CORPORATE WEAR
What to wear at the workplace

For the working woman or business class woman who’s trying to be fashionable and at the same time professionally dressed, the good news is that today fashion has become more ‘work’ appropriate and ‘job friendly’than ever before.It’s important to make that great first impression (remember, the first impression is the best !) and avoid the more common ‘fashion pitfalls’.

Filling up your workplace wardrobe will depend on the nature of your job, the type of clients you meet, whether your work involves travel etc.

If you are seeing clients, it is important to dress to their corporate culture, not just yours. A suited look is more suitable for a conservative company atmosphere, or client, in order to befit the business ambience. You can make a more fashionably suited statement by wearing a dark blazer over a light coloured dress or sari. One of the new shaped blazers over a column of color (a matching sweater and sari) tends to make you look taller and can be helpful to petite women.

When working with more casual clients, it is best to be a little overdressed than assume a casual pose. You can layer a jacket over a sweater or crisp cotton shirt; by adding a nice pair of pants whereby you will be casual but appear more ‘pulled together’or composed. If you feel like you need to be a little less formal, you can easily slip off the jacket.

When travelling, choose a suit in a microfiber or microfiber blend fabric. These fibers release wrinkles and are easy to ‘spot clean’ should a stain appear. Knit layering pieces will keep you looking fresh even at the end of a long day. Also, choose darker colors when traveling since wrinkles and soil are less likely to show up.

For the casual yet refined look

Skirts make a strong return for 2007, but use caution when choosing a skirt for work. The pencil skirt is an excellent choice for the office, whether worn suited or with a longer sweater and belt. Its simplicity makes a very sophisticated statement. Skirts with fullness, especially a bubble skirt, can be tricky and are best for work environments where creativity and individual style are encouraged. This season’s mini skirt or tunic with leggings are better suited for time-off from work. Capris are also a more risky choice, but pairing them with a blazer and heels creates a modern suit that works well in a more relaxed environment.

Accessories are back and offer you a great way to personalize your work attire. Longer necklaces present a ‘new look’ when layered, and the wider cinched belts, or a belt dropped down on the hip over a longer top, can update the ‘classics’. Pick your shot to accessorize - remember not to wear too many accessories at one time. Too many accessories can be distracting and your fashion statement might be missed.

With many companies tightening up casual attire, and women's fashions changing ever more quickly, finding a fashion sales professional in your area can take the stress out of shopping. Shopping at smaller, independent retailers can be a good choice since many have experienced staff that know the local professional atmosphere. Smaller retailers tend to have on-site owners who stay up-to-date on fashion trends; they will make an extra effort to ensure you have the proper look for your next occasion.

It’s important to take the time to put together a workplace wardrobe that works for you and your business. Use your wardrobe to your advantage and obtain the best benefit !

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