Traditional corporate dress codes no longer cut it in big business − uniformity will only take you so far. Today, making your voice heard is as much about how you present yourself as your work. In our first series, we explored colour, femininity, and rethinking the humble pencil skirt. Today we’ll be looking at experimenting with two-pieces, prints, outerwear, and flat shoes. Let’s dive in!
Experiment with an alternative two-piece
There’s more to office attire than a conventional suit. Mix it up by opting for an elegant tunic over trousers instead. It’s tailored, smart, but has personality, and personality is key to making your voice heard in a modern working environment.
Jersey cut-out tunic, €79 at Cos, Sleevless tunic, €218.64 at Ganni, Cashmere tunic dress, €450 at Red Valentino, Belted cotton dress, €49.95 at Mango
Make print work for you
Wearing print head to toe works if you keep your silhouette neat and the colourway muted and unified – don’t mix shades of blue with shades of burgundy, for instance; stick to one or the other. Balance the statement nature of this look with something ultra conservative like a turtleneck, or opt for a print dress instead. A conservative shirt or wrap dress works well with print for the office.
Tie-front dress, €617.79 at Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Roslyn jacket, €274; Erryn trousers, €245; both Diane Von Furstenberg at matchesfashion.com, Bird-print shirt, €195 at Sandro, Red print skirt, €1300 at Gucci
Outerwear is just as important
The quickest way to ruin the good impression you’ve made with your updated office attire? Throw a bad coat on over an exquisite suit. It shows a lack of attention to detail and a half-hearted approach – not traits anyone wants to be associated with. People notice small things, sometimes pointedly, other times subconsciously, but they notice all the same.
Wool drape coat, Helmut Lang, €1,265 at Brown Thomas, Check coat, €69.95 at Zara, Embroidered coat, €109 at Per Una Marks and Spencer, Clooney cardigan coat, €375 at Magee, Keaton belted camel coat, €638 at Whistles
Give flats a chance
Many women feel disempowered when they ditch their high heels, but often this is because they’re wearing the wrong style of flat. Ballet flats are too flimsy and girlish looking for the office. Opt for something with more substance to it, like a loafer or a lace-up brogue.
Gommino driving shoes in calfskin, €530 at Tod’s, Varnished toe cap loafers with bow detail, Marni, €570 at farfetch.com. Animal-print babouches, €89.95 at Massimo Dutti, Ox-blood lace-up leather brogue, €135 at stories.com