How we look is a reflection of how we feel – according to science. Research shows that how we dress directly affects how we behave in all areas of our lives. The research field, enclothed cognition show that our attitudes and behaviors in any given situation are a reflection of the way that we present ourselves. What we wear affects our mood and capabilities. By changing from a pair of sweatpants to a suit, you subconsciously become smarter, focus better, and are more likely to influence others.
At the office, our outfit choices impact our work performance and how we interact with our colleagues. Studies confirm that dressing in more professional clothes enables us to think more creatively, increasing our abilities to solve problems in a more strategic manner. Conversely, in more social settings, others tend to perceive those wearing formal work-wear as less approachable or friendly.
We all have heard that it is important to “dress for success” or to “dress the part,” the latter usually referring to what to wear in a professional context. While, of course, it is important to look put together when in a work environment, we should be mindful of our wardrobe choices in every area of our lives.
Modern professionals know it is no longer attainable to achieve a work-life balance. In our post-digital world, we are moving faster than ever and are reachable at every time of the day. Social media allows anyone in the world to watch our every move – making it even more crucial to be conscious of how we present and conduct ourselves during each activity that we partake in.
In the work-life integration era, we must accept that social and work lives are not mutually exclusive. Rather, these areas of our lives seamlessly work together to shape our authentic selves – both emotionally and aesthetically. While you might exhibit different behaviors, depending on whether you are at the bar or in the conference room it is important to present a consistent image that with your personal brand. Considering that all aspects of our life are fluid, how do we choose outfits that accurately convey the persona that we each strive to project at all times of the day?
Acting like the person you want to be starting with the way you dress. As humans, we subconsciously make sure that our actions are congruent to our perceived self-image. Therefore, once you understand your unique personal style or the identity that you want to communicate to the world, it becomes easier to see the common thread among all your sartorial choices. However, no matter what personality your wardrobe enables you to embody, it is vital to have go-to pieces that set you up for sartorial success for almost every occasion.
Read on for the seven staple items that transition well from your mid-morning client presentation to an evening dinner celebration with friends.
Since Diane von Furstenberg first sold her now signature wrap dress in 1974, this piece long has been a workwear staple. However, this dress could work for other, non-office occasions depending on the accessories you choose to pair with it. This sleeveless, above-the-knee version is youthful enough to avoid making you matronly but still is appropriate for women professionals of all ages. To liven up this more conservative piece for any after-work outing, pair it with chunky costume jewelry and a bold pair of shoes.
These bottoms are one of the hottest trends – likely due to their comfort and versatility. Whether you’re heading to a weekend brunch or a cocktail party, these pants are a stylish upgrade to your trusty skinny jeans or slacks. For more casual activities, style your pair of culottes with white sneakers and a graphic tee for an effortlessly put-together look. When heading to a more formal event, make sure to choose a high-waisted, tailored culotte pant and pair them with a silky blouse, pumps, and elegant jewelry pieces such as a pearl or crystal necklace.
While loafers are a great daytime shoe, whether that be for the work week or the weekend, these shoes often can make your outfit fall flat for nighttime events. To always achieve a sleek, sophisticated look that doesn’t sacrifice comfort, make sure to always have a pair of stacked-heel boots on hand. For the fall and winter months, a chunky-heeled, rounded- toe boot is a great option to streamline any look. For the warmer months, a high-heeled cutout boot pairs well with both casual and formal summertime outfits.
These one-piece outfits allow you to feel like you’re wearing pajamas while still looking put together. While this garment might seem like solely weekend attire, with a blazer and understated accessories, this jumpsuit works equally well as office attire if you work in a more casual or creative environment. For nighttime, throw on a pair of heels to wear this piece as a more comfortable alternative to your go-to skirt or dress options.
Tweed’s timeless look adds a transforms any outfit into an effortlessly-sophisticated ensemble. Swap out your typical pencil skirt for this luxurious-looking alternative to boost your workday mood. These skirts look great as a suit set with a matching tweed blazer. For more casual occasions, you can easily switch out a pair of jeans in favor of an above-the-knee, A-line version – such as the option featured here.
Whether it’s in a long-sleeved, sleeveless, or a button-up style, a silk blouse is the ultimate elevated basic top. These shirts will go with almost any trousers, jeans, or skirt option. Make sure to have a variety of options available for each season and occasion. Long or short-sleeved, collared options work best for the office while camisole versions are perfectly suited for any night-out look.
This figure-flattering silhouette is modest enough to be appropriate as office attire while still looking modern. A more structured version works for professional and formal settings, best paired with flats or heels. For the weekend, wear these dresses with sneakers or sandals for a more relaxed aesthetic. Alternatively, especially for the late summer season, a thinner, flowy-fabric shift dress is a versatile addition – an effortless piece to integrate into your existing weekend wardrobe. This style also can be worn for work. However, make sure to choose an option with both a longer hemline and sleeves to avoid looking too casual for the office. For a formal occasion, pair a chiffon, lace, or satin shift dress with heels or wedge sandals for a sleek and timelessly-chic look.
While, over the years, there has been a widespread casualization of our culture’s dress codes, certain staple pieces always will be in style. What other fashionable items do you believe every woman needs in her wardrobe?
More Info: www.forbes.com