Kimono Top: Zara | Ombre Batik-Print Pants: H&M | Heels: YSL | Bag: Prada | Necklace: Rockwell Archeology | Bead Bracelets: Aldo, New Look | Watch: Charriol | Leather Wrist Band: Tory Burch
This is my usual take on business chic, believe it or not, most especially when I’m running late and don’t have the luxury to over-think my ensemble. It’s a foolproof combo–a tailored chiffon top with a pair of printed silk trousers! Mostly because it’s comfortable and functional, especially when I’m doing field work. If the lazy part of my brain had it her way though, she would gun for this formula day in and day out, making it my “everyday” corporate uniform.
Fortunately, I’ve been trying to go against the grain of predictability when it comes to fashion so when the urge to get cozy with a certain style arises, I try to snap out of it.
So I wore this outfit for an impromptu post-work shopping trip with my boyfriend’s mom (or Mother-in-Law, as she would like me to call her) at Greenbelt 3. Coincidentally, she was wearing a lace white top with Batik-printed trousers plus a Prada bag too! Upon seeing each other, we said simultaneously: “Great minds think alike!”
Also, a short plug–my FOSSIL JL, also posted an outfit similar to this a few days ago. I think it’s a lovely take of the combo! Check it out here!
So anyway, I’ve been getting requests once again to blog about “corporate wear” as of late. I don’t really have anything much to say considering I don’t really adhere to the dress code at all times (and get reprimanded at least once every quarter) but I did in fact, write an article (eons ago) entitled aptly: Work Fashion: Making Your Office Your Own Runway.
If you click the link, you’d probably realize the photos no longer work. Unfortunately, they’ll remain that way… forever lost in the bowels of the World Wide Web. On the bright side, I can revamp the usual queries (since it is still applicable) in this post and update it with my current learnings.
What they really mean about appropriate dressing?
When your boss tells you to lay off the casuals, she doesn’t mean for you to come in a ball gown–so get rid of the tulle and get rid of the organza, it’s not your debut! When your peers tell you to chuck out the casuals, just make sure to leave your threadbare jeans, your cotton tanks, and your Chuck Taylors at home. A great alternative? Dark hued pants with breezy sleeved tops made of silk or chiffon.
Personally, since I don’t like pants in general, I’d trade mine in for high waisted skirts that fall mid-thigh. Yeah, a little bit short but if it’s high waisted, it gives the illusion of length (both for the skirt and your legs). To avoid looking like a sexy secretary, make sure to purchase skirts with adorable prints. I love how it’s a balance of chic and casual, it’s all a matter of dressing it up.
Update: Since knee-length skirts are all the rage right now, I say go for it. I think I’m at a point where my style has “matured” so even if I love my mini skirts, I mix it up with knee-length skirts and trousers in dressy fabric. As a general rule, I say avoid denim (or if you must, choose one that’s black to make it appear like slacks) and cotton.
So you can’t wear sleeveless, flats, and loud accessories?
Maybe I’m not the best person to ask about this because I always come in wearing something sleeveless, paired with my most comfortable ballerina flats, and the chunkiest accessories known to mankind–but that’s just me. Personally, I think that if you’re able to cover the important bits and still look classy, then go ahead. Just avoid anything shoulder baring, if you must, bring a cardigan or a blazer to top it off.
As for flats, just make sure it’s closed–to make it look more formal. Avoid sandals or anything that shows off your toes as they tend to make things look a tad bit too casual. Plus, if you’re already wearing the sleeveless and loud accessories combo, you need to tone down a few elements. As for accessories, I don’t think you should sacrifice the loud ones–the way I see it, statement pieces make for interesting conversations!
Update: Still spot on–but I no longer come in sleeveless tops and ballerina flats. As seen in this outfit post, there are comfortable tops with sleeves. Thankfully, this season, Kimono cuts in soft fabrics are available so that is an alternative you can look into.
The best instant work-appropriate fashion tip?
Blazers!–of any color, any fabric, just make sure it’s structured. Use it to top off the most casual spandex tanks or the shortest of skirts. It’s my remedy to everything! When I think my outfit is too casual or if I have an upcoming presentation and there’s a need for me to make everyone think I mean serious business, I put on a structured blazer. It works wonders!
Update: Heels, I think heels work in the same way that blazers do.
Additional Relevant Question: What are work-appropriate staples one can invest in?
- A good leather bag that’s big enough to host your essentials plus a few documents (trust me on this).
- A pair of comfortable leather pumps that you can withstand wearing for 8 hours.
- A neutral toned blazer (beige, champagne, black, blue, grey, white).
- A sheer conservative top that isn’t shoulder bearing (white, black, nude).
- Trousers (go nuts with the colors).
- A good watch.
- A scarf (to spruce an outfit and to keep you at bay during chilly office afternoons).
- Printed versions of either blazers, tops, and trousers so you can mix and match at any given moment.
Bright Lights, Big City was last modified: September 1st, 2013 by