This month we had the lovely personal stylist, Lucy Bedewi, join us for an engaging workshop all about how to embrace your personal style in a professional setting. Lucy founded Wanderlust Wardrobe to help women fall in love with getting dressed each day by building their dream closets. Many of us hate the idea of losing our style to fit in the corporate world, but it is completely possible to have your own unique flare in the outfits you wear to work while still being professional (and without spending hundreds of dollars to double your wardrobe size)!
The importance of basics
- While statement pieces are great, they can lead to the feeling of having nothing to wear. If you have no basic pieces to build upon then you’ll be limited in the outfits you can combine to create!
- Building a capsule wardrobe might look like:
- White blouse - goes with everything!
- Nude shoes - can be styled with navy and makes legs appear elongated
- Black shoes - because, duh
- Blazer - throw on to make any outfit instantly professional
- Dark trousers - aim for a fitted ankle grazer silhouette for more modern look
- Delicate jewelry - simple way to accessorize and elevate outfits
Be true to YOU while dressing professionally
Edgy: Incorporate studded purses or leather jackets into otherwise plain business outfits. Spice up your outfits with a bold lip while keeping true to your personal style.
Boho: Like wearing florals and flowy clothes outside of work? Try swapping for a floral printed top or wide leg dress pants to keep your aesthetic true to you.
Minimalist: If you like to keep it simple, go for pieces that fit you REALLY well. This way, you will shine through and look polished without being bland.
Casual: If you like to keep it casual, aim for a dark wash jean styled with a blazer and comfy boots or short block heels. Elevate your style with more statement jewelry or accessories.
Feminine: Go for figure-defining dresses and skirts styled with feminine colours like pink or pastels. This style is mostly created in the silhouette and colours or in details like earrings.
Classic: If you’re into a more classic style, then you’ll find that workwear feels like an extension of your everyday wear. Lean into your authentic self by wearing prints like polka dots or stripes and pieces like the classic pencil skirt.
While we want to support you in being your authentic selves at work, remember that you are there to be professional. You want to be noticed for who you are and the work that you do, not for breaking dress standards.
- Anything too high, short or showy: Keep heels to a 3” height max to avoid looking like you’re about to hit the club, skirts just above the knee but not too much shorter, be mindful of cleavage
- Anything that will distract others from your abilities: Don’t go too over the top with crazy shiny jewelry or neon
- Anything too casual or messy: Resist the urge to show up in sweatpants
- Sit up straight! You’ll physically feel better and others will perceive you to have greater confidence too
- Never let your clothes constrict you. If your clothes are uncomfortable, you’ll feel uncomfortable and that translates into your confidence too! Make sure your clothes fit, they’re relatively comfortable and find what works for you.
- If it brings you confidence, wear it. At the end of the day, only you know what makes you feel good.
Building your wardrobe on a budget
- Intentional purchasing: purchase only what you need (avoid spur buys)
- Sell old items: extra cash to help offset the cost of your new wardrobe
- Shop online: take advantage of online store discounts and flash sales
- Be yourself: purchase clothing that fits you, not to follow a trend
- Take it slow: avoid going on a mass-shopping haul for clothing
Things to look for when purchasing new pieces
- Versatility: clothing that can be worn in different ways (rather than statement pieces)
- Quality: invest in material and fabric with fine quality that lasts longer (high cost = high return)
- Timeless: opt for classic pieces instead of fast fashion that follow certain trends or styles
For more on our fabulous workshop, check out our recording of the live event below.
Did you enjoy this workshop’s key takeaways? Learn something new? Read our previous blogs for How to Slay Your Finances After You Graduate or Top 7 Ways to Stand Out In An Interview and stay connected with us on Instagram! Check out Lucy’s page for more constructive style tips.