Leslie Christen, Wear to Where Editor
We’re thrilled to have a new addition at Greer’s OC. Fashionista Leslie Christen will be writing "Wear to Where" every Wednesday. Leslie has a great eye for style, and she knows great local boutiques where you can find must-have fashions in Orange County. She is the owner of "Leslie Christen | LifeStyling," a business that does personal shopping, fashion styling, closet edits and organization.
Photo Credit: Equinox Photo / Tricia Meteer.
Ask a Stylist: Working Girls
Question: I just got a Corporate office job with no "dress code", but I have to be dressed professional at all times. Do you have any tips on how to not look so boring while still staying within the standards?
Answer: First off let’s put to rest the myth that work-appropriate attire has to be boring or uninspired. This is absolutely not true. Yes, there is a lot of drab “corporate” clothing out there, but there’s also plenty of drab lingerie, drab sleepwear, drab knitwear & drab designer duds! All you have to do is avoid the things which bore you. We’re pretty good at this intuitively — we tend to stay away from things we don’t like naturally — so don’t worry about it, you can do it!
All offices are different. Graphic designers tend to “get away with” more than lawyers, while younger companies often have a more relaxed dress-code than their long-standing competition.
Here are some things to keep in mind, wherever you work.
1. The better you look, the better you’ll feel.
What this really translates to is make an effort. If you feel confident in your appearance, you will be happier & perform better. We all have different ideas of what it means to make an effort. For some it will be not wearing a stained t-shirt, for others it’ll be 6” heels & a slash of lipstick. Whatever it is, if you put in a little extra time before you leave the house, you’ll definitely feel the difference.
2. Don’t show too much.
This is a good general rule for dressing, unless your work revolves around you wearing a bikini or it’s halloween. Don’t show everything — keep something hidden. Concealing your body a little bit is much more attractive & appealing than letting it all hang out, so to speak. So if your outfit is designed around showing off your legs, keep your arms or cleavage covered. If your outfit is low-cut, wear a long skirt. You get the idea.
3. Dress for the job you want, rather than the job you have.
As well as demonstrating to the higher-ups that you take your work seriously & that you’re mature enough to take on additional responsibility, it also shows that if you were to be promoted, you would instantly fit in with the other people in your department.
4. Let your personality shine through!
Don’t be afraid to show your personality in the way that you dress! From statement accessories to a killer pair of shoes, these choices say a lot about us and are, I would argue, an integral part of our personalities. Working in an office shouldn’t require you to hang your personality on a coat-hook once you step through the door!
5. But don’t go too nuts.
At the same time, everyone you encounter needn’t be bashed over the head about who you are & your views on life. Again, what you can get away with will depend on your place of work, your role & the length of time you’ve been there.