If you’re attending a business meeting or an important afterhours function for work, you want to be sure to dress for success. While it’s easy for men to simply don a sharply cut, dark coloured business suit, the clothing choices for women are much broader and endlessly complicated. What should you wear to show that you’re a professional yet you still have a fine-tuned eye for style? Read on for some tips and suggestions on how to choose business outfits that show you’re a professional while still helping you stand out from the crowd.
Let’s face it: if you’re heading to a backyard barbecue, a close friend’s wedding, or even a gala evening event, the choice of what colour to wear is really up to your own desires. When dressing for work functions, however, you probably want to avoid flamboyant shades like ruby red or daffodil yellow. Instead, err towards the more conservative end of the colour spectrum and stick with more neutral shades like grey, black, white and dark blue. If you absolutely crave brighter colour, use that red or emerald green in accents only like handbags, silk scarves and shoes.
It should be obvious, but you really don’t want to wear that skin-tight, cleavage-baring sequined gown to any event your boss will also be attending. Save it for the Oscars or the next red carpet fundraising ball. Instead, if you’re heading for a client cocktail party, this is the time to lean towards a simpler, yet still stunning, gown with clean lines and a tailored style. It’s for these occasions that the classic little black dress was invented! Choose sophisticated yet not too daring, stylish but not too bold, cleanly cut but not body hugging or full of ruffles. In the daytime, during regular, yet important, business meetings, opt for professional, classically stylish attire like pencil skirts and suits.
You might be sensing a theme here - and that theme is ‘classic’. The modern, timeless look first promoted by the designer Coco Chanel is one that will hold you in good stead for any work function. Think clean-cut lines, well-tailored garments, colour blocking, and classic, simple shoe styles rather than anything too funky like platforms or sky-high gladiator-laced stilettos. As Coco Chanel herself said, “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” Stick to this advice and you’ll appear professional and business-minded without missing out on expressing your stylish self.
While you want to lean towards more conservative and classic fashions, that doesn’t mean that you can’t give your outfit an edge with your own creative flare. Adding a little bit of your personal taste will show that you are an independent thinker, able to meet the business attire brief while still adding a smidgen of your own style. Think a floral printed blouse under a neutral coloured business suit or a fun necklace to accentuate an otherwise classic dress. Don’t go overboard, but definitely bring a little bit of yourself into your work outfits.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be sure to develop your own unique yet timeless work style to impress and ensure success!