“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” – Fashion designer, writer and blogger, Rachel Zoe is a lot more knowledgeable than I am about the fashion world – but I think that this quote is a great insight into what your style can do.
As an intern, one of the anxieties I face is on what to wear to work and any events I attend. For me I think trial and error is key; if you have read my previous posts you will have learnt that I got my heel stuck down a drain during my first event (hence why I haven’t worn stilettos since!). I suppose from a 20-year-old, what I wear helps me feel that people are taking me seriously. I have often spent evenings panicking over what I’m going to wear, normally resulting in clothes all over my room. To be fair to us, work and meeting wear is very diverse, the formal spectrum is always changing so no wonder we are all so confused.
I believe that first impressions are vital – so if this is the first time in meeting someone, dress to impress. HOWEVER – no longer do you need to be suited and booted to look like you mean business; I don’t believe women need to wear stilettos or men need to wear a tie to look the part – how times have changed.
When it comes to dress code, we all know the words smart/causal sends a chill through our spine – what does that even mean anymore? Do I go more casual or smart? Advice: always dress smarter, it is the worst feeling walking into a room and feeling like you are under dressed. Also, ask your boss, because different companies have a different image and expectation of smart/casual. One of my worst nightmares is when I am told the dress code is ‘jeans and a nice top’. Does that mean a blouse? A shirt? Blue jeans? Black jeans? Trousers? It still gets me in a muddle.
The office opinion is go smarter than casual; these are my boss’s favourite items:
Think she is getting carried away now apparently these are next on the shopping list.
The options on what to wear are endless; you most definitely do not have to wear a tailored suit if that does not reflect you as a person or your business. Obviously, if your company has a mandatory dress code than you must follow that. But always judge your audience, what you wear can always be determined by whom you are meeting; if you are meeting a potential investor then go that extra mile to look smart but if you are going to a day of team building with your colleagues, then relax.
My ideas for a meeting/work
As worn by Kate Middleton
Team with black tights and black Chelsea boots
What is nice with office and conference wear is that you can mix it up; wear a smart trouser with a causal top or wear casual trousers with a smart blouse and a blazer. Cliché I know, but use fashion to express yourself and your personality – everyone has their own unique style, so do not feel that you must follow the crowd.
My personal favourite work wear style? Culottes and a turtle neck and smart plimsolls, very similar to the Jigsaw look above.
- If you are unsure about what to wear, ask around the office
- It is better to be over dressed than under dressed
- Make sure you’re comfortable
- Mix it up a bit
- Don’t mix navy and black
Keep your eyes peeled for more top tips
this blog is written by me, Jessica Hutchison and all the content is gained from my experiences and are based on my opinion. All references / links to chosen websites were correct at the time of publishing