Posted on October 13 2021
There are so many women that are looking at going back to the office or have started going back to the office or are just getting back out into the world professionally and want to redefine what their style is. We tapped into Elizabeth Lewis, Founder and CEO of Brand, Style & Bloom for her input on what to wear and where to even start.
As my clients have started to head back to the office, they have a swirl of questions around what to wear. Some are excited to get dressed up again, especially from the waist down, but a lot of their clothes no longer fit like they used to (I’m looking at you, Covid 15+!). Others are hesitant to dress up after a year of loungewear or simply have no idea how to put outfits together anymore. And many have a hybrid office/home working arrangement and need clothing that works for both environments. If any of this resonates, I have 4 tips for you below to make back-to-office dressing less stressful and even fun!
- Start with YOU. What do you stand for, and what makes you unique? Our personal style is a great tool to express who we are and supports us in achieving our goals, and I always dress with that in mind. My advice is to think of 3 words that signify this—for example, my 3 words are fearless, joyful and artistic. This manifests itself through bright colors, interesting patterns and cuts and of course, my signature red lipstick. What can you wear that represents who you are and the gifts you bring to the table, but also respects your office dress code?
Think hybrid. You may be in a hybrid working arrangement right now, needing pieces that work both at the office and at home. And even if you’re not, it helps to simplify your wardrobe to pieces that can work across a range of environments. Below, I recommend 6 pieces that are professional AND comfortable (meaning that they allow room for movement and accommodate figures in flux):
- Dark Denim Jeans: Jeans that fit you properly can be super comfortable, and dark denim is a polished-looking wash that makes it office appropriate (assuming jeans are allowed). Mott and Bow jeans are known for their comfort and a free home try-on program that helps to ensure your best fit.
- A Flowy Blouse: A patterned or bold-colored but loose-fitting blouse, such as this one from Aqua, allows you to express yourself while staying comfortable.
- Black Stretchy Pants: We can all use a pair of versatile black pants with a healthy amount of stretch, such as the Foster Pant from M.M. LaFleur. As professional as they look, many have compared the feel of them to yoga pants!
- A Knit Dress: This type of dress in a classic silhouette (such as this one from Karen Millen) is office appropriate and has a cozy feel. Plus, this is another type of piece that easily allows you to express your personality with a range of colors and designs to choose from.
- A Knit Blazer: If you’re attending a more formal meeting or have a presentation, you may want to wear a blazer to elevate your outfit. But that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice comfort. A knit blazer, such as this one from Ralph Lauren, will help to take your look to the next level without making you feel stiff.
- Comfy, Beautiful Flats: If you’re not yet ready to wear heels again, you don’t need to as long as your footwear is professional enough. I love ALLY’s Forever Flats line (especially these in Gutsy Garnet). Their pointed toe is chic, they have the perfect amount of padding so you almost forget you have them on, and they are handmade for YOUR foot.
Photo Credit: James Edmond
3. Make it easy to get dressed each morning by developing a style uniform. If you find that combining a couple of the pieces above works really well for you (meaning you feel confident in them and they flatter your figure), such as the knit-blazer + knit dress or the flowy blouse + black stretchy pants, don’t be afraid to buy multiple types of pieces that are part of that combo and wear this type of outfit regularly. A lot of the guesswork each morning will be removed and you can keep your look fresh with accessories.
4. Join a community of women who can support you in your style journey. I created the Style Wellness™ Membership Community in 2020 to support women in using the power of their style to help them get better jobs, better relationships, and better lives. Experience it for yourself! Get a free month of the Style Wellness™ Membership Community (a $49 value) in 3 steps:
Click here to see the benefits. Scroll down and choose the 1-Month Membership Option (priced at $49) Enter code STYLEWELLNESSALLY to get your complimentary 1-month membership, no credit card required.
This offer is valid through through midnight, October 31