What Is Corporate Attire?
In the fast-paced corporate world, dressing properly matters a lot. First impressions matter: even small clothing details can completely change people’s initial impression of you!
So what is corporate attire? And what exactly is a corporate dress code? While some workplaces will have an actual dress code written out with all the specifics, that’s not usually the case.
Corporate dress is often synonymous with business attire, meaning formal suits and dresses. How formal you should dress will depend on your line of work and your company culture.
A tip for office newbies: dress more formally for your first day, then adjust accordingly once you get to observe how your colleagues dress! It’s always better to be a bit overdressed than underdressed.
Corporate Attire For Women: The Basics
Whether it’s a strictly formal law firm or a more relaxed production company, a blazer will fit in everywhere! A good blazer will tie your outfit together and give off serious boss vibes.
Go for classic and structured styles made with smooth or lightly textured material. Choose colours that go with everything, such as black, grey, or navy. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, experiment with lighter hues like cream or tan or even bold brights like magenta or orange.
This Ashley blazer ($99.99) is simple, easy to wear, and means business.
If you’d rather not wear a blazer (especially on warmer days!), a smart blouse is a must. Choose fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily, such as lyocell or polyester blends. Collars are not compulsory, but they do create a more serious look if that’s what you’re going for.
For corporate workplaces, it’s always safer to stick to solid and neutral colours. You can add a bit of personality through small details like subtle ruffles or a tie-waist.
This Boohoo Petite high neck, frill sleeve blouse ($33.00) will make a great addition to your work closet.
The traditional female corporate attire usually involves a skirt. Some companies actually require that all ladies wear one! A classic choice is the pencil skirt, a slim-fitting style with a sharp silhouette. Another good option is an A-line skirt. Careful with the hemline: don’t go too short!
If you’re wearing a blazer, a good rule of thumb would be to wear a skirt that uses the same fabric and colour. Otherwise, go for a dark neutral. Light colours such as pale grey and cream are also fun options to shake things up without being too distracting.
This Asos Design mix and match pencil skirt ($50.00) will complement any colour blouse.
Corporate women don’t need to be limited to skirts anymore. A pair of pants with a straight and slim silhouette is a good choice, but make sure that they fit well! They shouldn’t be too loose or too tight, or too long or short either – have them hemmed if you need to.
Denims are a no-no for corporate attire. Instead, go for woollen or polyester blends. Again, neutral colours are a safe way to go, but you can play around with fine patterns for a fun twist. You can also get a pair that matches your blazer to complete a power suit look!
These Keep It Short pants in grey pinstripe ($69.95) are easy to pair with any colour and feature a subtle pattern.
Being a female means having more fun choices when it comes to outfits. Case in point: dresses! A dress is a fun way to show your personality in the workplace while keeping it professional. Be careful though: necklines shouldn’t be too deep and hemlines shouldn’t ride too high.
Like choosing blouses, simple neutrals are safe and easy choices but you can opt for more interesting styles and patterns as long as they aren’t too outrageous and distracting.
This Tia suit dress ($279.00) is perfect for client meetings and presentations.
Today’s modern workplace allows you to be more flexible with your outfit choices. Just keep in mind that while your fashion choices should reflect your personality, it will also reflect on your company and professional reputation. Dressing for a corporate career doesn’t have to be limiting! Now go and nail that presentation!
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