Wednesday, August 13, 2014

challenge accepted: dressing for work

My loves for fashion, Memphis and this blog have not died. In truth, I have had months of distractions and sidebars that have taken up most of my time and put a damper on any creative energy I hoped to rekindle. In the interim, I have had plenty of time to think about directions I'd like to go with this, and it seems that the answer has been staring me in the face. My first love is writing, so expect to see more of that. Anyone can steal a picture from Pinterest and pass down inspiration second-hand, but it is time to put some context in the mix. It's good to be back, friends. 

image source

Let's talk about work. Most of us spend the majority of our lives there at the office. Like it or not, we are making impressions even when we do not know it. Why not spur your own productivity while making sure you exude professionalism?

Here are some tips.

1. Embrace the setting. An intern at Vogue can get away with taking more fashion risks and liberties than someone who works in public accounting. Know your parameters and find your personality within that range. The image below is an example of playing it safe. There is nothing offensive about a black and white ensemble that has appropriate coverage. The unkempt beach hair is another conversation...

shirt: glam |  skirt: ann taylor | shoes: shoemint | necklace: lee by leeangel

2. Master proportionality. Sometimes the biggest fashion mistakes are crimes of proportionality. Too much volume or material can give the appearance of sloppiness. Too much tightness can look a bit distracting. Consider pairing high volume tops with pencil skirts or fitted tops with trousers. Always have an eye toward balance and an awareness of your body's limitations. I don't have much leeway being 5'1". The reason I could put a chunky sweater over a silk dress is the length and the tailoring. 

sweater: theyskens theory | dress: banana republic
3. Honor the details. Contrary to popular belief, not every pair slacks is the same. You can play with pattern, fabric, texture and still fit well within dress code. One of my favorite pair of cropped trousers has tuxedo buttons at the bottom. They slant nautical, but with the appropriate styling have been one of my go-to options for the workday. (see below)

Takeaway: There is no doubt in my mind that the right outfit can provide the confidence to boost productivity and enhance a mood. By the law of averages, you aren't going to hit it out of the park every single day (thanks to the "snooze" button, right?) Look at dressing for work as an opportunity and not a burden. Honor your personality and show respect for the work environment. 

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