I never quite understood New Year’s Resolutions. The way I see it, every day is an opportunity to improve. So, don’t wait until 2014. Try a New Day Resolution! Not sure where to begin? Not to worry. A couple years ago, my company went to a “jeans casual” dress code. This type of relaxed take on business casual seems to be growing in popularity, but it can be a tricky one! Here are some rules for being stylish and professional at the same time.
Big Trends -> Small Quantity. With few exceptions, trends need to be watered down for the office. Dramatic denim is a trend that has carried over from the summer. Colored and patterned denim can be worn to work, with 2 simple rules. On the bottom, stick to darker or more muted colors (Just Say “No” to neon) and patterns. Keep the top clean and classic. When in doubt, I like to use Kate Middleton as my barometer. She masters classy colored denim.
- They are called UNDERgarments for a reason. Some days I see more bras than a Victoria’s Secret sales associate. Sleeveless tops need to be used VERY sparingly. When in doubt, throw a light jacket or cardigan over top to make sure you’re covered. Lace can give you a mature look, but be aware of the placement. Any lace that shows your bra underneath is not suitable for work
- Fit matters. Poor fit is an equal-opportunity offender. Ladies – too-tight pants are not appropriate for the office (or anywhere else for that matter). They make you look heavier, regardless of what size you are. And men, PLEASE buy pants of an appropriate length. If you’re standing up and I can see your socks (which, by the way, should NEVER be white athletic socks), they’re too short. You will be hard-pressed to find a high-powered executive with ill-fitting clothes.
- Dressing TOO comfy. When you look like a college kid on the way to class, you make it very difficult for anyone to see you as someone who should take on the next big project. Please stop wearing any shoe that looks or feels like a slipper. For a grown-up take on comfy, try a cotton t-shirt with a blazer. Play with the jewelry to dress it up or make a statement.
by Janet Kiburz