Our best-kept style secret? The ClosetSpace virtual styling service. Urban Darling’s stylists work their magic in our closets to put together looks using clothes we already own. So, we turned to the pros to share even more of their style wisdom. This week, stylist Marina Ignatyev reveals how you can crack the dress code in any work environment:
With so many options, it can be confusing to figure out what one should wear to work. I recommend getting direct inspiration from your work environment! If you are working for a law firm, your wardrobe will be completely different than someone who is an artist or a customer service rep.
No matter your work environment, you always want to look put together and give the impression that you care. Put some thought into your outfit and don’t forget about your hair and makeup. Just think about it – what is a present without wrapping paper? Yup, disappointing…it’s about the whole package!
What is appropriate for your environment also depends on your location, industry, size of company, climate, culture, company policy and so on. What you wear will be dominated by your preferences. Do you love a pencil or A-line skirt, straight leg or tapered trousers, sheath or fit-and-flare dress, stiletto or wedge heel? The direction and overall appearance will also be based on your personal style. Are your sophisticated or avant-garde, girly or edgy, modern or classic?
Let’s get started with the universal pieces that can be incorporated into any work environment. Here are my shopping picks for workplace essentials: Ann Taylor pants; Ann Taylor trench coat; Nadri stud earrings; Club Monaco silk shirt; Anne Klein watch.
You always want to look sophisticated, polished, and professional. Because your work environment is traditional, I suggest sticking to a neutral color palette and classic silhouettes. A core wardrobe that you can mix and match is essential. Sleek, no fuss, closed-toe shoes are a must. Keep your jewelry chic and simple. Invest in timeless pieces that will last. Avoid bold prints and bright colors.
The main difference between business formal and business causal is that it’s not a power suit situation. You have the advantage of wearing less traditional clothing that’s more relaxed and casual while still maintaining a business-like impression. You can express your personal style while looking neat and put together.
Unlike a conservative environment, you have more style freedom. Embrace your creativity by incorporating a pop of color, an interesting print, or a modern silhouette. Play with texture and accessories. Open-toe shoes are totally fine. Just be careful not to take it too far – avoid weekend wear and date night outfits.
Think comfortable, but not sloppy. Casual chic should be your motto. Jeans are most likely to be seen. I recommend a dark wash since they feel more polished. Leave your distressed denim for the weekend. Always incorporate at least one element that says “professional” into your outfit. You want to be taken seriously, so don’t dress like you are hanging out on the beach or spending casual time with family.