Whether you are just entering the workforce in transition from a casual wardrobe, or you are getting bored with the same outfits day in and day out, professional attire can feel downright stuffy. While maintaining a professional appearance is a necessity for your success—a fact backed by science—nobody said you couldn’t add in a dash of personality! Here are 7 ways you can look professional and cute.
1. Mix in some patterns
There are some classic “shapes” when it comes to professional attire. We’re talking trousers, pencil skirts, button-downs, blazers, etc. Keep the formal silhouette but punch it up with some unexpected patterns! Throw in an interesting floral top, or a pair of houndstooth pants. If you are feeling especially bold, try mixing patterns. The trick is to keep them in the same color family.
2. Try accessories.
The right jewelry can show that you are professional and classy. Adding accessories like earrings, handbags, or a watch for women, will make you look great and pull attention to you in all the right ways.
A great necklace can completely transform an outfit. A basic black shift dress looks ultra-polished with a great necklace. You can even fancy up your casual Friday attire with the right combination of beads and jewels. Choose a style that’s in the same color palette as your ensemble, and that compliments the neckline of your top. Even if all you do is add in some statement necklaces, it will feel like you have a new wardrobe.
3. Try shift dresses.
Shift dresses have a more traditional shape, which frees you up to get a little adventurous with patterns and colors. You can also easily make this look more formal by throwing on a structured blazer overtop or adding a cardigan to tone it down. If your work wear is begging for some color, a shift dress is a fun way to add some in.
4. Wear great shoes.
Forget your boring black pumps. Try a brocade heel, or even a simple sandal. Whether you are wearing pants or a skirt or dress, you can change up your shoes to change the look. Let your shoes guide your accessories and you’ll feel like a new woman!
5. Go high-low.
Wear a graphic tee with your pantsuit. Pair destroyed jeans with a smart blazer and button down. Mixing “high fashion” and “low fashion” will give your work outfits a fresh look. If you work in a creative industry or a more casual environment you can take this further than a corporate environment, but play with it. Just make sure your “low” pieces are still appropriate for the workplace.
6. Pump up the volume.
Add some volume to one piece of your outfit to up the fashion ante. You could try a circle skirt with a chambray shirt. Or wide-leg trousers with a fitted sweater. For your upper half, try a peplum top or a shirt with blousy sleeves. Beware: this look may make you feel totally haute.
7. Wear what you love.
OK, this may seem obvious, but it’s true! It doesn’t matter if it’s gray wool pants or a bright and colorful print—if you wear clothes that you love you will feel cute. Wearing clothes you love is like wearing confidence—it looks good on you!
So, there you have it. It’s easier than you think to infuse your work wardrobe with some fresh personal style. In fact, you’ve probably got lots of exciting options already hanging in your closet! Try mixing it up, find what you love to wear. You’ll feel beautiful and powerful and ready to take on the world!