so play around in your closet.
- Shoes – Shoes come in so many different colors, materials and styles that you can change the entire look of your outfit with the swap of a shoe. It’s pretty incredible!
- Statement jewelry – Similar to shoes, your jewelry can really change the look of an outfit. Statement necklaces are in right now and a great way to make your outfit pop. Also consider wearing heirloom pieces or something you picked up at your last trip.
- Handbags – I love handbags! Try something colorful, in a fun shape and in a material or texture you wouldn’t have previously considered.
To help you visualize this, I’ve created a couple of looks and added them to my pinterest board (YAY! I’m on Pinterest!!!!) Hopefully these inspire you the next time you are pulling your work look together. I would love to see what you create – send me pictures!