Look Good for Today’s NO SUIT Workplace

      When it came to what to wear to work it was simple a few years ago, throw together a suit, tailor shirt and accessorize and you were ready to go.  Depending on your position, your corporate culture and your field, what used to be doesn’t count anymore as a song once said.  There are new additions that are communicating professionalism for women that are just as fun to wear.  What are these new “classics?” Here are some
examples:

  • The jean jacket:
    for many it has replaced the traditional blazer but it’s a great
    alternative to it.  Wear it with a
    crisp white tailor shirt and slacks and you’re ready to go.  Denim jackets, in a variety of shapes,
    are a great way to mix textures and add ease to your ensemble.  However, if you meeting a client in the
    accounting or financial arenas play up the classics.
  • The Bohemian Look or pieces of it are making their
    way into women’s professional wardrobes.
    Longer tier or gypsy skirts can be worn with a turtleneck and belt
    and teamed with a great pair of boots.
  • As well, dangling earrings are now accepted at the
    workplace.  Just something to
    remember, be sure to get them in proportion to your size.  They are fun and dress up any outfit, but
    be sure to if you are going to be bohemian for a day that you dress up
    your ears with great dangling earrings.
    While on days that you are the classic fashionista, be classic in
    your accessory choices.
  • Yes boots are great and common for winter but they
    are great in the fall as well.
    Boots of a variety of heights on the leg are common each season now
    and a must have for the workplace.
  • Georgette multilayered flounce skirts teamed up with
    blazers trimmed with touches of glitter are looking great at the
    office.  With dangling earrings and
    either boots or open toed shoes, this completes a feminine but
    professional look for the office.
  • White, a color that was reserved for resort and
    summer wear, is now becoming part of women’s wardrobe for all
    seasons.  Not just winter white but
    optic whites in skirts, pants, jean jacket vests and blazers.  I just know for me that anytime I wear
    white it’s the day that I have to do more moving and picking up than
    usual.  But white is great for all
    year long – try it and see.

All in all, women’s professional dress is changing for the better with more choices
that are accepted in the workplace. Perhaps now we have made our mark and that rather than being a mannequin with limited clothing choices, the focus is now on what ideas we can contribute
to the success of the company.

But as I said before, for some positions and/or fields, such as Senator or CEO,
tailor classics prevail.  In sales,depending on your target market and what you’re selling, your dress will vary.  For example in radio sales, if working with small businesses, business casual is best, while for customized filtration systems for the city of Los Angeles, classic professional dress is
in order.

Further,even though the landscape for women’s business dress has changed and been
accepted, when it comes to the job interview, the suit will always win.

 

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About vseitz

Marketing Professor at California State University, San Bernardino and author of "I Don't Wear A Suit."

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