A woman does not have to downplay her style quotient in order to be taken seriously in her profession anymore. However, one does have to be careful about what they choose to wear. It is all about making a good impression at work.
Accessorizing is the trickiest part of a work outfit. The first step is analyzing your work culture. For example, women working in creative fields such as art galleries, clothing boutiques, and advertizing, would have an easier reign over their accessory choices. On the other hand, women in more traditional work cultures such as politics, corporate, and academia would have to think before they style. It is a good idea to get this information before hand from the Human Resources or if that is not available then observe the jewelry choices of your boss and colleagues.
Having said that this post is going to try and help you accessorize your work outfit in a traditional environment.
Rule 1: Your clothing should never compete with your jewelry for attention. If you have a statement necklace, wear it with a simple neckline and colors that allow it to stand out.
Rule 2: Try and stay within 2-3 colors. For example, pair your black skirt/pant with a pink blouse/shirt and then repeat the bottom color as a solid color accessory like a scarf or jewelry. When you take the bottom color and bring it up to the face, it simply brings the whole outfit together.
Rule 3: Stick to real jewelry.
Necklaces: A simple gold/silver chain with a pendant is timeless. You can also go for semi-precious stones. Workplace is not for dangling chains and crystal encrusted necklaces. Keep it simple and yet classy.
Earrings – A pair of stud earrings are short and sophisticated. If you choose to go for a drop or dangling pair, go for something meek and delicate.
Rings – Wedding band and engagement rings are definitely work appropriate. Other than that you can always wear stackable bands, or semi-precious stones on your fingers. Try to keep it one ring on each hand.
Bracelets – No bangles, please! They are noisy and rather unprofessional looking for workplace. Choose bracelets – plain or with stones. Cuffs are also fine as long as they don’t make noise. Keep it classy nonetheless.
Nose ring – While it might not be a concern for most cultures, South Asian women have to often make a choice of wearing a nose ring/pin or not. This would again depend on the workplace but pick a nose pin which is subtle.
How can your style make an impression when it comes to to getting a new job in an interview or in the workplace? Recruitment expert, Shweta Jacob says you don’t need to be conservative but rather you can express your sense of style.
Gone are the days when women have to dress like their male counterparts in order to be respected in the boardroom,” said Jacob. “Today’s work style should be about having fun with fashion and showing off your individuality. Just as men add pop to their suits with fun ties, and colourful socks, women can do so much with statement necklaces, bracelets, fun shoes and even bags! They key is to focus on 1 or 2 specific items and play them up! The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident!”
If you are still not sure whether your office setting is conducive to any of the above, I will give you an advice which I picked up on a styling lesson – Ask yourself , “Are jeans allowed in the workplace?” If jeans are allowed, then you’re fine and you can take more risks with accessorizing. However, if jeans are not allowed, then wear appropriate jewelry.
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