One of the concerns I had when I entered the workforce was that I may not even be fit to go to work because of my outfit. It may not sound serious but believe me, you wouldn’t want to step in front of your boss looking like a mess.
You need to look flawless and work flawlessly. Once you step out of college, remember that working in an office means you (still) have to adhere to a dress code. I’m lucky enough to work at a creative industry so our dress code isn’t that strict, but some working girls aren’t that lucky. Here’s a tip: start investing on your workwear wardrobe now because those things don’t come cheap.
And if you want to feel extra confident at work, go beyond your wardrobe staples and give these pieces a go!
The easiest trick in the book is to add a third piece in your outfit. We call this the “third piece rule”, a fashionista’s no-fail way to make her look extra polished. It may not be the most ideal tip if you live and work within the hot and sticky Manila. So the best way is to either put it inside your bag during your commute and wear it when you arrive at your office, or just leave your outerwear inside your pedestal so you don’t always have to bring it with you. (But please remember to take it home with you over the weekend for a good wash.)
Top 5 picks: cardigan, bomber jacket, long vest, tailored blazer, moto jacket
Coords aren’t just for your casual looks, you can also make use of them at the office! This is most essential for those who work in an office that encourages a strict corporate attire. Go for tailored ones, of course. Then add a few printed and colored pairs here and there for a striking yet classy look. Plus, if you’re striving to be a lady boss, better prepare for it now by dressing like one.
Top 5 picks: polo shirt, blazer, wide-leg pants, slacks, a-line skirts
For those lazy days at work the best effortlessly-chic combination comprises of a long top, skinny pants, and heels (or flats, if allowed). This is especially essential this summer so you don’t have to layer a lot. It also gives you that cozy feeling because it’s loose and flowy, it gives your body extra space to do stretches during lunch break.
Top 5 picks: crisp long polos, dress tops, long-sleeved top + long sleeveless top (layered), shirt dress, long turtle neck shirts (cotton)
Sometimes, all you need is a pair ofIT shoes to turn your work outfit from drab to fab. (wait, this applies to any outfit, tbh.) This is another cheat piece for those lazy and clueless outfit days. Match this with your office staples and you’re good to go.
Top 5 picks: cutout boots, lace-up boots, metallic heeled loafers, fringe heeled sandals, pointed nude stilettos
You don’t need to be an uptight office girl (or someone with a high position) to get a license to wear pencil skirts. They’re actually not that hard to pull-off and it hugs your figure in all the right places giving you a “clean” silhouette. Dress it down with a decent white shirt or dress it up with a crisp polo for a fuss-free lady boss feel.
Top 5 picks: wrap-up, plain black skirt, grid pencil skirt, lace pencil skirt, blush slit pencil skirt
I know it’s hot in Manila but for special occasions, you can opt for leather pieces in your outfit. It doesn’t just make you look bad-ass but also effortlessly fashion forward. This comes with a hefty price tag, but for a piece that would last for years, it’s worth the splurge.
Top 5 picks: leather pencil/a-line skirt, oxford shoes, utility/bucket bag, thin black belt, faux animal print heels
Graphic tees had it’s time under limelight in the early 2000’s but I think they’re good all-season round. Reserve your graphic tees for fun days at work, or when you feel like wearing your favorite bands on your sleeve. They’re colorful and fun to look at. Plus, you can layer them under a blazer or over a polo shirt for a cool mix of attitude and style.
Feminine doesn’t always mean pink, floral, and laced. For me they’re pieces that accentuate the female figure without the body-con factor. Yeap, I’m talking about loose pieces (is it too obvious that I love loose clothing?) that have that extra sumthin’ sumthin’ that makes anyone look like lady without being too girly. To add to that, this is also perfect for Manila weather!
Top 5 picks: Bell-sleeve tops, Culottes, midi skirts, sheer blouses, patterned tops
For classy days at the office go for real, minimalist jewelry. But for an extra punch, reach for your bright accessories. You don’t have to go all out with them so there’s no need to worry about blinding your colleagues with your accessories. Just a piece or two would do for your outfit to be the talk of the office.
Top 5 picks: handbag, sling bag, thin belt, statement earring, pendant necklace
Last but not the least, anything from your boyfriend’s (or boy(space) friend’s) closet. I’m an advocate of shopping at the men’s section because naturally, the fit of guy clothes will be more favorable to your figure because it’s loose and snug in all the right places. It also adds the instant edge to your outfit without going overboard. I mean, you’re a stylish office girl, go all out!
Top 5 picks: blazer, tattered jeans, cap, flannel shirt, white polo