These days, more and more companies are reducing their staff dress requirements. Back in the day, it was common for people who worked in an office, regardless of whether they ever had any contact with clients or other people from outside of the company, to have to wear a suit or at least a business casual dress code, every day. However, in the last couple of decades, some industries have by and large decided that staff are more creative, and a better working environment is created when people are allowed to dress more comfortably, or express their own style. In industries like media and software, in many companies the dress codes no longer exist, or are reserved for people who are having meetings with people from outside of the business.
In other types of company too, the policy of having things like a ‘dress down Friday’ every week has become commonplace, and staff in less customer facing roles may not have to comply with a dress code at all. There are also more people than ever now who don’t even come in to the office full time, and work remotely. In short, the way we dress for work has changed a lot!
Pros and Cons
While this is in many ways a good thing – it is a lot cheaper for staff not to have to invest in a whole wardrobe of expensive suits that they only wear to the office – there are some slight downsides. It means that you do have that daily ‘what to wear’ struggle, and it can also feel difficult to make a good impression if you are just showing up in your jeans every day.
Here are some tips for women who work in a dressed down office environment, to help you feel like you still look good and are expressing a sense of style people will notice!
Invest in High End Casual Clothes
One of the easiest ways to incorporate a higher level of style into a relaxed dress code is to add some designer touches. Even in dressed down denim or casual athleisure outfits, you can show taste and luxury by wearing a few high-end designer pieces. Choosing things that you can get lots of wear out of, without your outfits feeling repetitive, (like shoes, bags, scarves, glasses frames and jackets) gives you the most bang for your buck when it comes to picking out luxury pieces for your work wardrobe. You can also mix and match these with pieces from fast fashion stores or sports brands to create fashionable outfits suitable for a relaxed work day, and also for things like after work drinks!
One thing it is definitely worth spending more on is a stylish pair of sneakers. These can be the shoes you wear most of the time, so you can give your casual work attire a real lift by choosing something that is really chic, for example some of this season’s hottest Balenciaga sneakers. SSENSE have a women’s collection that includes the latest in high end sneakers from all of your favorite designer labels. This can be a great place to look if you are wanting to build up your workwear from the footwear up with some high-end pieces!
Casual Doesn’t Mean Lazy
While it is completely possible to put no effort into how you look or dress in a casual workplace, it isn’t compulsory! If you are someone who feels more ready to work if they have been through a routine in terms of doing their makeup and hair and getting dressed smartly, then don’t feel pressured into throwing on a boring tee and jeans instead! While you may look and feel odd wearing a suit in this kind of environment, there is no reason not to still take an interest in the clothes you wear, and choose fashionable, rather than dreary things. You can feel free to put in as much effort as you want with your personal grooming, too. In fact, a casual dress code can allow for more self-expression, so if you want to try a trendy new eye make-up look or bold hair color, you can!
Own Your Office Look!
From sporty chic to nerdy cool, you can feel like you have a bit more identity at work and stand out to your coworkers and the higher ups if you have a style that is all your own, and feel confident in it! Don’t get into a boring workwear routine, and try and wear things that make you feel confident, motivated, and ready to do great things in your career!
A dressed down office can be almost as hard to figure out what to wear each day for as a more formal environment in some ways, as the freedom can leave you feeling weighed down by choice! But don’t worry, with some favorite high-end pieces, and a bit of your own flair, you can look and feel great at work every day.