We spend our maximum time at work. Dressing appropriately for work is absolutely necessary. Work wear, however, is usually nothing exciting, but it can be made hugely fashionable.
Getting it right is rather simple. All you need to concentrate on are colors and silhouettes that are most flattering to your body and skin color. While trial and error is the go-to way for most women to figure what looks the best on them, what if you had a simple set of rules and guidelines that would enable you to never go wrong with work wear again and look eternally chic and stylish at the job?
Aha! Your wish is fulfilled. Check out these tips and rules to know how to pick the most flattering clothes that will make you a fashionista at work and will be perfect staples post work as well.
As we have been told again and again there are five main body types — pear, inverted triangle, column (or rectangle), and apple. And, of course, there’s the much desired hourglass. Though I am sure there is much wisdom in categorizing women in the following five categories, I don’t quite think that all female bodies must adhere to them.
Irrespective of whether you think you are an apple or an hourglass you will have some problem areas, and the trick is to tackle and manage them in a way that they are camouflaged and you look perfectly proportioned like a goddess.
Women that are heavier on the top, generally have a tendency to pile on a lot of fat on their arms. But sometimes, even though you are not top heavy, you tend to have bulky arms. Whatever the case, the following tips will help you achieve a more defined and petite shoulder frame and create an illusion of slimmer arms.
- Don’t do short sleeves or cap sleeves. They tend to draw attention to the thickest part of the arm. Sleeveless, three-fourths or even full sleeves work well for women with flabby arms.
- Since sleeveless tops may not be the most appropriate option for most workplaces, you will need to team them up with a shrug. Experiment with the color of the shrug. You can team up a red top with a black shrug, and a lilac shrug with equal élan.
The shrug should fit you well. If you like neutrals and pastels, incorporate them in your work wear through khaki blazers and soft summer and spring colors shrugs and boleros. For dresses and tops, stick to basics black and white or darker and earthier tones of reds, greens, greys and blues.
- Three-fourth wrap tops in lace are extremely flattering for women with thick arms. And no, lace is not too seductive for the office. Pick one that leans towards lady-like and feminine. Watch out for that neckline though. Too much cleavage is a huge fashion faux pas at work.
- This might surprise you but tops with long, sheer peasant sleeves can look really good on you and create an illusion of slimmer arms.
- You can also rock the bishop sleeve like no one else. Your fuller arms lend a grace and femininity to these stoic looking sleeves and draw attention to the thinnest part of your hands-the wrists.
Some of us are just more endowed than the rest. While curves are great, being too voluptuous at the bottom can pose a slight problem for work wear. All of us are not Ms. Kardashian after all, and cannot carry off those bandage dresses. However, you can still manage to look elegant and paint quite a pretty picture at work.
- Opt for knee-length tummy and thigh-shaper skirts. Pair them with snug fitted tops that emphasize your shoulders and torso.
- Overall clean lines on top and bottom work best for you.
- Avoid peplum dresses and skirts and anything that has to do with frills when it comes to bottoms. However sleek pencil skirts in black and bright shades of blue, red, green and even pink can lift your work wear dramatically. It will give you a fun and feminine look, and also wrap your curves deliciously.
- Opt for high-waist pants and mid-rise denims. Do not opt for skinny or flare denims. Straight-fits can take inches off you immediately.
- Embellished necklines, cowl necks, off-shoulders, kimono sleeves are great options for those with heavy hips and thighs. All these will put the focus on your upper body, that is your bust, arm and shoulders, and create the illusion of curves on them. As a result, your body will look more proportionate and balanced out.
The biggest indication of a sedentary lifestyle and the biggest problem most working women face while dressing up is camouflaging the muffin top. Well, if somebody should thank shapewear manufacturers, it should be you. Whether you are wearing high-waisted trousers and a crisp white skirt, or a pencil skirt teamed with a peasant top, make shapewear a part of your outfit always.
- Big prints on top and bottom are a big no-no for you.
- Color-blocking and monochromatic dressing is your go-to option.
- Evening wear and office parties can be a tricky occasion for you. Keep it safe, keep it subtly sexy. Opt for strapless gowns with sweetheart and bateau necklines with hint of a train. Rich reds, maroons, purples and greens work fabulously to hide muffin tops. Yellow, light pinks and neon shades should be avoided by you for work or casuals. If you have very shapely arms, you can also opt for one-shoulder and strappy gowns. This will keep the focus on your best parts, the arms and collar bones.
- Play around with collars, sleeve lengths and necklines for work wear and keep a long, slightly oversized blazer or leather jacket handy. Whenever you start to feel a little conscious, put these on and button up the last button of the blazer or jacket. It will hide your love handles and tummy and create a vertical V silhouette that will make your body look elongated and sharper.
And now some key rules for work wear irrespective of body shape.
- Too much cleavage or any kind of skin show is a big no-no.
- Tight fitting t-shirts and dresses are meant for clubs, not office. For office parties, opt for elegant evening gowns or cocktail dresses.
- Finally, clothes with swear words or raunchy message on them cannot be worn to work.
Millie Rainer is a content strategist for Adorona.com. Millie also loves being a part of the Mom blogging community and finding out how Women Entrepreneurs succeed at what they do best. Hit her up on Twitter @MillieRainer