with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
Yesterday we talked about strategies for getting dressed for a new job; let’s talk today about what to actually WEAR. I have three suggestions, each tailored for a different type of office dress code (get it? TAILORED?!? I’m so funny).
Option one: No suits, but no jeans either
Many offices have relaxed the rules about suits but have NOT embraced full business casual, for what I think are obvious reasons. If your new job is one of these offices, consider mixing and matching your existing suit pieces with more casual but still tailored separates. Pair the skirt or trousers from your suit with a twin set or blouse; wear a sheath dress with a cardigan and ballet flats. Keep your look simple and professional, and keep the lines tailored and clean.
Option two: Jeans, but no shorts
This is the typical business casual office, the one where the men come in every day in khakis and a golf shirt. This is actually my favorite kind of office, because it allows you to dress up or down (and by DRESS DOWN I do NOT mean either yoga pants or flip flops). Wear your suit jacket with mid-rise, dark rinse jeans and great shoes, or the skirt from your suit with a really lovely t-shirt or crew neck sweater and flats. Don’t toss your suits just because the office is casual; mix and match them with your more casual pieces.
Option three: Anything goes
This is the hardest office to dress for, honestly, because the temptation to show up in your shorts and a t-shirt will be almost overwhelming. But I really believe that no matter WHAT your coworkers are wearing, you owe it to yourself to put a little effort into your outfit. Pair your jeans (dark rinse! mid rise!) with a cool graphic tee and bright driving mocs, or wear a funky cotton skirt and a cardigan. Be creative with your outfits, but don’t just toss on whatever it was you wore to work in the garden the day before. And for god’s sake put some real shoes on — save the flip flops for the weekend.
Coming Friday: what to buy, and how to budget for it.
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