T.J.Maxx and Marshalls just partnered with style expert Lindsay Albanese to celebrate the 10th anniversary of “The Devil Wears Prada” (ahhh–has it really been that long??) by putting together a list of super-helpful tips for dressing well in pretty much any workplace. Whether you’re just starting your first job or summer internship, or are looking to dress to impress to get that next raise or promotion–Lindsay’s tips totally nail workplace fashion for any office or any dress code. Here they are:
Go for “sharp and streamlined” pieces. Blazers are the best way to create instant sophistication in the workplace. “My favorite way to style a blazer is to pair it with designer boyfriend jeans, a simple tee and colorful pumps or sleek flats.”
Try an all white ensemble. Summer doesn’t always mean you have to wear bright colors. Lindsay says that a monochromatic cream and white ensemble has the same impact as wearing a bright color. “Try mixing various textures to add interest and dimension like a clean light-knit sweater with lace sleeves or designer dress with a subtle pattern. For those who are a little apprehensive about white adding bulk, be sure to select structured, tailored, and A-line pieces to create clean lines against your frame.”
Layer up. When the temperatures are scorching outside but the A/C is running at full blast inside, “lightweight layering” will be your best friend. The key is to experiment with new ways to layer your everyday classics over or under your clothing. “Try pairing your basic tee under a sleeveless dress, wearing a lightweight button up as outerwear or layering a tunic over a slip dress.”
Try textured looks. Amp up your office style by wearing 3 different and distinct fabrics such as suede, silk and a lightweight knit or denim topper. Suede can create an elegant contrast when worn with weightless silk and adding an additional knit or denim element can further add dimension. You can also anchor your outfit with one item that is a matte or twill fabric to offset bold textures. “It’s all about mixing and matching so don’t be afraid to play around with the fabrics!”
Don’t forget the accessories. Accessories are the ultimate way to show off your individual style, especially if you’re in a more corporate work environment. Whether it’s a metallic tote, bold wedge or lightweight printed scarf, stores like T.J.Maxx and Marshalls carry on-trend accessories to help transform your summer look.
Skirts: always a good idea. When hot, sticky summer weather hits, a breezy skirt is always a fool-proof idea – it’s the perfect combination of comfort and class! From midi to maxi and skater to pencil, the cut and movement of a skirt is wildly feminine and elegant. Go full-on feminine with a polished tucked in blouse and pumps or channel your own street style moment with a tee and fun flats. “Remember to keep the short skirts for the weekend–typically nothing should be shorter than mid-thigh during working hours!”
A polished look always prevails. No matter how casual your office environment, it’s important to never cross the line of being too casual. Office attire rules vary, but a general guideline is to ask yourself if your outfit would be acceptable to wear in front of your client or senior manager. To nail the perfect casual Friday outfit, remember it should be one part relaxed and one part refined. This could be as easy as jeans or a denim skirt paired with a tee shirt and a festive or conservative flat.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask about the dress code. For those starting new jobs, it never hurts to ask what the appropriate attire is. A few winning looks that have mass boss appeal without sacrificing on style, include fun solid or printed blouses paired with cropped trousers and a dressy flat or streamlined pump. Chambray mixed with black is always a nice play on dressed up casual, so try a chambray blouse tucked into a pencil skirt or tailored black pants with a pop of jewelry.
[Photo: Damsel In Dior]