Looking Chic at Work
Three Tips for Looking Chic at Work
My love for pops of color in a wardrobe was featured in 435 Magazine and in turn has sparked questions from my readers as well as KCTV5 anchor, Elizabeth Rentzler, as to how I incorporate color into my work ensembles. So I sat down to craft my top three tips for looking chic in the workplace, which by the way, are laced with color suggestions that you could start using tomorrow. These include: dressing with three colors, clashing your styles, and buying statement pieces. Let’s dive in.
Dress with Three Colors
I admit to having an adverse mindset to the matchy-matchy concept, and dressing in three colors supports my rogue way of thinking. If you are used to playing it safe this concept will transform your way of thinking and boost your look more than you ever thought possible. So here we go, it’s easy.
- Choose a pant and shirt that are two different colors and a shoe that’s a third color. You can also bring the third color in with your jewelry and even handbag.
- White, cream, and black are technically shades, so you could be more flexible when wearing those shades and choose a fourth color. Imagine a white t-shirt, black cropped pants, yellow pumps and a bright blue bag or necklace.
- If you’re wearing a print, that counts as one color, the same is true for a pin stripe and a wide stripe.
You’ll be amazed how anything goes. I love to live dangerously and group primary colors as well as, greens and blues, reds and pinks, purple and red, blacks and blues, and the list goes on. I guarantee you will hear, “I love your outfit, but I would’ve never thought to put that together.” Dress in three colors and you will become the style guru at the office. Promise.
Clash Your Styles
Another one of my favorites is to combine apparel items that live in different families and even completely different universes. I love it when sweet meets feisty, structured meets slouchy, edgy meets conservative, prints collide, and colors startle. To some it might look off, but the trained eye will know a fashion vixen when they see her. Examples include:
- Wear different prints together. Done best, wearing prints together is about balance, color, and proportion.
- Color: Keep it in the same color family. Although I say this with hesitancy because it seems that anymore anything goes. Have you seen the latest issue of JCREW?
- Balance: Keep your accessories, handbags, and shoes simple and in one color.
- Proportion: Mix small prints with large prints so that you're not screaming circus clown when you walk in. Mix stripes with florals and polka dots with stripes. You can also mix stripes with stripes if you have a wide stripe on one half and a pinstripe on the other.
- Mixing fabrics is another great way to clash your style. Take leather pants for example, which originated from rock stars and bikers, and put them with a sweater and sneakers, or a blazer and sneakers. It’s fantastically attention getting and work appropriate depending on your company culture.
- Other ways to clash your styles are a pairing a heavy boot with a flow skirt.
You get the idea, right?
Buy Statement Pieces
I have to be honest, when people ask me how to incorporate pops of color into their wardrobe, my first response is that you have to buy it. I mean that with all sincerity and not sarcasm. Color, in various accessories, handbags, shoes, belts, and the like, will go farther than you can imagine while standing at the checkout counter. Here’s some advice on buying statement pieces:
- When you buy yourself that new seasonal bag, go with what caught your eye when you walked in the door, not what’s practical. In other words, trade black for royal blue and studded. You’ll get your money’s worth and be able to wear it with more than you know!
- The same goes for any apparel item that catches your eye, especially belts, scarves, and jewelry. They will come together in the most beautiful way to complement your outfit, but you have to acquire it first. If you love it, but you don’t know what you’ll pair it with, that’s ok, buy it anyways.
- Consider buying a certain number of items each year that are timeless. For example, a black leather jacket, a great clutch purse, or a nice black or red pump. These items will live on forever and you’ll rarely replace them.
So there you have it, the power of three to always look chic at work. I know what you are thinking — do I have to do this every day? — and the answer is no! Not everyday is a “chic day” at work. There are times (very few of them) where my calendar is free of meetings, traveling, and presentations. On these days, I’m in a more simplified, comfortable outfit. But on all other days I’ve got the volume turned up. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.