For those of us who work in a corporate environment, it can be hard to find great outfit inspiration. Not only does a conservative office dress code usually restrict anything sleeveless, denim, or remotely short or tight, the unspoken rules of the office often frown upon anything too bright or trendy.
So does that mean you’re confined to the standards of slacks and button-downs in various shades of black, white, and grey?
According to some of our favorite bloggers, absolutely not! We’ve pulled together some of their most fashion-forward (yet still appropriately conservative) 9-to-5 outfits to inspire your work week.
Elaine from Clothed Much
Elaine loves pops of color, and has perfected the art of incorporating them into her work wardrobe in a professional way. From the big (bright red skirt) to the small (contrasting red belt) to the barely-there (subtle red lip), she shows that bright colors don’t have to be banned from the office.
Jessica from What I Wore
If you, like Jessica, love texture and pattern, use them to your advantage! Bold choices—like an emerald, lace, or patterned skirt—can definitely work in a conservative office, as long as you keep the rest of the outfit simple and neutral.
Kate from The Small Things Blog
Kate’s a hair stylist, so she doesn’t have to wear a conservative corporate outfit every day—but she looks fabulous when she does! Jewel tones like these are an easy way to incorporate color into your professional wardrobe—just pair them with neutral tops and simple accessories to keep the look clean and professional.
Liz from 26 and Counting
While pencil skirts are fabulous, let’s be honest: Pants are way more comfortable. And Liz proves that they don’t always have to make up the bottom half of a pantsuit, even in a conservative office. She pairs them with a complementary blazer for an office-ready look—but keeps her outfits interesting with a bold color, fun necklace, or trendy pattern.
Jean from Extra Petite
Jean’s ultra-classy work look gives us corporate gals hope of standing out in the midst of an ocean of suits. She chooses glam accessories in bold colors, but the shape of her basic pieces (pencil skirts, tailored pants, and structured blouses) keep her look classic and sophisticated. It’s the perfect way to display your sense of style—professionally!
After beginning a career in management, Katie realized she wasn’t doing what she loved and determined it was time for a major career transition. Now, as a staff writer/editor for The Muse and a content marketing writer for a healthcare IT company, she gets to do what she loves every day—write and edit content ranging from demand generation campaigns to career advice. Her career and management content has been published on Forbes, Mashable, Business Insider, Inc., and Newsweek. Find her on Twitter @kgwolfie.More from this Author