As we see young women either getting internship gigs for credits or landing their first job at the start of their professional career, we've noticed that they are often dressed in attire that is seemingly outdated for today's work environment. Take, for example, the classic pantsuit. A stalwart piece in every budding female professional's closet, and a rite-of-passage from college classrooms into the workplace. It will only be worn a couple of times before you realize that you're the only one wearing a pantsuit because they're not actually required to be taken seriously in the workplace. This may sound a bit confusing, but here's the good news: We're here to help!
"When I got my first office job out of the army about 11 years ago, I worked with mostly older women close to retirement age. They all wore different shades of skirt and pantsuits, complete with pantyhose and women's loafers, while the few young women in the office were wearing items that were too short, tight, and obviously not work appropriate," recalls Tiffanie Tribble, owner of When & Wear. "I felt there was a need for work apparel that was work appropriate, but stylish."
Tip #1 - Wear pieces that are appropriate for anywhere!
- Our closets should be versatile enough to be able to easily transition from the work desk to dinner, without sacrificing fashion or style. As our lives are so busy and calendars jam-packed with things, we often don't have time to change outfits, which in turn means we don't need to have to spend tons of money on outfits that serve only one purpose. Buying clothing that works in various environments definitely goes a long way in saving money.
Tip #2 - You can be more casual than you think...
- You don't have to wear the pantsuits or skirt suits of old to be compliant with the dress code (or to be taken seriously by your peers). As workplace3-inch culture norms continue to get more lax, and gender roles/biases are being forced less upon women, so are workwear expectations. Want to wear a snazzy sequin top and wide leg pant? Do it! How about a sleeveless, knee-length dress with 3 inch heels? Slay all day! Women have fought hard to not be forced to conform to dress standards that were created via the lens of their male counterparts.
Tip #3 - When in doubt, go with a capsule wardrobe :)
Adding a jumpsuit or a blouse/pant combo to your workwear wardrobe is a welcome addition, but what's really driving today's latest trends is the capsule wardrobe. Curating a group of individual pieces that work with any other item is the essence of the capsule wardrobe and allows for ease and versatility when selecting what to wear on a daily basis. It also allows you to safely explore your creativity, since you already know what you have to work with (and it all goes together!). Gone are the days of struggling to make pieces work at 7 am, or going through the entire closet to find something that looks good. Get your time, and sanity, back and give the capsule wardrobe a try!
Not sure if what to wear to the office? Leave your question in the comments. We're here to help!