Thursday, July 5, 2018

Brocade Frills

Continuing with this week's blue theme, here's a navy blazer and frilly skirt combo. Plus, scroll down for my tips, tricks and lessons learned on Professional Dressing.

Blazer: J Crew, Dress worn as a skirt: Swapped, Sandals: Target, Sunglasses:
Necklaces: Hand-Me-Down

I've been meaning to share some thoughts on professional dressing, because lately, my style has been skewing that way. I know when I first started studying business and learning about the different types of professional dress, I was v. skeptical. I mean, shouldn't my work speak for itself? But when you are first starting out, you don't have much experience to share, so making a good first impression is important (as shallow as that may sound). As you gain work experience (and life experience), I fully believe you can start to interpret the rules of professional dressing how you'd like. 

So for your reading pleasure, here are my tips for professional dressing:
1. Suit separates are your friend. Everyone needs a good suit ("nothing suits me like a suit"). 10 years ago, writing this would have made me cringe, but it's true. A good suit can make anyone feel invincible, and if it's the right suit, it can be worn for any sort of occasion. Break a suit down and wear the pieces with other pieces from your wardrobe, and the possibilities are endless. 
2. Experiment with different outfit formulas. You may find that wide leg trousers aren't your thing, but damn, a pencil skirt gets it every time and makes you feel like a million bucks. So opt for a skirt suit. When I was approaching graduation with my business degree, I bought a skirt suit, because interviewing in the summer in Florida in pants made me sweat just thinking about it. Once I landed my pseudo corporate job (not in Florida, but in the summer), I learned that skirts paired with button-downs and a fun blazer were my go-to, and still wear some combination of that today.
3. Play with patterns. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: pairing patterns in similar colors is a fun, easy way to add interest to any outfit.
4. The art of the contradiction. I read this all the time about how pairing designer pieces with thrifted finds is the way to go (i.e. Carrie Bradshaw), but the same concept applies to professional dressing. I.e. Pairing a denim button-down with dress pants or a pencil skirt and a blazer is one of my favorite things to do. Or pairing a Tshirt with a suit. OR taking a suit and pairing it with a super feminine blouse or vice versa, pairing a structured blouse and blazer with a frilly skirt. It's all about balance.
5. Have fun. With shoes and accessories, with patterns, with every aspect of professional dressing. Because it's true, once you are at a certain point in your career, your work does speak for itself. And if you aren't having fun, what's the point?

In my journey to become more comfortable with professional dressing, these are the things I've learned along the way: 
1. Blazers are my favorite outerwear.
2. Most suit pants are more comfortable (and cool, temperature-wise) than jeans.
3. Just because you can wear denim, doesn't mean you have to (or should).
4. It doesn't have to be expensive to look nice.
5. When you look and feel your best, you do your best. 

Do you have tips or personal style rules when it comes to professional dressing? Please share!