Expressing yourself at work can be a tricky balance depending on your industry, your role and your seniority! Most office environments have become much more relaxed over the last few years – I remember asking if it was OK to wear trousers to work at one of my first jobs! But there are still some places that cling to outdated stereotypes of women’s wardrobes in the workplace. Remember this story in the press last year?
So, how can you express your fashion personality at work without upsetting the powers that be? Check out my top three tips:
1. Use colour
Using colour is a great way to bring a splash of personality to any work outfit.
Creative industries are much more relaxed about what you wear to work – in fact, you’ll even be positively encouraged to express yourself as that’s what people expect – you’re a creative!!! But, remember you’re still a professional – especially if you’re client facing.
When rules are a little more relaxed. You can go for great colour combinations that are still professional, but totally you.
If you work in a more conservative industry, you need to get a bit ‘creative’ with how you express yourself! In more ‘conformist’ environments, you might need to go for something a little more subtle… a slinky emerald green cami under your suit jacket; a bright pink pair of tights with your pencil skirt; or even a bright red pair of socks under your trousers!
If you really must wear a grey suit with black heels because that’s what expected? Get some rainbow underwear – there are certain things only you will know – and you will love the little frisson of rebellion it gives you!
Remember to check your skin tone and know that no colour is out of bounds – just pick the right shade.
2. Play with shapes
I love to play with different cuts and tailoring. Trousers don’t have to be a standard straight or boot leg – there are some amazing Wide Leg, Capri, Culotte and Cigarette shapes out there. Experiment. Try on some different shapes and see what works best on you. Personally, I’m loving modern culottes for work – they’re very different from what I remember wearing at school!!! 😊
The same goes for jackets – Box, Blazer, Tux, Oversized; and for skirts – A-line, Pencil, Maxi, Midi. The possibilities and combinations are endless and there is something to suit every body.
All these shapes are perfect for mixing it up at work if adding colour or accessories is difficult for you.
3. Use accessories
Accessories can be as outrageous or as subtle as you like and can add real personality and dimension to an outfit. They can add a pop of colour or metallic sheen without going too over the top. Use sparingly though – less really is more when it comes to making sure you still look professional.
A really great pair of shoes in an unusual colour, style or texture (I’m loving intensely coloured suede pointed flats right now!); a fabulous laptop bag in an unusual colour (it doesn’t have to be super bright) is both practical and beautiful; and a scarf can add colour, pattern and texture.
Jewellery is always the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. Bracelets are easy to wear to the office or meetings and can be easily covered under a sleeve if absolutely necessary.
If you’re interested in learning more about your ‘Fashion Personality’ and which Kathryn King Designs Bracelet is your perfect match you can take our Quiz to learn more.
Kathryn King is ‘Bracelet Boss’ and Founder of Kathryn King Designs. She helps creative, stylish women connect with their inner free spirit by producing a range of personalised, versatile wrap bracelets designed to take them from day to night, office to dinner, beach to bar! She loves jewellery and fashion, and shares lots of tips, ideas and guides on her blog. She is a Bristol-based Welsh exile and lives with her husband and two dogs – Gracie and Ollie.