Dressing Casual at Work
Our style of dressing at work and elsewhere becomes our trademark. We get used to wearing certain types of clothes and if there’s a change in dress policy at work, which forces us to change, we get kind of lost, and wonder what to do. For example, take the case of Diane. Diane is 46 years old, and has been wearing jeans to work for the longest time. A new rule has made it compulsory to dress casual, and no denims. Diane seems to be quite perplexed. She can’t imagine what she’ll do without her comfy jeans. Well, right now she has no choice but to follow the rules. One of Diane’s problems is that in her office the heat and A/C are not really controlled. Thus in Winter, it ends up being too hot and in Summer it’s icy cool. What’s confusing her is that she has no idea what to wear, so that she doesn’t end up being too hot or too cold throughout the day. In a way, that’s understandable, since we always want to be comfortable on the job.
Kathi Burns, a Professional Image Consultant and Board Certified Organizer, gives sound advice to Diane. Kathi says, that the best thing to do is go for layers!
She explains that there are a variety of different lightweight sweater fabrics that are available in the market. You can wear a couple, then as the temperature in the office raises or lowers, you can either remove some layers, or put on extras. The trick is to buy different sleeve lengths, and it’s best that the last layer, that is the first you put on, is a sleeveless shell.
Another thing to watch out for when layering are the necklines. Your tops should not compete with each other. Strong colors are easy to mix and match. If you’re wearing a printed top, it’s best to keep it simple and basic. It’s also preferable that you use the same color family as the other layers, and restrict the print to one layer only.
Yet another thing that you can use to your advantage is a ‘shirt jacket’. These shirt jackets are essentially shirts that you put over sweaters or other shirts. Most often these shirts have button fronts, shirt tail hems and long sleeves. These are handy to keep at the office, in case you find it getting too chilly for comfort. You can then throw it on to keep you warm.
True, it’s hard to replace jeans. But you could try a sleek pair of tweed slacks or a classy corduroy. In fact, if you get something that you’re comfortable with, you won’t miss your jeans. A good thing about tweed is that it does not wrinkle easily and it won’t go out of style. It’s important that you take time to find the perfect fit and invest in the best fabric. You should note that there are different types of tweeds. Go for the heavier tweeds with lining if it’s too cold. The lightweight tweeds are best for a hot climate.
Another useful tip is keeping a pair of socks at work. Whenever your toes are feeling the chill, just slip on a pair to feel warm. Though it’ll be a little tricky finding shoes that you can wear with or without socks. While flat mules may be comfy, it’s best to wear them without socks and slacks only!
Hopefully these tips will give you a strong head start. Over time, you’ll be able to explore and hone in on your style and most importantly find out what you are comfortable wearing. Spend the time to buy the right clothes for your body and lifestyle, It’s a solid investment for career advancement and increased self-esteem.
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