The way we dress in the corporate world, and specifically the financial and sales sectors, says a lot about our level of professionalism and service offerings. First impressions count and keeping up with fashion trends can be exhausting – so what's the solution?
There is something to be said for keeping it simple. Crisp lines, solid colours, flattering styles, zero trimmings. We’re not saying never do patterns or flamboyant prints for the office – we love them too – but there is something very elegant about a minimalist approach and it can work very well. It’s not plain, it’s not basic – it’s simply a different approach to corporate dressing.
So how do you keep it simple without being basic and boring?
1. A classic white or powder blue shirt is your wardrobe staple. It must be well pressed (especially the collar), tailored to the body, have long sleeves with either a classic button cuff or french cuff and be tucked in neatly. A slightly textured fabric is preferable, however if you are going for plain then make sure you choose a fabric with some sheen and one that is not transparent.
2. A classic suit is an absolute must. While there is a place for the flamboyant check or pinstripe suit, the classic suit is always in fashion. Opt for black, navy or charcoal.
3. For a casual work option, invest in a good-quality pair of cotton chinos. A well-tailored slim chino trouser worn with a plain polo shirt or business shirt is a simple approach to the work wardrobe.
4. Colourful trainers and funky boots have their place. To keep it simple and add to your 'shoe-robe': a classic pair of black or brown leather dress shoes.
5. Spend some time putting together a tie collection you can mix and match with your business shirt staples. Remembering the ‘keep it simple’ rule, source a range of ties that are a solid colour (navy or light blue is great), then add a few subtle patterns (classic dots, fine diagonal stripes). The tone-on-tone look is such a winning combination – a navy suit, classic powder blue shirt worn back with a silk tie in the same tone as the shirt. You can’t go wrong.
1. A classic white corporate shirt our blouse is your wardrobe staple. If choosing a collared business shirt, ensure the garment follows your silhouette and flatters your shape. A blouse can be worn loose and made from a soft, flowing fabric such as viscose or chiffon. If the fabric is quite sheer, be sure to wear a fine camisole underneath.
2. The little black dress is an absolute must. Worn with an elegant heel and simple accessories, this look is the ultimate in simple chic.
3. Suiting for women has changed over the years and many have moved away from the traditionally cut suit, introducing more flamboyant styles and shapes. This style of suiting is very flattering, but keep them in solid, classic colours such as navy, black or even off-white.
4. Women love to accessorise – having a range of classic earrings and necklaces is the best way to add a little something to a simple corporate outfit. A pearl combination, classic silver loops or studs, or gold if that’s your preference.
5. Ladies love their shoes and the simple approach doesn’t mean you have to stick to black. Inject some colour with red or hot pink pumps. Choose either matte leather, patent or even a snakeskin. Make sure the style is classic, with either a pointed or rounded toe. Preferably not peep-toe if you are seeking the classic corporate look.