Whatever your professional style – should you be judged on your work outfits rather than how you perform? Hell no! But there’s an insipid little influence called ‘unconscious bias,’ which is a reality everyone experiences at some stage. These oblivious expectations mean your boss may associate your appearance with how much you care about work.
That being said, putting in extra effort shouldn’t mean having to change your look. Just because your boss wears a blazer and sensible slacks doesn’t mean you need to change your style in solidarity. Here are some tips on how to put your polished foot forward in a way that feels true to you. And when you’re the boss one day, you can ensure you promote and reward entirely on merit.
If you’re in the creative industry, you have the luxury of trying out the latest trends and finding a feature bag (or two), that push fashion boundaries. Bold colour, loud patterns and distinctive shapes are effective ways to lift any outfit, and up your street-cred. Of course, functionality is still essential, so look for bags that can keep your pens, iPad, ideas book and just-in-case-umbrella organised.
When it comes to getting dressed in the morning, working in the creative space can be a blessing and a curse. While the opportunity to express your character and flair through what you wear is a good thing, a lax dress code can be confusing. Often, it’s a case of finding the sometimes burdensome balance between professional and effortlessly modish. Every. Single. Day.
To counteract the trend-trap, take your workday inspo from show-goers: Fashion Week Street Style. These dashingly decked-out women rush all over NYC during their jam-packed FW schedules. So you know their outfits are going to fly IRL and not just for Insta-opps.
Of course, paying the lofty $ for the high-end labels that show up on the street during FW are beyond the average wardrobe budget. Think of these show ponies as an endless feed of inspiration on how to play with cut, colour and pattern. And get ideas about adding statement accessories, so your creative feel shines through.
A quality tote bag is practical, polished, and chic. With lots of space and pockets, you can organise your papers, business cards and phone while still owning the city with your sophisticated style.
Most of us dream of dressing the way we want at work. But often in a corporate environment, there's a pretty stock standard dress code: no sneakers, no jeans, no t-shirts. These outfit-constraints can make creating a fashion-forward corporate look, a tough task. Not everyone's lucky enough to work in an office where all styles are celebrated.
To sidestep this stressful process, we recommend investing in some quality wardrobe essentials that’ll make you look and feel like a professional powerhouse. Ideally, these versatile basics can be dressed up for the boardroom or dressed down for Happy Hour. Start with these magic pieces: white shirt, black blazer, short-sleeved dress, pencil skirt, black pants and one accent piece in a bold colour.
Times have changed, and your work bag has to change with them. Now, you need to be able to haul and protect your tech gear on planes, your cycle commute and at the gym. Whether your gig is in a stiff-collar office tower or an open-plan warehouse with a foosball table – function is king. We’re not saying you need to sacrifice style; look for a bag that has lots of zipper spaces for your gadgets and gear.
The tech industry is known for being casual (think Zuckerberg's tees and Steve Jobs' turtleneck). Intentionally informal, or smart casual is the norm at most tech-based businesses. Here's your go-to outfit: dark jeans paired with a great blouse and flats (heels aren't necessary). Above all, – wear something that makes you feel confident.
Most women are still outnumbered in tech industries. And while you don't have to dress like 'one of the boys,' you do want to feel comfy and confident. The sweet spot is a more casual version of corporate dressing. Remember – it's about separates – a dress isn't necessary, so try a skirt or pant combo instead. Utilise accessories to take your outfit from morning meeting to afternoon drinks.
Whatever industry you work in, always dress authentically; in something that makes you feel like you. If that means rocking a great pair of heels – go for it. But equally, if that means sneakers with a dress – don't second-guess yourself. Always dress to show up and give your best. Whether you build your look around comfort or cutting-edge fashion – you do you.