Who says you can’t be stylish at work?

We all have to figure out what to wear to work each day. With the right approach, you can be stylish as well as professional.

Fashion Weeks bring endless inspiration for those of us who want to showcase our style at work while still looking work-appropriate. I love this time of year, when New York Fashion Week has just finished, London Fashion Week is in full swing, and Paris and Milan are coming up. It’s heaven for anyone even remotely interested in the sartorially fabulous – even dog lovers can make sure their pooch is up with the latest trends (https://www.theurbanlist.com/melbourne/a-list/vamff-diamond-dogs)!

Many people think that work-wear has to be boring. I don’t hold that view. I think (within reason) you can still be incredibly stylish while wearing outfits that are work-appropriate. This goes for both women and men! The key is to make sure you incorporate just one trend straight off the catwalk – such as athleisure/sports lux with heels, or the season’s top colour of purple – rather than overdo it with multiple trends in the one outfit.

Embracing trends

I’m a huge fan of the 90’s fashion trends coming back in and I’m loving seeing all the key pieces return (scrunchies, glitter, tube tops, leather moto jackets, slip dresses, and spaghetti straps, to name a few), but sadly these items aren’t the kinds of things I would advocate for wearing to the office, unless you work in the fashion industry – in which case, you can probably get away with almost anything! But for those of us who work in more conservative environments (like management consulting), this year’s other trends are perfect. Work-wear staples such as trench coats, silky blazers, Prince of Wales checked coats and pants, hosiery, bucket bags, and power suits are all ruling the runway this year, so it’s actually easy to ensure your outfit is suitable for a professional environment.

How to be stylish at work

Style is one of those things that is as individual as you are. However, my advice to those coming up in their careers is to weave in some fashionable pieces to your 9-5 wardrobe, but err on the side of always looking professional and a tad conservative. I hate to say it, but this means longer hemlines, no cleavage, no over-the-top makeup, no higher than six-inch heels, and no visible tattoos/piercings. Anything that you’d wear to a nightclub is a no-no.

Think about what you want your image at work to be, keeping in mind we all make judgements on first impressions. If you are so inclined, save the eccentric Lady Gaga-esque look for the weekend, and keep your look faultlessly professional during the week. But remember that professional and classy doesn’t mean dull!

Who is best-dressed?

For women, my pop culture work-wear inspirations are:

  • Olivia Pope from the TV show ‘Scandal’
  • Claire Underwood from the TV show ‘House of Cards’
  • Elizabeth Sloane from the movie ‘Miss Sloane’

For men, there’s really only one man I draw inspiration from: the impeccably stylish David Gandy (a high-profile London-based model and style icon, but lesser known here in Australia).

I highly recommend men’s work-wear from a tailoring business called Oscar Hunt, in Melbourne and Sydney, to achieve a similarly immaculate look: https://www.oscarhunt.com.au/

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