Finding the Right Business Attire
You already know that you have a big “boss babe” energy. But do you have the wardrobe to match?
It is important to dress professionally in an office setting. However, it can be difficult for many women to find the right outfits to convey both professionalism and personality.
Wondering how to find the best professional dresses for women? Keep reading to discover our complete guide.
Why are professional dresses for women so important?
We have put together the definitive guide for women’s professional work outfits. Before we go any further, we should answer the question: why is a professional dress so important for women?
One of the main reasons is that women may face discrimination in the workplace. Dress codes sometimes affect women more harshly than men, making it very important to find the most professional-looking attire. While it is not a magical cure for double standards in the workplace, professional outfits convey the right kind of no-nonsense attitude for the workplace. They help your boss, your fellow employees and your clients take you more seriously.
And, of course, the advice your mother gave you is still very true. You need to dress for success in order to be successful.
Now that you know a bit more about why these outfits are so important, here is our guide to the best professional dresses and styles for women:
The matching game
The biggest question when it comes to professional attire is this: just how professional should you get? In many ways, this is determined by your boss and your fellow employees. A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t dress much fancier than your boss. This can create tension and make you stand out in all the wrong ways.
Conversely, you don’t want to dress “down” compared to your colleagues. If you aren’t careful, you will quickly earn the “lazy dresser” label around the office.
Long story short? If your boss loves business casual, you should embrace business casual. But if they love to dress “to the nines,” then you should give your wardrobe an upgrade.
Chances are that your out-of-the-office wardrobe is very colorful. It is fun to express yourself with bright shades of pink, purple, yellow and the rest of the rainbow. However, workplaces are still very conservative. This is why your business wardrobe should mostly focus on colors like blue, black and grey.
As depressing as it may be, you should think of your workplace attire as a kind of uniform. Your goal is to blend in with your colleagues instead of standing out with something wild and dynamic. Don’t worry: there is still room for color when it comes to business casual (more on this later) and the weekend.
Fit and form
Ever notice how the same kind of dress can look amazing on one woman and terrible on another? The secret comes down to one word: tailoring. A trip to the tailor is much more affordable than you think it is. And the service they provide is something we can’t even put a price tag on.
Tailoring can ensure that every dress and suit is cut to your exact dimensions. Instead of rocking a frumpy “off the rack” look, your outfits will look like they were made just for you. While this makes you look better in just about every setting, it is particularly great for the workplace. Tailoring can make even a basic outfit look like it’s ready for the runway.
To dress or not to dress?
We have mentioned both dresses and suits. When it comes to workplace attire, which one is best for you? It all comes down to both personal preferences and workplace policies. Generally speaking, a suit conveys more formality and power than a dress does. Think about the most powerful women you know and chances are that you remember someone in a suit!
At the same time, a suit may be considered overkill in an office that mostly does business casual. And in certain geographic areas such as the southeast, dresses are the norm. You could end up the “odd one out” if you are the only woman in the workplace with a suit! If you do wear a dress, make sure everything looks professional. You don’t want to display too much cleavage or too much of your legs in a professional outfit.
So far, we have focused on workplaces with relatively strict dress codes. But what if you work someplace that is a bit more relaxed? In that case, you can afford to show a bit more personality.
Preppy dresses are a great way to show off your inner wild streak while you are earning a paycheck. These dresses typically offer bolder designs and brighter colors than the typical conservative workplace attire. Another benefit of these dresses is that they transition seamlessly to post-work dinner, shopping, partying and so on. Why run home when you can rock the same awesome outfit all day?
The zen of “business casual”
The concept of “business casual” is very important in the workplace. But what the hell does this mean, exactly? While it varies from workplace to workplace, “business casual” is usually a step or two above what you might normally wear around the house. In some businesses, things like yoga pants or jeans might be a little too casual. But someone who normally wears those might wear capri pants and a sweater instead of a suit or dress.
Many offices have a “casual Friday.” This assumes that whatever level of formality you normally dress for is relaxed for this single day. If you normally wear business casual throughout the week, then “casual Friday” may get as casual like a t-shirt and jeans. But if you normally dress up all week, then “casual” means ditching the suit for a long, comfy shirt and some tailored slacks.
Moving up the corporate ladder
Now you know all about professional dresses for women. But do you know who can help you bring out your best self each and every day?