The fall fashion trends are in. What are the hottest looks for fall? From Gucci to Prada, there are bizarre shaggy coats, and color-blocked toeless socks; perilously low-cut white tuxedo jackets and four-inch-high patent leather oxford pumps. And don’t forget the impractical shade of sky blue for coats, bags and furs, and multi-colored shoes that look like building-block toys.
Women have it tough. The latest styles on the runway usually don’t translate well to the boardroom or the cubicle, and we risk looking unprofessional. If our image doesn’t inspire confidence and credibility, we risk not getting the promotion we deserve, or the client or contract we want.
So how do we interpret the current trends without becoming a fashion victim? Here are some tips that take you from the runway to the cubical.
Dress for your industry. If you are in advertising, the fashion industry, or a business where your style is noticed, you are more open to adapting the trends to your personal style. If you are in a conservative industry such as financial services or healthcare, you need to adapt the styles to your office. Remember that business is still conservative.
Take your cues from above. Look at what your boss or manager are wearing. Look at what the men in your office are wearing. Can you picture them wearing plaid knickers or red toeless socks? If you are serious about your career, you need to dress for the workplace, not for the runway.
Don’t confuse trends with appropriate business attire. Anything see-through or revealing, or very short or tight is evening wear. It isn’t appropriate for the workplace. The fur and feathers of the season, the ultra-high heels and the glittering metallics are fun for a night out, but they send the wrong message for the daytime. Dress for fun on your own time. At work, dress to represent your company and to make your customers and boss feel comfortable.
Check yourself in a mirror. Look at yourself, front and back. What happens when you sit down or lean forward? Are you showing the world your underwear? Or more of your anatomy than you really should be revealing?
Find the middle ground. Look for a moderate version of the new style. Menswear is always big in the fall, and it’s easy to find suits and trousers to pair with a tailored jacket. Go for the new looks, but not the tightest, shortest or widest version. There are always options that are more professional. The added benefit is that they won’t go out of style quickly, so you’ll get more wear for your money.
Aim to look professional. Ask yourself, How will my customer or boss feel if I show up wearing this? If you think they may feel uncomfortable, why risk your career success? Dress the way you like on your own time. At the office, dress for the corporate environment.
Tip – The workplace is not the place to reveal the inner you. Dress for your job when you are at work, and for yourself on your own time. With a little planning, you can translate the latest fall fashions into business attire that looks trendy, yet professional.