Werk It With Workwear: How To Turn The Office Into Your Catwalk

Let’s be honest: dressing for your desk job is the equivalent as waiting in a queue at Starbucks. No matter the setting, the thought of being bound to your desk for 9 to 10 hours is nothing but a torture. Ditto with waiting for your raise and a promotion. Rather than letting yourself be cramped by desk life, get ready to snatch trophies at the office and get that promotion with a new, improved and more confident you!

To get where you wanna be at, no head-turning performance can start without your sense of style. According to a Forbes article, what you wear really does tie you in to your promotion. Regardless of whether you work in a corporate or creative environment, let these classic, but daring style tips help you get the promotion you want!

  1. Blaze It Up

The reality of shivering in the office and sweating outside the compound is something that we have to face everyday as professional working men and women. If there was one thing that always kept me looking sharp, it’s a neatly tailored blazer.

If you work in a creative environment with a chillaxed dress code, there are so many ways how you can work a blazer. Here, I’ve paired my mom’s vintage Alexander McQueen blazer with a vintage graphic tee and vintage distressed Levi’s 501s for a rock ‘n roll flair. To make this a bit more work-friendly, I anchor the entire look with my trusty Dr. Martens slingback oxfords. Since your social life always mainly takes place after hours, pile on some gold jewelry for a bit of pizzazz!

If you work in a more corporate environment, you can still get away with a printed blazer, but do it with a smaller or less colorful checked print. Save the bold colors for the weekend.

If you want an extra blazin’ look, coordinate it with a matching colored bottom. I know it sounds boring, but doll up the matchy-matchy look with a patterned sock.

2. Checks and Balances

I honestly LOVE a checked print ever since I saw Clueless when I was 13 on a cruise trip in the Mediterranean. Even though Cher Horowitz begged for a capable white button down shirt from Fred Segal, I feel that the skirt suit was more capable than a basic white shirt.

Regardless of the pattern of the print, there are only certain types of checks that work well in the office. Case in point, the most foolproof checked pattern is a Prince of Wales plaid. More subtle than tartan and Madras plaids, this type of plaid has a prim and proper vibe as it’s very monochromatic, yet colorful at the same time. You can practically wear this print with just about anything.

If you wish to go all the way, a tartan plaid is the best option. However, you must keep it simple by pairing it with a white, brown or black solid shoe.

Another daring combo to try is to mix plaid ON plaid, which is super duper extra as heck.

If you feel that checked fabrics are a tad too casual for your vibe, go for a fun houndstooth print. Since it’s smaller and finer than bold solid lines, the small jagged edges of a houndstooth print lend a fun vibe to a boring environment.

3. Slick It With Stripes

I honestly love a good striped print. Even though I adore a Breton stripe or a Charlie Brown zigzag stripe, it’s a tad too casual for the boardroom. Instead, what you need to go for is vertical stripes.

No matter how tall or short your are, vertical stripes offer a visual FaceTune to your body by making you look leaner than you really are! But most importantly, this type of print is ideal to transition between day and night.

If you want to go for a more dressier look, I highly suggest that you go for a darker striped print as seen below. Here, I doll up a Bershka skirt with a pair pointy toe Amelie Pichard vegan leather heels and my mom’s vintage beaded tee. Case in point, you can take two workwear staples (striped print and pointy toe heels) and make it look hot.

For a masculine twist, you can simply go for a button down striped shirt, which is super versatile. It’s seriously the best 9 to 6 and 7 to midnight staple!

4. Slay in Silk

Silk and workwear don’t belong together, but when in a classic silhouette, you can never go wrong with a bit of luxury in the day! Although it’s a risky material to work with (due to its potential to attract food stains), silk instantly dresses up an outfit.

If you work in fashion or any other creative industry, you have more leeway to style it with more statement items like I did here:

(I actually wore this outfit when I was interning at Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore, btw!)

But if you work in a more corporate environment, silk goes best under a pantsuit or tucked inside a skirt. Trust me, you can never go wrong with a classic material. Plus, you have the option to make it slutty after work! πŸ˜›

5. Use Graphic Tees As Your Base

If you are working in creative industries, a graphic tee is the way to go. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many times a graphic tee has amped up my work wardrobe.

Playful, cheeky and subversive, the graphic tee is here to perk you up when your coffee can’t. If you have an oversized, boxy or cropped graphic tee, style it with a pair of high-waisted wide leg pants and a big belt for that ultra cinched look!

If you want to keep things a little more femme, you can go sleek and sexy in a pencil skirt like I did here:

I know this sounds like a stretch, but a Tom Ford era Gucci pencil skirt is a must MUST. I literally bought mine off of eBay and TBH, it was the best purchase I ever made three years ago. That came from his last runway show with Gucci in 2004.

Most importantly, please DO polish up your graphic tee with a blazer!

BONUS: Polish off your outfit with a pair of black boots for some extra sartorial flair!

Published by

Michelle Varinata

Lapis - (n.) a layer Shrek once said that "onions have layers" as he was peeling one. Like an onion, I have layers. Born in Jakarta and raised in Singapore, I grew up being surrounded in a multicultural environment. Then, I moved to the States, where I lived in NYC and L.A. The creativity, hustle, bustle and vibe of those cities inspired me to become a blogger, journalist and influencer. Writing by day and living it up by night, I slay in the streets one OOTD at a time. Full-face makeup included, too. ;)

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