In the workplace today, we have moved away from the standard black or blue suit. More people are using their attire to stand out in the office.
Your fashionista skills are not only for the weekends — they can, and should, show up Monday morning. There are plenty of items you can spruce up to be work appropriate. Just make sure you do it the right way, and not all at once.
Here are some items you can pull from your closet right now that you never thought about wearing in the office.
1. A bodysuit
This is probably one of the most overlooked articles of clothing a woman could own. A good bodysuit can go with any outfit.
It is a perfect under-the-suit or sweater addition with your favorite skirt or pant. There are also quarter and long sleeve bodysuits that you can wear with high-waist trousers or wide-leg dress pants.
Most people think skin-tight one-piece when they hear the word bodysuit, but bodysuits come in many styles. There is a style that everyone can enjoy, even at work.
2. Hoop earrings
These are my new favorite work earrings: slim gold hoops. I never thought I could wear hoops to work unless I worked in fashion. But I started rocking my Saturday hoops in the office this past spring, and it has sparked up my outfits.
The key to making this work is keeping your outfit simple. The earrings are your statement piece. Similar to when you wear a bold necklace, the rest of your outfit shouldn’t distract from the focal point.
3. A jean jacket
I got this idea from my fiancé. He wore a jean jacket to work with his usual attire, and it looked fantastic. I decided to give it a try. The day I wore denim in the office, I received several compliments on my jacket choice that day.
My jean jacket did not replace my blazer, but it was more of the staple piece that I wore when I entered the office, left for lunch, when I was chilly in the conference room and when I left. Similar to if you were wearing a winter coat in the office. If you keep up with jean jacket trends, you know jacket pins are IN style right now. My favorite jean jacket has a few pins that are office appropriate.
4. A jumpsuit
When I travel for work (or even on personal trips), I try my best to pack items that can be mixed and matched together for more than one outfit. But what is always in my luggage is a jumpsuit. It's the perfect one-piece alternative to a dress.
You might think it could be tricky to locate the perfect one-piece, but it is not. And once you find one, dress it up with a necklace, hoop earrings, a blazer, a sweater or that denim jacket! Remember: not all at once. Darker colors like navy, eggplant, and black make this look chic. But if you want to be bold, red does the trick — and it looks fabulous!
Work attire doesn’t have to be bland and boring. It should be colorful, bold and exciting. You probably already have at least one of these items in your closet right now. Wear it next time you go to work, and be ready for the compliments!
Jemia is a certified Diversity & Inclusion Practitioner from Georgetown University. Her passions lie in research around equity, gender & diversity and blogging about her experiences as a woman of color. You can find Jemia on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.