Unless you work in a particular type of establishment, wearing clothes to work is just one more of those completely annoying rules that human resources puts into place that you’re required to follow. Ridiculous, I know (which is why I highly recommend working from home. You don’t even know if I have pants on right now, do you?). However, just because you wear clothes to work every single day does not mean you look chic – well, some of you might and others fall just short of chic with their poor fashion choices, lack of fashionable knowledge and their inability to piece together just the right look. Fear not, however, because there is always a way you can take your look up a notch to create something that’s chic and effortless. It’s what I love so much about fashion; you can have your own sense of style and still manage to pull of chic and elegant with a few very simple tips and tricks from fashion designers. Remember, how you look and how you present yourself at the office does play a role in how you are treated by your colleagues, clients and everyone in between. You only get one chance to make a killer first impression. Read on to find out what you need to do to look chic wearing work clothes.
You can put on a $5,000 Chanel suit fresh off the Paris runways and still look like someone who rolled out of bed and did not make even a simple effort to look good at work if you don’t have that thing tailored so that it looks like it was made for your body. On the flip side, you can wear a suit without a designer tag that you picked up at the local thrift store for a buck that you had tailored and look instantly chic and ridiculously amazing. The moral of my little story here is that it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. Get your clothes tailored for instant chic. Ill-fitting clothing is not your friend.
Invest in a Structured Bag
If there is one thing you should really invest in (splurge on), it’s a beautiful structured bag. We’re not saying you need to spend thousands on a monogram Louis Vuitton or a quilted Chanel (though both are timeless, classic and worth every single penny since they’ll last decades), but we are saying that it’s time to put down the teenage girl handbags from JCPenney and invest in something with a bit more structure and life. Consider a Tory Burch or a Kate Spade since you can get both for under $500. A beautiful basic black or a lovely cognac bag is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Great Shoes can Change an Entire Ensemble
We all love shoes, but not everyone has a Louboutin budget. But if you can afford to splurge on amazing shoes, please do so. They last a long time, and they’re so chic. Otherwise, keep a few simple rules in mind. Do not wear trendy heels to the office. Three to four inch heels are perfect. Anything shorter and you risk looking a bit like your grandmother. Anything taller and you risk looking a bit unprofessional. Go with nude or black or navy, no patent leather (but always leather!) and make sure you have a closed toe and a closed heel. It’s just professional and lovely.
Wear a Blazer
For instant chic, please add a blazer. But for the love of all things fashion related, please have your blazer sized and tailored so it fits you like a glove. You can add this kind of jacket to anything from casual Friday’s camo harem pants and button down to a dress, skirt or suit and look instantly polished and put together. A blazer is to a woman in the office what coffee is to a woman first thing in the morning = perfection.
The Classic Wrap Dress
If Diane von Furstenberg taught us anything, it’s that a wrap dress is always, always, always a good idea. It’s the perfect ensemble. It is the one item of clothing that flatters every single imaginable body type and shape. It’s chic, elegant and it can go from casual to work to evening with a simple exchange of accessories. The classic wrap makes for a chic work ensemble that makes you look stylish and elegant, put together and on top of your corporate game.
Manicure your Nails
It’s all in the details, really, when it comes to elegance. If you want to look chic and effortless at the office, don’t forget the details. And one of the most important details that you need to ensure you do not overlook is your fingernails. They should be manicured simply; they should not be too long. They should be cut short and simple, manicured and well cared for. For the office, neutral colors are an excellent choice – but don’t be afraid to go bold from time to time.
Learn to Love the Bun
I’m a huge fan of leaving my hair down, and I’ll do it often. However, when I want to go look chic, I go for a classic bun. The top bun is beautiful for the office, but so is a low bun. Additionally, a low side bun also looks amazing. The key here is to keep your hair smooth and elegant on top so that you look professional and chic. Part your hair where it flatters your face shape the most and go to town.
Keep Accessories Simple
Remember about 30 seconds ago when I said that it’s all in the accessories? I meant that. Someone once said (perhaps Coco Chanel? I cannot remember.) that a stylish lady will remove the last piece of jewelry she puts on before walking out of the house, and that is the perfect amount of jewelry. I can see that sometimes, but other times it’s not a good rule to follow. What we think is perfection is a simple set of accessories. For the office, chic means a small pair of diamond studs or pearl studs. A simple necklace, a sleek watch (rose gold is beautiful and always classy) and your rings will suffice. As far as a bracelet, I’m not afraid to say that I don’t care for them in the office since they tend to smack into keyboards and make annoying noises when typing, but you can use your own discretion here.
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