Creating a recognisable, established and exciting brand means ensuring that your corporate uniform or workwear is the best that it can be. Here are some styling tips to enhance your business attire.
This is a simple statement that gives your workwear extra class. And the best part is that it takes little to no effort. Ensure that the leather matches: if your shoes are dark brown, pair it back with a similar colour belt. For an extra edge, match your belt buckle to any metal on your shoes. If in doubt, always use the shades that are closest.
Ever get tired of making decisions? You’re not alone. Decision fatigue is common for busy workers, and it can result in a lack of care about the state of your workwear. The solution to this is planning ahead. On your day off take 20 minutes to plan your outfits for the week, taking into consideration what each day will hold. Think about special meetings, the weather, and adding variety to your attire. Lay them out or use cascading hangers so that each outfit is ready to go. Now your style is no longer in the hands of your lethargic self at 7 am, and you can be certain you’ll look your best every day.
Fashion seems to change every second day, but your body doesn’t. The temptation is to wear the trending styles, but this isn’t always the best choice for your body shape. Try to pick outfits that flatter your body type and that you feel comfortable in. If you are feeling cramped or edgy, chances are that your outfit does not suit your body type. The internet is full of helpful guides for both men and women, so start dressing for you.
For men, a classic black or brown ‘Oxford’ style shoe is a safe and timeless choice. Basic cotton shirts are professional and more conservative than a polo and best worn in neutral colours. Wool or wool-blend trousers are durable and comfortable, making them ideal for day to day workwear. During winter, opt for V neck light knit.
For women, options are many. If in doubt lean towards more classic business attire. A collared shirt and/or a flattering sweater works well and can be paired with dress pants or a skirt. Plain or subtle printed blouses and dresses in neutral colours are also safe options. And a girl can never go past the little black dress. Opt for classic flats or pumps and avoid sandals and open toe shoes.
This doesn’t mean buying ridiculously over-priced accessories. Instead, know what accessories make you look cheap and avoid them.
Elegance is key. Often too much ornamentation or bulk makes jewellery look cheap. Favour smaller, more classic pieces, as large beads are likely to age in the world of fashion. Also, steer clear of any plastics or glass, and instead go with pearls or stones. Less is more.
Stay away from elaborate shapes and bright colours. Hearts and flowers may be cute, but not always suitable for your profession. Stick to simple designs and clear gemstones to complement the professional style of your uniform.
Finally, remember – no shiny metal. Cheap jewellery is often made with tacky alloys or painted plastic. These will gleam, but all they do is draw attention to their low quality. Choose accessories with darker tones.
Understanding the relationship between colours will unlock your ability to coordinate the colours of your workwear. Here are 3 combinations that are perceived as the most organised:
Complementary Colours – these hues are directly opposite on the colour wheel that creates a vivid contrast. Think violet and yellow, blue and orange or red and green. Featured on a neutral colour like white, black or grey, complementary colours create a look that will be sure to stand out.
Triad Colours – these are equidistant from one another on the colour wheel and make the most balanced form of contrast. This is a good scheme for workwear with multiple pieces such as a suit or skirt and top. Accents of neutral colours will work with any triad scheme.
Analogous Colours – these are colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel, giving a sense of consistency to your workwear. This is the perfect scheme for office outfits since the minimal contrast shows restraint and professionalism.
Every industry has its own standards of dress, and you need to know them. There are two main dress codes for the majority of workplaces. Here is a brief summary:
Professional dress – the most conservative dress code and usually the expected dress for professions that deal with large clients and often in industries such as legal and finance. The requirements for men are usually a formal suit, tie, business shirt, leather shoes and belt. Women would be wearing pantsuits or a skirt with a blouse or top, stockings and closed toe shoes
Business casual is less formal, but still smart, and is the dress code for the majority of office industries. Men are expected to wear chinos or trouser pants, shirts with collars, sweaters, and leather shoes. Women are required to wear pants or skirts with a nice button-down or sweater and subtle heeled shoes or a simple dress.