Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The DOs and DON'Ts of Women's Work Wear

(This blog is dedicated to my dearest Arlin; Thanks for the idea behind this blog and I hope it is helpful to you).

Women have come a long way as individuals and as a collective evolved, from the restricted and subservient housewife and mother of the past, to an independent powerhouse making strong career climbs in today's society. There are very successful women everywhere, who excel in various fields such as science, law, education and fashion. Not only do her work ethics speak volumes, but also how a woman presents herself in the way she dresses at work does she tell the peers and superiors alike who she is.
Although women have various careers, there are still dress codes enforced so that employees demonstrate professionalism and good taste while at work. However, there are some women out there who have difficulty assembling work wear. Here are a few tips to help those in need of help assembling a work wardrobe. First, a woman must have the following pieces as staples, that will hold her work wardrobe together: a dress jacket/blazer (the one shown above is from oldnavy.com), skirts, and slacks (image above, from gap.com). These items can be worn interchangeably so they are the most important to have when constructing a work wardrobe. Other items that are appropriate for the workplace may include blouses/shirts, cardigans/sweaters/vests, and dresses. One key factor when selecting these garments is the appropriate colors.

Color is the first element a person sees when it comes to choosing garments to wear, as well as the first thing people will notice when they see you approaching the water cooler at work. The colors you should choose for your staples should be neutral (in this case, black, gray, tan, and brown) or navy blue, because staples are meant to mix-and-match, so they must complement most of your work wardrobe, and it is also cost-effective. You don't want to be drab and boring and blend in with the wall paper at work, but you don't want to match the colors of the packaging in the snack machine, either.

Another important factor to remember when dressing for the work force is fit. Your garments should fit you well and complement your shape. For example, a skirt too tight and a shirt too low may look unflattering, unprofessional, and your coworkers may wonder what other line of business you are in, aside from your day time profession. Remember: If you look good, you will feel good, and that will translate into how others perceive you at work as well.

Another factor is pricing: you don't have to break the bank to score wonderful work clothes. There are plenty of stores that sell good suits, for example, for less. Off-price specialty stores such as Filene's Basement and Marshall's have designer suits for less. Or, if you are not really into designer labels, mass merchants such as H&M and Zara have some nice coordinates you can mix-and-match with what you already have at home; for the thick and extra curvaceous, try Ashley Stewart specialty stores that have some very stylish clothing for work.

Let's recap:

  1. Get your staples you can mix-and-match with: it is cheaper and more polished to get neutrals : until you become a Kimora Lee Simmons, you must comply with the dress code at work already in place.
  2. Colorful tops, sweaters and accessories can accent your staples, or even trendy prints (don't go overboard with channeling your inner "jungle goddess" and wearing too many animals at once). Unless you are a can-can dancer or you work on the Vegas strip, also keep the colors to a minimum.
  3. Fit is very important-you want to look polished and tailored, not tight-and just because you don't wear tight pants..slouchy, baggy ones are also not acceptable. You're an adult now, get a belt or a tailor! Baggy pants should stay at home on the couch with your snuggie.
  4. Lastly: people see what you look like first and you want to be taken seriously. We women have come too far to be set back in the work force because we want to wear "Juicy" on the back of our asses.


Anonymous said...

I love this, its very true! and I love the part about juicy on our asses haha
and I really like the whole blazer look, its underrated

Jessy said...

Great blog! I was just having this very discussion with one of my clients. One question that left us both fashionably challenged was...When are stockings/pantyhose a must? I for one don't care for either unless I'm at a funeral or an occasion that absolutely requires them...I also don't want to continue walking around a fashion FAUX-PAS.

Please help!

Bare or Wear, MA

Dita Tastemakr said...

@ Miss Neira: yes..there are certain canons of taste when it comes to fashion, and Juicy Couture at work (unless it is from the sportswear line) is not appropriate at all. But then, as I stated, some people just don't know any better!

@Jessy: Thank You. That is a very excellent question and I will gladly blog about it in your honor. Tights can be worn with daywear since it is now winter, but I would suggest tights if one dares to wear sandals to parties or holiday functions..flesh-colored ones or whatever color complements the shoes and outfit. But, in short, you are right: they are appropriate for a funeral or an occasion that "absolutely requires them".

Jessy said...

just want to add one more thing. I'm glad you wrote this blog because I think that work attire needs to be reinforced. I see alot of women who go to work looking as tho they are going to run errands or straight to the club after work...then wonder why they aren't being taken seriously at work.

Dress for SUCCESS ladies!

Jessy said...

Ok THANKS! I will gladly pass it on.

LOL hope one doesn't dare to wear sandals in the winter but I will say I do wear open toe shoes in the winter (black tie events), but wouldn't dream of wearing any stockings/pantyhose or otherwise...so reminds me of what grandmothers at church do lol...

Dita Tastemakr said...

@ Jessy: Yes, some dare to wear sandals, and that is fine with me as long as, as you've stated, that the wearer doesn't look like church grandmothers! That is hysterical! And thank you for mentioning how some come to work looking like they came into work right after partying at club Suite. OR the ones who just are too lazy to put themselves together in the morning. GET THOSE STAPLES so it can be a cinch getting dressed for work. No excuses..as the saying goes.."there are no ugly women, just lazy ones".

arlin said...

Thanks Dita! I love your humour and you ideas! I've always been that "Erin Brokavich" type but as you said we're grown up now! I will definitely be getting those staples!!! Where would I be without you?!

Dita Tastemakr said...

@ Arlin: Awww! I feel touched by your comment..I am here to help you in anyway I can. I love fashion and I love to help people with fashion. Yes, those staples are cost effective to mix-and-match so those are definitely a "must buy". As for Erin Brockovich, we'll leave her @ the 40-40 Club, LMAO!!!

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Anonymous said...

I love this post! The "juicy" on your ass was my favorite part. HAHA

This was some really helpful advice. I can wear whatever I want to my job now, but if i ever go into a place where I need to dress up again, I am going to keep these tips in mind. Thank you! :)



Dita Tastemakr said...

@claulovesfashion: Thank You, I will be checking out your blog real soon!

@Amy: I am more than happy to help!

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