December 09, 2019 4 min read
Does the phrase “women’s work clothes” bring to mind excitement and fashionable creativity? Or do thoughts of comfortable women’s work clothes tend to inspire yawns?
Women’s workwear can quickly skew to corporate uniforms, or simple conservative suits, lacking personalised style.
Are women’s casual work clothes ideas any better? Likely not.
Times are changing, luckily enough, and the modern women's work clothes trend is calling on you to express yourself.
“Nobody wants to wear a corporate uniform anymore, and I don’t think companies want that either,” stylist Nicola Harrison is quoted as saying in a November 2019 Wall Street Journal article. She goes on to state that “employees and employers want people to infuse their own personality into what they’re wearing.”
The only question left to answer then is, How?
Defining the Women’s Workwear Mould
Pablo Picasso is credited as saying, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” It’s a motto he lived by, and one that can help continually reshape your style.
Traditional rules for professional women’s work clothes typically begin, and so many times sadly end, with a fitted jacket and pants or jacket and skirt combo, in a safe tone. Any search for where to buy young women’s work clothes shows this truth.
Every day becomes a variation on the one before. It’s straightforward, but rather plain.
For savvy creatives, this sort of automatic dressing definitely won’t do. But the same is now even true in typically more conservative professions.
Why Break the Rules?
There’s nothing particularly “wrong” with traditional women’s work clothes for office life as they are. They get the job done. And it’s always easy to find where to buy women's work clothes or even go for the more convenient option of where to buy women’s work clothes online when you remain in the mainstream.
But following the herd may keep you herd-bound: if you don’t stand out at all, you may very well get overlooked. Personal style is one way to distinguish yourself.
Also consider that most standard work attire for women is, at its heart, men’s clothing, reconfigured. Women are fortunate to have options beyond the stuffy suit. Let’s embrace that with stylish women’s work clothes.
Rethinking Your Power Suit
Whether you’ve been faithfully following fashion for years or are just now finding your fashion footing, reconsidering your style is an ongoing pursuit. You continue to evolve; your self-expression should, too.
This doesn’t mean you need to rotate your wardrobe with the speed of each new personal breakthrough. But find ways to keep it fresh.
Consider some guidelines as you go.
The Balancing Act
Business attire norms are stretching, but they aren’t broken. There’s a line between expressive and offensive. Self-expression balanced with respect for office culture is your sweet spot.
Furthermore, your office doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither does your workwear only exist in the office. The greater contemporary zeitgeist is another factor to bounce your choices off of.
We’re in a growing moment of seeking sustainable solutions, of paring down. Or follow the current wisdom of Miuccia Prada, who the New York Times found at her Milan spring 2020 show “preaching the gospel of non-disposability, reduction, purity.” She’s further quoted as saying that “we need to do less.” (Of course, this comes on the heels of a fall season marked by fabulous over-flaunting, so who knows? Look alive, people!)
Your office culture and culture at large provide broad outlines. Find the lines before you color outside of them.
Remember what Picasso said.
Strengthen Your Core
You want to keep your look fresh, but you don’t want to reinvent the wheel every morning. Having some key pieces to create your look around provides a good foundation. This will serve to provide a consistency to your style story.
Find quality garments that lend themselves to mixing and matching, perhaps going from women’s work casual clothes to more professional realms.
These core pieces need to fit well (please, for the love of all closets, get rid of ill-fitting clothes, stat!), and you should love them. When choosing key garments, let your instincts rule your selection process, but then make sure they look good.
Play On the Edges
Accessories are prime opportunities to experiment. With a strong foundation in place, this is where you’re free to explore. Select from any number of elements:
Well, since you asked . . . Arm sleeves are an elegant solution for when you’re looking for arm coverage that’s convertible. This simply effective accessory starts at the wrist and finishes at the upper arm.
Use to add texture and color. For a little extra warmth, they’re the answer instead of covering everything up with a suit jacket or hair-mussing pullover garment. Want a quick change for a new look mid-day? You get it.
Lightweight and small, arm sleeves are easy to carry or store in a desk drawer (Alta 8 provides a convenient bag for safe keeping). They’re a smart addition that spans from women's work casual clothes and de rigueur office operations to chic evenings out.
Be Inspired, Have Fun
The time is always now to find your look. How will you define the women’s work clothes that work for you?
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