Cubicles: def – often seen as being symbolic of the human condition of working in a modern office setting due to their uniformity and blandness.
Uniformity and blandness meets high dress making and exclusive clothing…
Good morning, 8 to 5ers (or is some cases, 8 to 8ers) – career oriented ladies – we’ve got a new way of looking at getting dressed in the morning. Forget waking up, rolling your eyes, complaining you have nothing to wear and ultimately throwing on a navy suit and white blouse – sans any jewels or funky shoes (heaven forbid).
Uniformity = bland and bland at work = low productivity and BORING.
Don’t forget your orange and yellow scarf or gold disc earrings to add to that heinously boring suit! Think ready-to-wear for work: tailored styles and form-fitting frocks with random splashes of color and unexpected accessory combinations. Bright blue earrings and zebra print scarf – why not? Don’t lock up your bright yellow patent pumps and condemn them to a life of weekday purgatory – let them out to play and make a solid navy suit pop.
In case anyone was passed out in their cube for a better chunk of 2008, we’ve been battling a seriously challenging economic environment; furthermore, if you haven’t picked up Forbes in the past, ooohhh let’s say year – then you’ve missed all of the emphasis on “Dressing for Success.” With everyone striving to make a better impression, cube dwellers everywhere have been scrambling to make themselves stand out. Word to the fashion not-so-wise: corporate, creative and professional can co-exist in perfect harmony. Check out this article from forbes.com about the do’s of don’ts of women in the workplace: What Women Should–And Shouldn’t–Wear In the Workplace.
The shift towards ultra corporate attire does not mean you must neglect fashion 411s. Like any good plan, start with the fundamentals – a solid foundation. Know what style best flatters your physique and from there customize your outfit and make it yours. Do you look better in high-waisted trousers, mid-calf pencil skirts, empire wasted suit jackets?
Fast forward straight to fall, after all, every retailer has already begun to showcase the newest and cutest fall wear. My fall fashion must, a pair of black suede Banana Republic booties. Paired with a heather grey sweater dress (belted of course – with a patent J.Crew belt) and thick black tights will make a regular Tuesday a tiny bit more edgy…and for a touch of color – I’ve got my eye on a subtle print scarf from Urban Outfitters.
My “must-have” bootie from Banana —->
Due to the economic impact on my financially shrunken wallet, I must be sure my cubicle couture can be translated into my weekend wear. My Banana booties will go marvelously with a pair of thick black leggings and an oversized Vince sweater I purchased last year (belted of course).
When in fashion doubt, jewelry can always add that random unanticipated element to your wardrobe. Be it a vintage string of pearls or a vibrant emerald ring to add flair to a high-waisted navy skirt and ruffle blouse, you have added the finishing touches to an almost boring outfit – I would likely take it one step further and add those yellow patent pumps!
Think before you purchase and think before you wear: push fashion limits to the extent you feel comfortable and know your corporate culture. Outfits public relations professionals wear will differ from women in the financial industry, although it doesn’t mean finance junkies have to pack up their patent peep toe pumps. The idea is to try the unexpected and wear it like you own it. Don’t dress yourself in head-to-toe “trends” – most trends don’t complement 99 percent of the hoi polloi. Trendsetters are those who go beyond what we see in magazines. They mix fabric texture, prints and colors; they combine the new with the old and the fashion now with the sometimes fashion never-was – to make an ultra awesome and polished combo. And manage to maintain a professional look that’s office-appropriate but never ordinary.
Please note my perfectly accessorized mono-chromatic sweater dress and tights on model Vlada Roslyakova, compliments of the style watchers at “Who What Wear.” Perfect for work and translates beautifully into Saturday day wear!
We spend 90 percent of our time hidden in partially enclosed workspaces…snore. Today’s call to action: break out of the 5 x 6 foot space with bursts of color and ample accessories. As an 8 to 8er, you are not exempt from nurturing your weekday appearance. Dig deep for your creative fashion genes (pun absolutely intended) and make getting ready for work less of a must and more of an art.