We meet again my fashionistas!
So with this post, I’d like to take a different route if I may. Let me begin with a question: Do you agree that the traditional office “business attire” has become less strict in today’s society? If your answer is yes, then humor me and continue reading. If your answer is no or maybe, humor me anyway and please continue reading! Plus, I’ve added some really cute photos that you’ll want see… 🙂
I’d like to share a little story with you first:
When I reached my senior year in high school, I had already accumulated most of my credits to graduate so during my first semester I was able to enroll in the co-op program where counselors worked as your recruiter, and placed you in corporate jobs so you could earn extra credit and some money. One of my placements was at a large reinsurance company as a part-time administrative assistant. Of course, still in high school, my fashion tastes were the usual teenage choices of jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, etc. The most casual but super hip attire, if I did say so myself ;). Needless to say, I had a rude awakening and quite a lot of shopping to do if I wanted to “fit in” with the strict dress code required at this company. Oh how I suffered having to wear knee length skirts, pantyhose *gasp*, dress blouses and the basic traditional suits! I felt mortified that any of my friends would see me (a very important issue to a kid in school). So every day I’d pack my “work clothes” then I’d go to school looking super cool and once I arrived at the office, I’d head straight to the rest room and changed into my office attire. Aside from the dress code, I loved the office and the friends I made, plus the work was pretty cool. I must have done something right because I graduated that June with a permanent part-time position at this company. Not bad! I endured the strict dress code for a few years, always trying to add my own personal touch to my outfits, and almost always got away with it. My next job was at an advertising agency where I had free reign of whatever I wanted to wear. No dress code whatsoever. I could wear whatever I wanted which almost always included a pair of jeans. During the summer, I’d wear fun dresses, capris and t-shirts. If I wanted to, I could wear sneakers and there was no issue. I was in complete heaven! What a difference in industries.
Now that I’ve told you a tiny bit about my story, it should explain my choice in blog this week. I would love to discuss and/or get your feedback on the different requirements of office attire in today’s work environment. My own opinion is that these strict dress codes have definitely loosened up throughout the years. Let me tell you why…
First, I believe that the incorporation of “Casual Fridays” had a huge impact on how traditional office attire began to change. Thank you for that “Casual Fridays!” I will forever love you! The birth of the casual Friday led to the beginning of “business casual” for the remaining four days of the week. So again, thank you “Casual Fridays!”
I’d also like to believe that those industries that enforced a strict traditional wardrobe have come to realize that fashion is very important for today’s woman. Also, factor in that more women are in leadership roles so they can very well call the shots. Today’s woman wants to look professional but fabulous when we walk out of our homes each morning, not dreary and boring. We want to add a spark, our own sense of style to our work wardrobe that isn’t set in one way: a traditional suit, pantyhose and plain pumps. Today’s woman wants to add color, diversity, appeal and fun to her outfits. A sexy skirt with strappy high heeled sandals in the summer or fabulous boots in the winter, a well-tailored pant with a great blouse or sweater, a fabulous wrap dress, a red power suit with the sexiest stilettos, a pretty sundress in the summer with a cardigan and cute flat sandals, you get my drift… Even on a casual Friday, you can always wear a great pair of jeans and spice them up with sexy heels and a very cute top. Jeans have become a staple in every woman’s wardrobe and if worn correctly, are just as good for the office. It’s definitely a sign of the times.
This is not to say that all offices are down with the business casual wardrobe. The finance industry is one area that may still require a suit and tie for men, and women usually go with a skirt, blouse and blazer. Even so, I feel like choices are more open to discussion here as well. Do you agree or disagree?
With this being said, check out these photos below that I grabbed from one of my boards on Pinterest for some ideas on how today’s woman can dress for the office looking professional but also fabulous, fun and sexy. You can also click this link to see my board directly on my Pinterest account: http://pinterest.com/crisanna6/for-the-office/ :
Aren’t these absolutely lovely? I honestly want each outfit for myself. Those boots and those red shoes – I want ;)! …But back to our topic, each of these outfits offers up an idea for spring/summer and fall/winter, and each is completely wearable at the office. For the sleeveless dresses, if you feel more comfortable adding a blazer or cardigan, go right ahead.
A note for my fashionistas who prefer not to topple over in 5+ inch heels, you can always pair your outfit with lower heeled shoes, kitten heels or a very cute pair of flats. It’s all about being comfortable as well. Today’s woman wants it all… They want to look spectacular but also have a sense of comfort. Most especially if you live in fast-paced cities where public transportation is a must. There are always great options. Play with your choices until you find the right look.
Although all these photos are of skirts and dresses, please keep in mind that dress pants are also a great choice for the office. They can be plain or striped, dark colors or bright, paired with a great blouse, a t-shirt underneath a blazer (this look is also great with a skirt) or with a lovely sweater for the colder months. Nowadays, women have so much more freedom in how they can dress for work. Take advantage of it and go for it. By now, you all already know my motto: have fun and find what works for you.
So what do you think? Do you agree that the strict dress code has changed in almost all industries that preferred the traditional suit? Do you feel that some industries still enforce it and if so, which ones? I would love to hear your stories. How do you dress for work? How do you find the balance between dressing professional but also fabulous and fun? Share your ideas with your fellow fashionistas and comment below. Go… #engage!
Until our next encounter my loves!