Twenty-four and currently residing in Houston, Texas. I am a lover of the outdoors, thrfting, and reading. You can find my personal blog at slightimpression.com
After finishing up college, securing a corporate job, and moving to a new city it was time for me to set aside my high-waisted denim and flowy tunics for something a little more “work appropriate.” You know the style, unflattering pencil skirts, boring button ups, neutral kitten heels, and don’t forget those mom sweaters that can be worn year round, gag. I have a degree in Fashion and yet somehow I set aside my personal style to invest in a wardrobe that screamed cliché office attire; Think Pam Beesly from The Office. How did this happen? Why was I playing dress up? Where had I gotten this idea from?
Don’t make the same mistake I did and waste money on clothes you won’t wear. You are going to need it to pay off those loans…trust me! At first I dressed the part, but as months passed I reevaluated how I wanted to present myself and gradually started dressing more for myself instead of this idea I had in my head. My personal style is centered on flowy, textured neutrals; A Helmut Lang hippie if there is such a thing. I would wear black high-waisted denim with a deep V-neck t-shirt and chunky booties every day of my life if I could. This is not exactly an advertised “office look” and I don’t think the Dress for Success leaders would be very proud, but it is me one hundred percent. I did a takeaway from my everyday look and added key work appropriate pieces to my wardrobe, small professional touches. A fitted blazer here, a green wool pencil skirt there. The more I dressed for myself the more comfortable and confident I became in my role at work and as an individual. The time had come to bag up all those unflattering slacks and sweaters and take them to the closest Goodwill to donate.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are most certainly dos and don’ts in every office environment. No denim, no tears or rips, and nothing too revealing. I kept the office basics and added a little touch of myself to each outfit, pairing a loose lace top with a structured blazer or my favorite chunky ankle booties with a knee length skirt and blouse. Keep in mind that accessories really can give an outfit a drastic makeover so use that to your advantage and give a simple white tee and black pencil skirt a makeover by layering lots of dainty gold jewelry and a floral head scarf.
I had it stuck in my head that I had to dress a certain way coming into the workforce but I refuse to accept that. The important thing is to be comfortable with what you are wearing and confident with how you are presenting yourself to others. Does your outfit accurately depicts you as a person? You will never see me wearing pastels, colored slacks, or statement necklaces because those are not pieces I feel like myself in. Personal style is all about expressing your individual self. So before you head off to J Crew, open up your closet and see what pieces you do have that can fit into your new wardrobe that are both representative of yourself and are appropriate in the working world.