It can be a struggle to maintain a stylish look for work consistently. With five days a week of trying so hard to keep up that we daily find ourselves starring into our closets debating on what to wear while worrying about professionalism, appropriateness and a number of other factors. The question of what to wear for work and how to do so professionally come up a lot of time because everyone wants to be stylish, feminine and confident whilst conforming to business standards. This is even more relatable when planning for business conferences and meetings where you would be meeting people for the first time, addressing a lot of people or having a meet-and-greet event.
So, it is time to address this question and my goal is to inspire you to feel confident and stylish while dressing professionally because clothes can have an effect on your mood, self-esteem and the way you present yourself to others. Let’s dive in and see what will work for you and how you can pull off professional dressing with style and confidence.
HOW TO DRESS PROFESSIONALLY
Dressing professionally often refers to a more formal workplace dress code that is most often seen and required in most organizations. There are several reasons to dress professionally including:
- Increasing your self-confidence by allowing you come off as professional and confident
- Promotes respect from others
- Improves motivation and productivity
- Helps you make a good first impression
Dressing professionally for a business conference usually involves a lot of conscious effort, necessary considerations and planning like picking out outfits and shoes that would withstand a lot of sitting, standing and walking. Picking out dresses that will not wrinkle throughout the day and one that is appropriate for both the morning business meetings and evening cocktail but these are challenges rarely experienced with everyday business attire because we always aim at giving a great first impression to people we have never met whilst letting our personality shine through.
TIPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT PROFESSIONAL DRESS
Dresses are my go-to and I wear them pretty often because they are easy to pick and they come in a variety of prints and patterns that allows you to stand out from others even though wearing a solid colored dress with a colorful scarf and shoes will achieve the same effect. Alternatively, a skirt with blouse or trousers with a blouse combination works as well and both can be stylish and professional so you can wear what makes you comfortable and confident.
When it comes to dressing professionally and picking a stylish professional attire, keep these tips in mind:
- Dress length
The length of a dress or skirt should not be so short that you feel uncomfortable. Choose a length that ends right above the knee as this will make it easy to get up and down out of chairs and appropriately cover you if you are going up the stairs or on an escalator. For pants, the hem should end about one inch from the floor allowing the front of your heels to show. If you are wearing ankle pants with heels or flats, make sure they actually end at the ankle. If they are too short or long, they will make you look sloppy.
- Dress neckline
Necklines of both dresses and blouses need to be modest and not show too much cleavage. Stay away from plunging V-necks and halters. Turtle necks are not a go-to but can certainly be worn particularly in very cold climates. Choose happy mediums like a round, scoop neck, boat neck, square, keyhole or collared styles.
- Dress sleeves
Usually, offices and conferences are always on the cold side so for dresses and blouses longer sleeves are preferable. You can go full-length with a cuff or try a three-quarter length sleeves that end between your wrist and elbow which is known to be the most flattering. The lower the sleeve goes down your forearm; the thinner your arm will appear so a three-quarter sleeve length has many positives like being office appropriate, most flattering, hide your arms if you are self-conscious about them and you will not be as cold also. In summer or in warmer climates, you can wear sleeveless or short sleeves as well pairing on with a jacket or cardigan and remove the layers as needed when the day warms up.
- Dress fit
The fit of your garment is very paramount hence, Fit equals appropriate. Too tight is certainly a no-no and it looks unprofessional. On the other end, baggy and ill fitted clothes makes you look sloppy and does no justice to your figure. Look out for dresses that are fitted without being tight or saggy going for pieces that accentuate your waist and flatter your figure. An A-line, shift, sheath, classic wrap and princess style dresses are all good choices. For skirts, A-line is universally flattering while pencil skirts or flared skirts are good options too. Pants should be mid-rise or high-rise either in a straight-cut or wide-leg style. Ankle style is also appropriate if they are not skin tight.
- Dress color and print
Your personal style will dictate your choice of color and print. Also choose colors that look best with your skin tone and colors that go with the seasons. And do not be afraid to try out prints. A feminine floral blouse, business-like pinstripe pants or hounds-tooth skirt breaks up the monotony of solids.
Everyone needs a few good accessories and dressing professionally is not an exception. Accessories help to define your style and are often practical and useful items. When it comes to shoes, the decision on what to choose is dictated by the nature of your job or business conference. Usually, a heels or wedge close-toe shoes are appropriate. This can be a 4-inch pair of pumps or a small kitten-heeled sling back but ensure they are comfortable for the long day and works well with your outfit. Alternatively, flats are professional looking as well and either a loafer, ballet or pointed toe flats works just fine. Your handbag or tote should be professional and adequately hold everything you need. Avoid backpacks and opt for leather bags with zippers.
Stay classy and simple with your choice of jewelries. Studs, hoops or small drop earrings, classic necklace, bangle or watch is really all that is needed. Maybe solid or colorful scarfs to keep the chill away or for a pop of color.
Put in all these tips into consideration and you will be acing your professional business look game with style and confidence. Remember to stay beautiful and stylish.