Well dressed in the office? With the right know-how, it is not difficult to find a professional and at the same time fashionable job outfit. Popular style consultant gives tips on how you can optimize your business look. I have been asked several times whether I could give fashion tips for the new generation of “business women”. With pleasure! Because thanks to the women’s quota, more and more female managers will be seen in the professional world in the future. This is also evident in the media – and is reflected in more color, variety and colorful femininity.
How women appear in business and politics has changed in the past 20 years and many styling rules that used to exist are now outdated. I am firmly convinced that we women today can show themselves in a professional context in a way that suits our personal competence and our occasions. Nevertheless, there are a few recommendations that – no matter what style you prefer – make a good business look. So which outfits work in the job and what makes the career ladder sway?
Dress for Success: 10 tips for a stylish business look
Less is more: quality instead of quantity
There should be a number of good basics in your closet: pantsuits, body-hugging dresses, flowing blouses, plain-colored shirts and well-combinable blazers. A weekly rate is needed and so that you have something of your clothing for a long time, it is worth investing in quality. So you’d better get three good parts than five of poor quality. Buy high quality in the sale and target what you really wear every day.
Modern, but not fashionable
As a woman in a managerial position, you should show with your clothes that you are going with the times and also know what is modern at the moment. So your outfit in 2018 may well contain modern attributes, but should not be fashionable like a fashion blogger. Do you work in the fashion industry? Then that is certainly something else. Otherwise: Combine timeless classics with modern clothing. In some industries, for example, a business casual look is possible: simple, clean sneakers with a dark blue trouser suit.
There are no alternatives to the blazer, at least not for representative appearances. You will never be perceived as competently in a cardigan as in a jacket. This emphasizes your shoulders, the collar signals “dressed and serious”. But there are blazers with round necklines, often made of mottled materials with a Chanel look, which can be combined with elegant shirts.
Female but not female
You can and should show your femininity. The days when women and men dressed in strict pantsuits with light blue tops are over. This means, for example, that they wear narrow skirts and can accentuate your waist. However, you should not exaggerate: In the business environment, skirts end no more than a hand’s width above the knee. When you sit down, you shouldn’t reveal any stimuli – this is also impractical for longer meetings. So avoid skirt slots, too short models or transparent zones that give insight into things that detract from your competence. The same applies to cutouts: tight blouses direct the gaze to the wrong places, the chest should never be visible. Transparency is only possible where there is no intimacy.
Contour instead of skin-tight
The silhouette is very important for a businesswoman. With body-hugging clothing, you show that you have no problem with yourself – it exudes confidence. With skin-tight clothing that stretches, you can achieve the opposite. This is especially true for tight pants and skirts that trace the bottom. Ideally, your clothes shape your silhouette, which traces the body line. Your clothes should also fit in length. A sleeve that is too long on the blazer gives the impression that you are too small or take too little care of yourself because you are unable to shorten the sleeves. If you have to make regular changes to purchased clothing, it is worth thinking about made-to-measure. In any case, a good tailor is worth a lot. If you wear tight parts at the top, combine a little more pants at the bottom and vice versa. For example, the Marlene trousers with a narrow, light-colored top work on many women.
Use colors and patterns strategically
In contrast to men, women can score here. For an unmistakable appearance, you can use colors such as red, turquoise, green, bright blue or pink. Combine these striking colors with muted tones like gray, dark blue and black. The cut of your clothes should have clear contours and lines and should not have anything playful. Of course, patterns are also possible, but it depends on the amount and size. Basically, reluctance is better for career women. That means: choose muted colors with smaller accents and no striking, colorful prints. Dots or pinstripes are classic, small floral patterns also work. Accessories such as scarves, belts, collars or shoes can also be used as color accents. General caution is required with romantic accents, scattered flowers and tulle – they embody the symbol “dreamy and in need of protection”, that is, no association that a career woman wants to evoke.
Accessories and jewelry
Get a good basic equipment with a few, but good pieces of jewelry. This includes a watch, a ring and a couple of chains. The higher your position is, the more valuable your jewelry should be – delicate real jewelry is almost always suitable. Large, decorative costume jewelry has to be selected very precisely, whereas smaller, high-quality processed costume jewelry is also an option if it hardly differs optically from real jewelry. Avoid anything that jingles or rattles and individualize your look with special rings and interesting ear studs – because that’s where the attention goes when talking.
Scarves are a way to conjure up life in a rather boring outfit, but they can also look a little more down-to-earth: Many scarves really hang and distract women, and the other person’s gaze then circles around the pattern. Loops made of cotton in particular can degrade a good outfit.
Make-up and hair
A well-groomed appearance is essential for business women. Neither pink nail polish nor doll-like make-up underline your seriousness and competence. A little concealer, blush and mascara as well as expressive eyebrows support a fresh expression. A lipstick in shades of rosewood or subtle tones to match your skin type go well with this. If you want to show more presence and self-confidence, you can wear bright red lipstick. In any case, this has a signal effect. Your business hairstyle should also look natural and never artificial – undyed hairline and voluminously piled up hairstyles are a no-go. Long hair is recommended to be pinned up – one reason why many career women switch to half-length haircuts.