Infusing Personal Style Into Business Attire

Many of us shape our identities around our careers. So what does that say about our everyday work attire? Shouldn’t it, too, be an expression of our personality?

Even a mail carrier can jazz up their uniform to let a little personal style shine through. With a few adjustments, anyone can amp up their bland business look so it’s more reflective of the creative individual underneath the clothes.

Let Your Hair Do the Talking
Anyone who had to wear a uniform to school knows that a person’s hair is the best way to express personal style. Even if your job requires a wardrobe that’s completely buttoned up or identical to everyone else, your hairstyle is still an identifiable feature.

We contacted the stylists at to get their advice on polishing off a professional look with the right hairstyle. Their general take was whatever makes you feel the most put together and comfortable is the best style. As long as it’s not too over-the-top for the work environment, you can push the envelope a little with your hairstyle and color.

They also recommend going in for a blowout or trim right before a job interview. Many professionals visit their salon looking for a confidence boost before a big event or meeting.

Express Yourself With Accessories
If you own a little black dress (or suit) you can appreciate the power of accessories. Against the black backdrop, accessories are able to really stand out and make a statement. Another outfit that can be totally transformed by accessories is a crisp white shirt and dark slacks. The shoes alone can take the outfit in so many directions.

If your office requires suits and strictly professional outfits, put more thought on the accessories from your head to your feet. Hats, barrettes, headbands, and earrings can help show off your sleek hairstyle. Necklaces, bracelets, and rings can add serious flare to an otherwise unremarkable outfit. Bag, scarves, and belts can also be used to add intrigue to your outfit while still keeping it professional.

Make It a Mom Version of Your Personal Style
Keeping clothes professional is a top priority in most work environments. Erin Brokovich may have been able to pull off the cleavage and miles of leg but, in most offices, that much skin is considered a breech of etiquette.

A good trick is to make a mom version of the outfit. What would your mom change about the outfit? She’d probably add a couple more inches to the skirt, wear a scarf to distract a little from the deep V of the blouse and trade the open-toed sandals for a pair of pumps. In other words going a little more grown up is never frowned upon in a professional workplace.

Use Color
Another way to add a little personality to an outfit is color. A regular suit or dress can be transformed when it’s in a vibrant color like red. Johnny Cash created an entire persona around the all-black wardrobe he wore on stage.

Colors stir up emotions in people. Different hues affect our mood in unique ways and can send an immediate message. Consider the impact a bubble gum pink shirt has compared to one in powder blue. You may have to go conservative on the cut of your clothes, but no one said you couldn’t go all out with color. Prints are also a fabulous way to express your personal style.

Use Makeup to Play Up One Feature at a Time
Makeup is another way women can give their work attire an infusion of style. The secret here is to keep it subdued for the daytime by focusing on just one feature. If you want to make your lips pop with a bold, fashion forward color, then keep the eyes neutral. Want to try a smoky eye in a light grey? Then keep the lips bare or neutral.

Nails That Get Noticed
Today, more and more women are splurging on one-of-a-kind gel manicures. From any color in the spectrum to hand-painted designs to decals, a manicurist can turn your fingertips into a work of art that makes a serious style statement. While you’re typing away don’t be surprised if others take note of your impeccably painted matte red nails with the tiny jewels encrusted on the ring finger.

Take Advantage of Casual Friday
Some people don’t take advantage of casual Friday. They either simply like being buttoned up or they think they need to stay on trend with the execs every day. We say you should take advantage of it. There’s nothing wrong with letting your co-workers see a more relaxed side of your style. If most people do stick to the super conservative attire, then just do every other casual Friday.

Photo by Stokkete | Shutterstock

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