Formal clothing – what a bore. Is it possible to avoid the office routine suits, dress like a fashion editor and have fun, while keeping the dress code appropriate, and without breaking the bank?
It sure is.
The Emmanuelle Alt style
Let’s start by suggesting the style of fashion editor Emanuelle Alt. She is the queen of understated and professional style, yet she never looks boring. She tends to wear dark blazers or white shirts, but thanks to the use of belts (either over blazers and jackets or the classic way, but with preference for gold metal and black) and faux leather (often one piece is not in normal, predictable fabric) her choices are never predictable.
Laced up, coloured, bold, funky: shoes are a great way to lift up a look.
Go for coloured suede (it also has the advantage of always looking expensive, no matter what the real price is) to add interest to your outfit.Try funky shoes like Chiara Ferragni’s.Try one shoe different from the other!
Mix two subtle prints
If you want to avoid the monochromatic look and go for the latest trend, try to mix two different patterns. Find something which isn’t too extreme, like stripes and dots, flowers and pied-de-poule, checks and stripes. Keep the size of the prints to a reasonably small size; excesses are good for fashion shows and fashionistas only.
Try Long cardigans
Hefty or breezily light, cardigans can be a good alternative to blazers and formal shirts.
Oversized vests or sleeveless jackets
Again a trending item. The slightly shapeless fit looks great with very feminine accessories and immaculate grooming.
One statement piece
If you choose to wear a bold print or a heavily embroidered or decorated piece, keep the rest classic. Animal prints, fake fur, funny bags, bold patterns, art-inspired pieces have been seen everywhere this season and are very refreshing. They are allowed at work too (one at a time), provided you combine them with classical items such as white shirts, black pumps, pinced trousers, etc.
Try the edgy look
This is mostly appropriate for those who work in creative jobs, but an edgy piece can be added to almost every conservative outfit. Try a cape, some leather, a biker jacket, statement jewellery, dark nails – one at a time.
Mrs Moneypenny : Pencil skirts and belts
High waisted, slightly stretched, in classical or bright colours, with a zip behind…a pencil skirt looks “office” and is extremely feminine at the same time. A no brainer.
They come in every price, fabric and length. Combine a silky, chiffon-like skirt with a warmer item or leather if you want to go the extra mile.
Try a combination of white or beige and camel, or pair camel with total black. A camel coat or skirt or accessory looks a million dollar and makes you instantly feel like you mean business, but takes away the predictability of an all black look.