Corporate America: the machine that grinds and minces and spits out brown, black, blue and gray doppelgangers. Mine is a 14 year relationship, and I must say I bare the office setting no great love. How I long to seek out the new, the hip, the trendy; to roam stark showrooms and be eternally surrounded by tons of luscious garments, bags, shoes, accessories; to sit amongst the exhilaration of flashing camera lights, loud music while wisps of human beings strut down runways covered in fabulous wares. Oh Fashion Industry, 'I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest'.
Down shift, Amy...
I have a non-eventful 9 to 5'er in a cookie cutter mid-town office building among cookie cutter cut-outs of law professionals. But no more can I let my job suck my creative soul dry or zap my inspiration. I will not become a drone! Ladies, I'm not saying go nuts (cause let's face it…this 9 to 5'er is putting the clothes on my back and paying other essentials like food and rent), but there are ways to spruce up your office attire. In order to keep from blending in with the walls, I had to revamp my wardrobe so that I'd be motivated to get up in the morning.
There is a very thin line between casual and corporate-casual and day attire and night attire. It could be as simple as throwing on a pair of flats with that dress you wore to the jazz lounge last weekend; throwing on a long cardigan/vest with that sun dress that you use as a cover-up at the beach; or throwing a mini under the super mini. My company frowns on jeans, and I must admit (as far as some people are concerned) with good reason. You simply can't show up for work in ripped jeans, flip flops and a logo tee and expect to get away with it. Instead, swap out those tight, ripped or faded jeans for a flattering dark pair (the darker the better). Make sure there's some give to them. You want to stay away from wearing skinny jeans in a corporate setting. If possible, find a nice pair of trouser jeans and work up from there. Adding a blazer or a cardigan with a waist cinching belt adds some classic elements and a bit of structure. A nice pair of heels (half hidden by the length of your jeans) will give you height and lend some seriousness to your outfit. Have a cute, fun and flarey skirt? Don't shy from debuting it at the office. Just pair it with a more classic shaped top in a subdued color.
Don't forget to have fun with your accessories. If you must 'fit in', there's no reason your purse has to too. Shoes are another great statement maker: wearing a crisp white blouse and some black pants/pencil skirt? Put on that pretty red lipstick and red peep toe pumps (don't go red on the bag though…you want your lips and shoes to pop…think Dita Von Teese).
Never let your job dictate your wardrobe, because let's face it; how you dress is a direct statement about you, your personality, your mood, your va va voom! Of course you must dress within your job's requirements, but there's always a way to put some flair into your work attire. Be as bold, daring and imaginative as you can be within the confines of your work attire manual - always having a cardigan or tapered jacket on hand in case you have to meet with a client.
As much as I am not a pearls and cardigan set kind of girl, I do appreciate my Tahitian black pearl I bought in Hawaii and how it looks layered with my teeny tiny diamond necklace, and I just love how a long, updated cardigan can make a party dress suddenly just right for the day. There are always ways around the humdrum norm, and oh what fun it is to find them out!
What I'm Wearing:Dress: Marc by Marc Jacobs via Bloomingdales
Orig. Price: $178.00
Belt: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Skirt: Calvin Klein via Macys
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction via Outlet Store
Belt: Urban Outfitters
Dress: Urban OutfittersCardigan: Linen Silk-Pocket Cardigan via Jcrew
Orig. Price: $88.00
Belt: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Nine WestPin It