We spend a lot of time at our workplace, and for many this means a specific uniform or workwear wardrobe. When I worked in an office, although we didn’t have a strict dress code, I tried to have 2 wardrobes. One for work and one more casual.
Sometimes a uniform has mandatory requirements that tends to make them more functional than fashionable. However, there are plenty of companies such as Simon Jersey that provide workwear options that can help you look and feel your best at work.
Working as a fashion designer, staying ‘fashionable’ was really important to me. But what do you need to keep in mind when trying to stay fashionable at work?
One way to stay fashionable is to look at what current style trends can be adapted into your workwear.
Different cuts and styles of dress, suit, skirt or trouser could be incorporated into your uniform. Look at what is currently on trend and if it translates into professional wear then it might be ideal to add to your working wardrobe. For example, could you go for a tapered trouser leg, or maybe a pussy bow blouse, to make your outfit a little more unique? A brightly coloured blazer, rather than a standard 2 piece suit? I always go to River Island or H&M for something like this.
The key is to find a ‘uniform’ that looks good but is also practical for your role. For example, if you work on a reception desk you might be the first person a customer or visitor sees so something that looks stylish and presents the right first impression is crucial.
Whereas if you work as a GP you need something that looks presentable and professional. But also need something which is flexible and comfortable to help you get through a busy shift, especially in a hospital where you might need to constantly move around different rooms and wards.
Think about the specific requirements of your role. If you’re on your feet all day then comfort is important, so prioritise being comfortable. For instance, if you work in a beauty salon, comfortable shoes can help get you through a shift and you can focus the fashionable elements into the rest of your uniform to create a sleek, professional look that also lets you get through a busy shift.
Colour’s can change with each season, and are the quickest way to update a wardrobe. You might find that your employers branding means you can only wear certain colours in order to match with the business. But if you’ve got free reign then look at which colours are currently making a splash.
They can be incorporated into everything, from tops, to accessories, even make-up to allow you to make your wardrobe that little bit more fashion conscious. Personally I love either a red lip or nails to stand out in a more basic uniform.
Thankfully the colours that are in trend each season have some variety to them. This allows you to not only mix up your wardrobe so it doesn’t feel as much like you’re wearing the same thing week in, week out. But also allows you to find something that compliments you.
Finding the right colouring can do wonders for your look, helping you feel much more confident and relaxed at work, which if you work in customer service can really help you feel more confident when dealing with the public.
The final way to update your wardrobe is your accessories. There’s no quicker way to tie a look together, from specific styles of jewellery, to the right choice of bags, shoes, belts or ties.
Accessories offer relatively inexpensive and quick ways of tweaking a wardrobe to add a splash of a new colour, or subtly changing the look you’re trying to achieve.
You can use bold, chunky accessories to add a splash of colour for day to day, or you could use something more refined and understated to create an even more professional look for a meeting.
There are lots of ways to bring a working wardrobe up to date, from the choice of colour or style of clothing to the accessories you pair with your outfit.
Balancing looking good as well as professional and being able to do your job comfortably can be tricky but it isn’t impossible.
My tips are:
- Build a selection of basic items in your work wardrobe that can be mixed and matched.
- Decide on your colour of the season and add this to the basic selection. A red blazer or green heels. Even a neon yellow chunky necklace would work. (I have all of these items in my wardrobe!)
- Always consider comfort and whether thats vital to your role.
- If you’re worried something is too casual, then it probably is. But could it be added to something smart to create a smart/casual look?
- Make sure you feel good and confident in what you wear. If you’re not confident wearing a certain colour, then simply don’t wear it.
- If you’re uniform is strict, could you add a bright lipstick or nail to add some colour? Could you style your hair in a certain way that makes your look a little more ‘fashionable’?
- Finally, don’t overthink it. Try to be natural, but with a twist.
At the moment I work from home. So I of course don’t have a uniform. But having smart clothes that are fashionable is still important for my job. I never know when I be invited to attend an event, meeting or even an interview. I always make sure I’ve got a smart pair of trousers and a modern blazer.
* Collaborative post