Let's get something straight: self expression and fashion has no limits. Even with business professional settings, you can still Dress to Express. "How do you do this?" you may be thinking. It's tricky, a little complicated, but well worth the trouble.
I genuinely believe dressing to Express is critical in business professional settings. If you're looking to make an impression on others, standing out is critical. You don't want to blend in and be another person in a crowded room. Today, I will be filling you in on one of the trickiest tasks of fashion.
Traditional with a Twist and Plenty of Tips
Following the dress code to a business professional event is necessary. You don't want to be under-dressed or appear foolish.
Wear yoga pants or sweat pants. If the event calls for black pants, don't even reach for your yogas or black jeans. Slacks are critical to appearing knowledgeable and credible.
I recommend going to a local consignment shop for slacks. You can find name brand, expensive, and quality slacks for pennies when you check out consignment shops. Plus, it's green! Reuse and save some dough.
Step in with scuffed or scummy shoes. Ladies, find yourself a cobbler to repair your heels. Sometimes the little nubs on the bottom of your heels may break down or rip off. Don't toss your shoes in the trash, repair them. Having a cobbler who can repair your shoes will save you money as well as be greener than fast fashion. Help Mother Earth and help yourself by finding a go-to cobbler to sweep into action.
Have Designated Business Professional Items
You never know when you'll be in a pinch and need to go to a meeting, conference, or appearance. Having items designated for those circumstances is great to have in order to be prepared.
Got the basics down? Time to twist it!
Pick a Color, Now Pop
Don't fear color. Seriously. How many grey and black suits do you daily? It's monotonous... and you can stand out by simply picking a color and embracing it.
Here's an example: I had my basic black blouse on for a business conference. I wanted to make a statement. I grabbed my yellow blazer and heels and paired them to stand out but also fit the business professional standards.
Bonus round: Using the same blouse, heels, and blazer I skipped my traditional black slacks and paired plaid printed pants with the same yellow streak.
Best part: This outfit did not break the bank! The blazer was $11 (thrift), blouse was $10 (thrift), hat was $3 (Rue 21 closing sale), heels were $15 (Payless), and slacks were $12 (thrift). (Luggage is vintage PanAm luggage from my Aunt).
Patterns and Prints, Please!
Same with the bold pop of color, patterns and prints are usually avoided in business professional settings. Forget that! POP THAT PATTERN AND BREAK OUT THE PRINTS!
I took the same black blouse from the previous look and twisted it! Grabbing a black and white polka dotted blazer and matching heels with a similar look, I created a bold but business professional outfit. The look took the traditional black and white styles but gave it a twist with the pop of purple and polka dot pattern.
Bonus round: Out of the business setting and on the go? Swap heels for bold flats and drop the blazer. Add a statement necklace (like my Fork Squid) to the look.
Everyone has their own unique style! I highly recommend experimenting with business professional options but it is not forced. Feel comfortable in your look and be yourself!
Special thanks to Marketing EDGE for inviting me to the Marketing EDGE New York Summit. I gained endless information and insight from the conference and greatly appreciate the opportunity.
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