How not to dress too conservatively for work?

Ebby

Member
Aug 30, 2010
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Hi there,

I am looking for as much advice as possible. Where I work we do not have an official dress code, I am in a client facing role so when I am with customers I wear a suit however in the office I try to still dress smart- casual instead of completely casual, as some others do. I want to be taken seriously and be professional yet still stylish and elegant, I've been told that I dress quite conservatively though.

I'm 32 and although and often mistaken for being younger I know that I can't get away with wearing what I wore 10 years ago! Can anyone offer me sim advice? I don't want to look frumpy and am keen to look well put together. :smile:


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Greentea

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Feb 28, 2006
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The DVF wrap dress! You can wear a cami underneath so it's not too low cut and throw a blazer over it if you want.

Also, a black pencil skirt (not toooo tight) with a fitted oxford, tucked in and black pumps. classy but statement necklace. Chic!

Theory (or other) wide leg, flat-front trousers with a boat neck 3/4 cashmere sweater
 

randr21

Watch "The Cove"
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May 25, 2006
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You need accessories, which will balance out your conservative outfits. Eg, black sheath dress, with optional matching jacket, but add gold or silver chunky necklace or cuff. This way, you dont need to buy any new clothing, just belts, jewelry or colorful scarves.
 

Julide

Ahh Money Penny...
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Aug 23, 2007
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You need accessories, which will balance out your conservative outfits. Eg, black sheath dress, with optional matching jacket, but add gold or silver chunky necklace or cuff. This way, you dont need to buy any new clothing, just belts, jewelry or colorful scarves.
I agree trendy accessories will can make your outfits look more youthful.:flowers:
 

k*d

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Aug 2, 2007
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Try a high-waisted pencil skirt. It pairs easily with most blouses and looks professional without being stuffy or too young.
 

Ebby

Member
Aug 30, 2010
333
0
Thanks so much for your advice everyone, I haven't really branched out into accessories so this seems like a good option to go for. I do have some great pencil skirts however I lost weight recently and they no longer sit as high as they should, I've been inspired to take a trip to the tailors this week :smile:


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willeyi

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Nov 23, 2006
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Jackets and skirts. If you are in a client facing role, ladies need a jacket for presence. You want to be taken seriously. I buy jackets that have a feminine twist. I dress in suits everyday, client facing. Buy shoes that are fashionable...nice high-end shoes.... Adds a bit of flair.

Dress for your next job.

Do not buy DVF... It's very junior looking, not executive at all and certainly not if you want to look authoritative.

Always have a jacket. No cardigan, looks like an assistant.

Hope this helps.
 
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misstrine85

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Sep 11, 2008
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Jackets and skirts. If you are in a client facing role, ladies need a jacket for presence. You want to be taken seriously. I buy jackets that have a feminine twist. I dress in suits everyday, client facing. Buy shoes that are fashionable...nice high-end shoes.... Adds a bit of flair.

Dress for your next job.

Do not buy DVF... It's very junior looking, not executive at all and certainly not if you want to look authoritative.

Always have a jacket. No cardigan, looks like an assistant.

Hope this helps.


I love the part about dressing for your next job 😊
 

papertiger

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Jackets and skirts. If you are in a client facing role, ladies need a jacket for presence. You want to be taken seriously. I buy jackets that have a feminine twist. I dress in suits everyday, client facing. Buy shoes that are fashionable...nice high-end shoes.... Adds a bit of flair.

Dress for your next job.

Do not buy DVF... It's very junior looking, not executive at all and certainly not if you want to look authoritative.

Always have a jacket. No cardigan, looks like an assistant.

Hope this helps.
I could not have put better and agree 100%

Do not be coerced into dressing 'down' or more casually.

Add a small touch of fine jewellery, fabulous shoes, define your waist/go for strong Modern shapes (only ever wear what truly fits and of good material) stay groomed and most of all stay true to yourself.
 
Jul 4, 2010
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I think you have to be clear what works for you, and the industry you are in.

I personally avoid suits as they make me look frumpy and 'hard' (I don't want to look like the evil boss in 'Working Girl'). I wear dresses and skirts mainly with good quality fitted cardigans, (that are more like a light jacket, than something to throw on at your desk when the aircon is in overdrive) or less structured softer jackets. I always wear chunky accessories to keep the look fresh but professional.

I work in a semi formal senior role and attend very formal meetings with a variety of professionals including legal and political/senior civil service.

Hope that helps? I think you are right to try and make an effort
 

Gimmethebag

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I mix-and-match suiting (grey and white, black and white, navy and grey) so I don't look too serious or authoritative (my personality IRL is pretty perky).

I wear a lot of DVF.

Wide leg trousers are office appropriate, but still have some style to them.

I'm also a fan of black denim paired with dressier tops (and blazers) and closed-toe shoes.
 

LVk8

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Jan 30, 2014
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Completely with you, I feel the pressure to dress up to command more respect at work since I have a very young face. First impressions are everything, especially when you're having a meeting with someone your parents' age. I err on the dressier side - not as dressy as a suit, maybe for an industry conference but a suit would be over-dressed for a meeting. More like tailored clothes (pencil skirt, blouse, jacket or dress with a jacket) paired with fun accessories.

But I also think you have to read the corporate culture wherever you are. I once worked in a tech office where everyone wore tees and jeans (including all the upper managers) so my version of dressing up was more like a dark denim pencil skirt paired with a nice top & jacket.
 

katran26

Bargain Hunter!
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Aug 25, 2008
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My company is very conservative (a lot of people are much older than me) and it's important not to feel compelled to dress like them, but rather, integrate your own style into your work wardrobe. As long as certain no-no's are avoided (sandals, shorts, etc.) I think a classic look tends to work well--nothing crazy trendy, but a nice fitting dress, skirts/blouses, even well-tailored jeans can be OK if paired with a blazer & flats. Fun accessories like belts, scarves, and jewelry (not to mention fun shoes) can make a nice difference.