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Hi, I'm Nellwyn!

The Cardinal Press is a lifestyle blog about living beautifully and creatively, every day.

How to Add Attitude to Your Professional Wardrobe

How to Add Attitude to Your Professional Wardrobe

This is a guest post by Sophia Smith.

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The modern office is often associated with professional dress codes that limit your creative expression, but this is not necessarily the case, especially if we take into consideration the changing working climate of the world. When you manage to strike the right balance, you can easily pair the professional vibe of your office without compromising your own authentic fashion preferences.

There’s no need to stick to your gray suits or red lipstick as your only bright detail, but you will need to abandon your comfort zone to discover what fits your office and your own look. For all office fashionistas out there, let’s delve into the various dress code essentials for your professional endeavors, as well as different ways to elevate your look without breaking the rules.

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Prints and texture

This may come as a revelation to some, but suits don’t come only in black or gray, and you can easily add variety to your wardrobe with a few carefully picked patterns that help express your personality and add a dab of character to your look. However, balance is still key in this aspect of dressing for work and picking classy and light patterns is essential to maintaining that professional vibe.

For example, checkered prints in subdued tones work excellent with pantsuits, while light florals without any loud colors also make an excellent choice for a skirt and jacket combo. Timeless stripes add another touch of elegance and still let you keep things interesting, so a black and white mix is ideal for novice pattern lovers. Then again, fabrics such as velvet, silk, and linen can work wonders for your outfits, while you can save your haute denim jeans for an upcoming casual Friday.

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Widen your palette

If you think it’s impossible to wear millennial pink, sunny yellow, or ultra violet to work, think again! With a little bit of imagination and a few discrete items in your closet, you can easily work in a few brighter, bolder tones into your existing mix of black, white, gray, and all the hues of beige.

Shoes, for instance, are an excellent way to add a pop of color by wearing something creamy and juicy like peach or pink, but even a scarf can go a long way in spicing up your look. In order to go for that much-needed balance, you can match your footwear with your eyewear, for example, and thus create your own go-to palette of neutrals and accents.

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Get creative with your essentials

Every professional wardrobe is based on the same essential pieces, such as dress pants, blazers, shirts, pencil skirts, jackets, dresses, bags, shoes, baubles, and the like. However, it’s often how, and not what you wear that matters most in bringing out your character through your office outfits.

You can easily find designer bags and other high-end pieces offered on sales directly from fashion brands where you can pick a few much more affordable favorites to style your outfits depending on the occasion. Perhaps a presentation for a potential client calls for a bold red tote to exude power, while your everyday errands for work are best performed with your briefcase by your side.

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Accessorize for effect

Sometimes a little can go a long way in defining your look, so don’t underestimate the power your watch or your lipstick has on adding an exciting twist to an otherwise mundane look. This is where your imagination will shine, because an office setting often means that you have limited options in wearing different jewelry, and too much makeup is never a good choice.

Have a few fun belts to go with your pants, dresses, and jackets, which will break the monotony of monochrome suiting, while simultaneously accentuating your waist. If you’re wearing a crisp white shirt and black pants, then an intricate chain necklace can be a wonderful addition to your ensemble, while even an unusual frame of your eyeglasses can change your entire look.

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Add a statement item 

Details on your already essential items can reshape your wardrobe and give you more wiggle room to introduce variety. For instance, your statement little black dress for a cocktail evening at the office can be easily elevated with the right pair of fun-printed stockings, but still be appropriate for the occasion.

On the other hand, if you already possess a few single-toned shirts and blazers, you can add one or two colorful pieces, and make them your pièce de résistance of the given outfit. A pair of striped heels, or a scarf with a jazzy pattern can also achieve the same effect, as long as the rest of your outfit is subdued and balanced.

How do you incorporate your personal style into your work wardrobe? Share your tips in the comments! 

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