Classy and Feminine Fashion for Professionals

Be sure to check out the links below as all items are currently on sale!

When in a working or professional environment, it is easy to resort to a white blouse, black pencil skirt with matching tights or trousers, and a simple blazer.  However, appropriate professional wear does not have to be confined to these boundaries.  Personally, it can feel uncomfortable or even restricting to be in office clothes all day but we are allowed to play up our wardrobe for work whilst remaining elegant, classy, and feminine.  Here are pieces from my personal wardrobe that I reach for when wanting to look sleek without losing individuality. I understand that my aesthetic or style may not suit everyone, nor be appropriate for some offices but these are simply ideas that can be modified to fit your context. 

Prints. We may shy away from prints or patterns but if done right, it can tie a look together in a very tasteful manner.  Otherwise, it can be the staple or centrepiece of an outfit that draws in attention.  To maintain professionalism, the print shouldn't look faded or worn, but bright and purposeful. The colour shouldn't be too boisterous nor the design be inappropriate. An example of classic prints include checkered, plaid, paisley, or even colour-blocking (using a colour wheel).  Prints are also an excellent way of transitioning from the day to night if you plan on going out for dinner or have other events organised for that evening and do not wish to bring a spare set of clothes. 

£22.50 at Dorothy Perkins

£17.50 at Dorothy Perkins
Texture.  I was never one to appreciate the aesthetics of tweed or boucle dresses until recently.  This fabric is everywhere on the high street and runways, given that it is a fashion trend making headway this winter.  I have had the presumption that such a textile would be rough and uncomfortable unless you spent hundreds at Chanel.  Nevertheless, I've been proven wrong.  Tweed and boucle dresses or blazer sets have such a thick air of sophistication or regality when worn, without losing that 'city girl' feminine vibe which remains my go-to.  When styled appropriately with black suede ankle boots or heels, a long cardigan meeting or passing the hemline, or a fur coat, you won't feel less than a million dollars if this style is for you.  

£26.25 at Dorothy Perkins
£22.50 at Dorothy Perkins

Cuts. Although it may seem easier to avoid any cuts or ruched fabric, this doesn't have to be the case.  Some cuts or plays on fabric can appear intimidating or unprofessional but when worn it can actually be the opposite.  Subtle details in a solid colored dress can add touches of individuality and personality to the outfit.  The dress will appear more flattering on the figure, without losing the overall refined dignified look we aim to achieve.  This dress pictured and linked below is a personal favourite of mine due to its elasticated sleeves, symmetrical cuts near the décolleté area, and the figure-flattering but not figure-hugging silhouette. 

£10.00 at Dorothy Perkins
Flare Dresses.  Above you can see a pattern of shift dresses which are, more or less, a rectangular piece of fabric.  However, flare dresses are very stylish and decorous despite having a reputation of appearing childish or airing on the side of fashionable instead of professional.  I want to debunk this myth.  Flare dresses (better known as skater dresses) are a beautiful way of representing a put-together outfit that is neither tight around the waist or legs, nor restricting.  This is perfect for the girl-on-the-go or days cooped up in the office.  Many trousers I own tend to be tight and uncomfortable, and experience has proved that it is difficult to adjust yourself in the presence of others.  Hence, why I opt towards dresses and skirts.  

£18.00 at Dorothy Perkins

£15.00 at Dorothy Perkins

£12.00 at Dorothy Perkins
Skirts.  As aforementioned, I will almost always prefer a skirt over trousers unless they are loose and bootleg.  Pencil skirts to me are too restricting and revealing for my personal comfort.  Therefore, I opt for shift or flare skirts.  In addition, skirts are a great way to play with pattern and print!  I usually pair a patterned skirt with a turtle neck for a cozy yet polished appearance.  My staple is a black turtle  neck but if your skirt has accents of other neutral shades you can match up your turtle necks accordingly. Given my height, I choose 'tall' skirts so I know that I do not have to worry about mobility or breaching any dress code. Lastly, if your skirt is plain black with little to no embellishments, don't be shy to try on a colored T-shirt that gives the impression of luxurious fabric - without the price tag.  As long as the T-shirt does not cheap, wrinkled, or worn, go for it!  Looking professional shouldn't be limited to just blouses. 
£16.50 at Dorothy Perkins
Thank you very much everyone for reading! I do hope that these ideas has inspired individuals to break down the barriers of sophistication and professionalism in fashion.  These are all pieces from my personal wardrobe so I do indeed practice what I preach. Be sure to check out the links as everything is on sale!

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