When you start your new Co-op job, there are a lot of things to consider outside of the 9 to 5 schedule. What’s the best way to get to work? What do I eat for lunch? What do I wear to the office? Well, two of those three questions you’ll have to answer for yourself, so let’s talk fashion. As an increasingly powerful medium of self-expression, fashion is an ever-evolving entity. Office wear, however, seems to have kept stagnantly traditional, and can be quite limiting today. Not to worry, though––it’s very possible to avoid the boring daily uniform of blazers, leggings, and flats while keeping a professional business casual look. This Quick Guide runs down some ideas from head-to-toe to solve this obstacle of dynamic self-expression in a fashionably monotonous workplace.
Use your hair as an accessory. Add an interesting twist to your hairstyles (literally) by doing a quick half-up half-down bun. Bobby pin a strip of hair around your ponytail’s elastic to make a “hair hair tie”. Invert your pony. Even play with braids. You can make a statement everyday!
Play with textures. Swap that plain white button-up with a flowy, sheer top. Find something with a nice––perhaps floral––print to add even more texture (but avoid colours that are too bright).
Revive thrifted treasures. Abundant at your local thrift store would likely be things like old turtlenecks and outdated long coats—all the rage today! Use the steep discounts to your advantage, and be happy with the fact that you probably won’t run into someone else wearing the exact same thing.
Use alternatives to the blazer. Be different and try wearing coverups like nicer cardigans and sweaters, blanket scarves, or the very trendy duster vest. With the elimination of the blazer collar, these can look very cute over a collared shirt or turtleneck!
Go tapered. Invest in comfortable high-waisted slacks or cigarette pants that are skinny at the ankles for that retro-modern office look, and switch it up with different colours or even patterns. Keep in mind the pin roll trick to revamp any old pants you have!
Go full-out flared. Breezy culottes are very much in at the moment, and can definitely be dressed up for the office. A pair of extra-flared pants or jumpsuits can also make a bold statement that looks classy.
Keep comfy yet stylish. Treat your feet with something that won’t kill them but is still on-trend, like cute tasseled granny loafers, or block-heeled sandals and boots. Pointed flats do wonders in giving that professional look without the heels, if you need to dress up your outfit.
Stay true to your identity. Don’t forget to include the little details that make up who you are; whether it be your signature makeup look, your favourite article of clothing, or your favourite accessory. Don’t lose your colour in the monotony of your office job’s dress code limits. Look forward to every day of your nine-to-five knowing that you’re going to look cute!
Final note: I have a signature statement piece that I like to wear to work—they’re black and loose with a taper, and go perfect with my collared button-up and suede granny loafers… Denim dungarees!