What's the haps when it comes to what women are wearing to work? Well, that all depends on the job, of course. And largely on where she lives. Styles vary greatly between cities, suburbs and rural areas. Standards and trends will be different in a mountain town compared to urban areas. We've gathered a sampling of our favorite fashions for women at work, along with what's in, and what's out. Please note that these are generalities and opinions only, based on the trends we've seen. We always support a woman's right to do her own thing!
OUT: THE POWER SUIT
While suits still have their place for women in the workplace, the power suit is generally too formal for most. This isn't the 1980's. Somewhere between then and now, professional women everywhere made a silent agreement to ditch the suit in favor of comfort, while still remaining fashionable and professional at work. We're digging that.
IN: GREAT JEWELRY
There was a time where wearing a statement piece of jewelry was a no-no at work. At least that’s what our mothers told us. Diamonds and pearls are great, but so are bracelets, necklaces and earrings with colorful stones and unique designs. Jewelry is a wonderful way to make a statement while wearing work-appropriate attire.
We're not saying that black and neutral tones are out, we're just asking, "why not change it up every now and then with a dash of color?" Colors are a part of human nature. According to Psychology Today, "the powerful influence of color rules our choices in everything from the food we eat and the clothes we wear to the cars we buy." We as humans love color, and that it not be inhibited.
OUT: TOO MUCH SKIN
A problem that is usually heightened in the summer months, showing too much skin (which can be a problem for men, too) is just not appropriate in a professional work environment. What can we say? It's just the society we live in. Most employers have dress codes outlining the rules on how much skin can show, and the rules should generally be adhered to. Regardless of whether they have a dress code (or whether it's enforced), bearing a lot of skin simply creates a different impression that may negatively impact the business.
IN (AND NEVER LEFT): GREAT SHOES
Duh. Nice shoes will not only make you look more professional, you'll actually feel it. Sure, there's a time and a place for sneakers, and we aren't necessarily recommending that you wear six-inch heels on the daily, but try to think about your footwear just as you would your hair, makeup and top. People will notice, so make it professional. Uncomfortable in heels? Try these tips. Also, try keeping a comfortable pair of shoes at work to wear while you're not in front of important customers or co-workers.
IN: TACTFULLY MISMATCHED PATTERNS
While the mismatched pattern look is currently trending, it has to be done right. Unless you have a keen sense for this look, we’d recommend trying to not overdo the patterns at work. It might look purposeful on the runway, but at work you risk judgment of those who don't "get it". It's better to steer clear of radical trends than to bite off more than you can chew.
OUT: LOOKING TOO CASUAL
Ripped jeans, graphic tees and flip-flops are comfortable clothes for your own time, but not on work time. Even if you are in a position where you don’t directly work with customers or see the general public, being too casual at work is not a statement you want to make. Just like "you are what you eat", "you are what you wear", and your attire can affect your attitude.
OUT: TOO MUCH MAKEUP
We’re not saying you can’t add a little color, but again, this isn’t the 80’s. For the most part, a natural look will be your best bet from a makeup standpoint. This is great news, really, because it means you can spend a lot less time fiddling with eyeshadow in the morning.
In summary, it’s best to use good judgment and dress for your workplace and location. If you work at the local hot nightspot, bearing your tattoos might be acceptable. But if you’re the receptionist at a family health clinic, maybe hiding the tat would be a good idea. And, keep in mind, being fashionable doesn't have to mean being uncomfortable. Try to strike a balance between comfort, fashion, and professionalism. Go get 'em!