“How do I stay stylish while working in a professional environment”? I get this question a lot, especially from my friends who are just entering the professional workforce but do not want to conform to the basic suit and tie. As a young professional in the work force, I am also one of those millennials who often struggle finding the balance between corporate attire and individuality. If your job is not as conservative, keeping individual style can be a simple task. I introduce to you: the Blazer.
I wore this outfit to my real-life job in public relations. A lot of times, I find bloggers can sometimes put pieces together that serve no function in the real world and can often be uncomfortable. Here in New York, we have so many things unexpectedly coming up throughout our day – unexpected meetings, office visits, crisis for a client, even weather are just some of the unpredictable but highly plausible scenarios. Having a go-to blazer is key. A lot of my co-workers keep a blazer in the coat closet for this very reason.
Per usual, I prefer black and white, but as Spring and Summer come into full force, blazers can be as colorful as you’d like (I wore a taupe sequined blazer to work the other day – enough said). Some great color choices to look into for this season are white, blush, sky blue and if you’re bold, bright yellow. My one main piece of advice for bright blazers is to make sure the rest of your look is still professional and remains neutral (i.e. a white blouse paired with a pencil skirt or dark denim.
Another way to maintain a sense of style is with your accessories. I’m very minimal when it comes to accessorizing, so I choose my pieces wisely and wear them as staples. First impressions are everything when it comes to your career and the smallest details do matter. For me, I know I can never allow myself to walk into a meeting without a proper manicure. I know, it sounds a little ridiculous, but studies have shown people will often look at your hands a lot, especially if you gesticulate when you speak (like me). Simple, clean and polished looks will go a long way, and that counts for accessories.
Shoes and bags also play an important role. I, for one, love backpacks; however, backpacks aren’t always the best idea in a corporate environment. A nice big tote fits everything, even a change of shoes. For the summer season, sandals with a bit of a heel like these Coach sandals are great. They’re comfortable and don’t look so out of place in a business casual environment.
Dressing up for work can be fun and expressive. Choosing pieces that have those small details can make all the difference. If you don’t like wearing blazers or want a more feminine ensemble, look into dresses that are still office appropriate, like this Cindy + Johnny dress in my Classically Understated post. Tune in next week on how to mix-and-match the blazer with a casual Friday look. Until next time, friends!
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Photos by Jurien Huggins