Have you ever gone through your entire closet searching for the right outfit to wear to an important interview or first day on the job, only to come up with a boring outfit that didn't make you feel confident at all? Most of us have been there at least once. Finding that perfect balance between professionalism and style in the workplace is not at all easy. Shopping for corporate attire can feel confusing and tricky at times as you want to appear confident, smart, and capable to coworkers, leadership, and clients.
Once you've been working at your job for a while, it will be easier to infuse personality into work clothes because you'll better understand the office environment. However, when you are new to an office environment, it may take a few trips to the store to find work outfits that you'll feel comfortable and confident in all day long. We'll go over some smart office outfit choices that will work well for the office, plus helpful tips on incorporating your personality into your look.
What Is Corporate Attire?
Corporate attire is the clothing you wear in professional settings, like the office, board meetings, interviews, face-to-face meetings with clients, etc. Corporate attire varies from casual to formal based on the industry and office you work in. For more conservative work environments—such as law offices and government jobs—a formal dress code is expected. For other offices, a less strict dress code is practiced and generally follows a business casual type of environment. Before you pick out your outfit to wear, think about what office setting you will be walking into and choose your outfit accordingly.
Business Casual Vs. Formal Business Attire
There is a range of appropriate office fashion, from casual to a more formal style of dress. It's essential to understand an office's dress code to pick out the right style. Business casual is somewhat relaxed compared to formal business wear. Most contemporary offices have a business casual dress code. So if you're new to an office and are unsure of how other employees tend to dress there, it's best to stick with a business casual style. Examples of business casual dress include:
- Pencil Skirts
- Simple Jewelry
- Flats/certain kinds of sneakers
In contrast to business casual, formal business attire typically consists of coordinated suits, hosiery, low-heeled shoes, and minimal jewelry.
Office Ready Outfit Ideas
Having multiple go-to outfits ready is important for busy professionals. The last thing you want to do on the morning of a big meeting is to scramble around trying to find the right outfit. It can be stressful to find the right professional outfit, as you want to present the best image of yourself and send the right image to your colleagues and clients. With these corporate attire looks, you'll fit into most contemporary offices. So you'll be able to present your work and ideas in an outfit that makes you feel confident and professional.
Corporate attire dress codes usually allow office members to wear semi-casual and formal tops. Blouses, sweaters, cardigans, turtlenecks, and shirts with sleeves can all be utilized in your professional wardrobe. It's best to stay away from shirts with cartoons, pop culture graphics, or slogans and stick to solids or classy prints. For a minimalist professional wardrobe, try to pick neutral dark colors. A simple color palette will make it easy for you to pair your tops with bottoms.
If you are looking for a flowy blouse with a stylish print, this shirt is a perfect choice. This long-sleeved blouse can be worn through multiple seasons, and with its bold yet elegant print, your look will not require much jewelry to make a fashionable impression. Coordinate with dark-colored slacks or a skirt. Or, if you're looking for a bolder, trendier look, pair the blouse with colored bottoms.
When you need a look to impress and feel confident in, a great blazer will do the trick. With this on-trend blazer, you'll be ready to take charge in the office. This white linen blazer is perfect for those who want something a little more trendy in their office fashion look. You can pair this with the coordinating pants or contrast the top with different-colored pants. Pair with lifestyle sneakers or bright loafers to balance out the formality of a suit. You can also opt for jewelry that has some personality, as the blazer is a great neutral to pair with pops of colors.
Button-ups are a staple in any professional's wardrobe. Their versatility and layering ability in corporate outfits for women make them a great choice when putting together a look for different seasons. A whimsical yet classic polka-dot shirt is great for a professional look that also infuses some personality. In the warm months, pair your shirt with white pants or a skirt for a light, breezy look. In the colder months, pair with dark slacks and layer with a cozy cardigan.
There are many different types of bottoms that are appropriate in corporate outfits for women. Slacks, khakis, skirts, and trousers are the best choices for this style, though some casual offices do allow jeans. Dark colors and neutrals are generally recommended, plus these colors will pair well with many different tops. Finding the right fit is also important in looking professional, so be sure to get the right size length and size when shopping around for bottoms. You can also consider getting your garments tailored for the perfect fit for your body.
If you're looking for the perfect neutral base to elevate your look, these simple black knit pants are an excellent addition to your professional wardrobe. This classic pair of pants is appropriate for casual Mondays at the office as well as important meetings. Its versatility is extended in pairing with tops too. Pair with a blazer for a formal look or a sweater when you want to look casual. Its sleek fit ensures that your shoes will be visible, so you can choose to pick out something eye-catching or simple. Loafers are always a great choice with these pants, and they add elegance to the outfit.
Bottoms don't have to be boring or neutral if you don't want them to be. This attention-grabbing pair of wide-leg pants are sure to be the star of your outfit. They are also perfect for taking from the office to a night out on the town, on those busy days when you don't have time to go home and change after work. Pair with a simple solid shirt and blazer for a sophisticated corporate office outfit. These flowing pants stop at the ankle, so a cute pair of boots or heels look great with these pants.
If you're looking for comfortable yet sophisticated bottoms, this midi skirt will look amazing with most tops. Its nude neutral color pairs well with prints or solids colors. For an easy look, pair it with a simple sweater and booties. You can also dress it up with a sharp blazer for days when you need something a bit more formal.
Dresses can be great to throw on when you're in a rush, as you won't need to coordinate a top with a bottom. They are also perfect for more formal offices or professional occasions. Professional-looking dresses are typically simple, well-fitting garments without a lot of flashiness.
This simple knit dress is perfect for your corporate attire. This dress's dark neutral color will look great with a sweater or blazer with a bit of color. Or you can choose to keep things more formal by sticking within dark and neutral layering pieces. With the end of the hem hitting the knee, you can pair this dress with flats or boots for a classy office outfit.
When you are searching for formal corporate attire, whether for a professional event or meeting, finding an appropriate outfit isn't all that easy. This dress is a great addition to your professional wardrobe, as its long skirt and sleeves make it appropriate for professional settings. With its simple and fashionable print, you can pair this dress with a blazer or jacket for a sophisticated look. With its ankle-length hem, heels or boots look great with this dress.
When it comes to shoes, you'll find that neutral colors and flat heels are generally the norms. Keep that in mind and skip the over-the-top bright stilettos when you're trying to pick out appropriate corporate attire. Depending on your office, cute sneakers and booties are great shoes to wear. Be sure to pick out comfortable and classy options that you can wear with multiple outfits.
These neutral sneakers with a woven pattern are perfect for a casual office environment. Pair them with a structured blazer and sleek pants for a look that is the perfect mix of comfortable, sophisticated, and professional.
In professional settings, less is more when it comes to accessories. This doesn't mean you need to forgo jewelry and accessories you love entirely. Try to pick out pieces that are timeless, simple, and elegant. A simple necklace, bracelet, or earrings are enough to show off personal style without going overboard.
This gold heart necklace is a beautiful piece of jewelry to wear with neutral tops. A necklace of this length pairs well with high-neck blouses and sweaters.
Bracelets are also subtle and classy accessories to work into your corporate attire. This serenity bracelet is perfect to wear around the office. Not only is it beautiful, but it's a great reminder throughout the workday of your spiritual blessings.
Tips for Putting Together an Office Outfit
Dressing your best in the office comes down to knowing yourself and your personal sense of style while also being aware of your office's expectations. If you're more comfortable with structured, formal clothes, then you should build a corporate wardrobe that reflects that preference. However, if you're looking for work clothes that are trendier and more casual, try to seek a balance between corporate attire and personality. It's not always easy finding the right outfits for the office, though. These tips will help you fuse some personality into your corporate attire.
- If you're new to an office and are unsure of what kind of style is typical for that environment, err on the conservative side. Stick to neutral slacks, blazers, sweaters, and blouses.
- Avoid pieces that make distracting noises. You don't want to annoy your coworkers sitting around you with noisy bangles or squeaky shoes.
- Pick out pieces that you'll feel comfortable in all day. You'll want clothes that will feel comfortable when you sit, stand, and move around. Avoid clothing that is too tight or restricting.
- Invest in well-made pieces of clothing. Part of looking professional is wearing items that fit well. You want to avoid anything too tight or loose, as it will look sloppy.
- Make sure your outfit is clean and neatly pressed. Stains and wrinkles tend to look unprofessional.
Dressing for days at the corporate office can be confusing and challenging. That's why having a versatile wardrobe is important for busy professionals. Sticking to neutral colors, elegant patterns, and classy fits are the best options when it comes to office fashion. You'll be able to mix and match looks and add subtle pops of color and accessories for a style that is particular to you.
Our online boutique has many options for you to build or update your professional wardrobe. Whether you are looking for classic office fashion pieces, like blazers or slacks, or a trendy and work-appropriate pair of sneakers, we have you covered. Our online boutique offers a curated selection of contemporary fashion apparel and accessories so you can feel confident walking into your office.