How To Dress Professionally, Feel Confident And Look Stylish

Being stylish at work can be a struggle. Wondering what else we could wear besides trousers and a button down shirt can be frustrating. There are so many things we have to consider when it comes to stylish work wear. Like professionalism, appropriateness, seasons, colors, cuts, shoes and fit.

How to dress professionally and look stylish at the same time is a question I receive a lot. I’m going to start sharing with you stylish at work outfits to answer some of your questions and inspire you to dress professionally, feel confident and look stylish.

At the beginning of September, I was in Boston for a five-day business conference. The days were filled with keynotes and seminars from morning to night. The first thing that came to mind was what should I wear?

Dressing with the office is hard enough but dressing for a business conference is something else. You want to look professional and stylish yet wear clothes that you’ll be comfortable in all day. You want to give a great first impression and be yourself. You need to wear an outfit that will look appropriate for a morning keynote and evening cocktails without having to change.

If you’re like me, then you want to put your best foot forward and not just wear dark wash jeans and a nice shirt.

When wearing a dress in a business setting, you need to keep five things in mind.
  • Length
  • Neckline
  • Sleeves
  • Fit
  • Color or Print

The length of the dress should not be so short that you feel uncomfortable. Look for a length that ends right above the knee or a midi length. I try to look for a length that end at my fingertips. So if were to have my hands straight at my sides the dress does not go above my fingers. If it does, then it’s too short.

This applies to skirts as well! Here’s a wear to work outfit example with a skirt.

I love dresses with a high neckline, so I naturally gravitate towards work dresses that are “conservative.” I would suggest staying away from any dress with a plunging neckline. The neckline doesn’t have to be as high as the dress I’m wearing in this post, but it shouldn’t show too much cleavage.

Usually, offices and conferences are on the cold side, so when wearing a dress, I opt for longer sleeves. A three-quarter-length sleeve is said to be the most flattering. A three-quarter sleeve ends between your wrist and your elbow. The lower the sleeve is on your forearm; the thinner your arm will appear.

So a three-quarter sleeve length has many positives. It’s office appropriate, it’s the most flattering, it hides your arms if you’re self-conscious about them, and you won’t be as cold.

The dress fit is where appropriateness comes in. You don’t want to wear a dress that is too tight and revealing. Look for dresses that are loose but accentuates the waist. You want the dress to be figure flattering, but not just figure focused.

The dress I’m wearing in this outfit is loose but is ruched in the waist and has a nice cloth belt to accentuate the waist. This dress is the perfect mix of figure flattering yet appropriate for a business conference or office.

Once you have the length, neckline, sleeve length and fit the last important aspect to finding the perfect work dress is the color or print.

When it comes to solid colored dresses, you want to wear colors that look best with your skin tone. Of course you can also go with black which will make everyone look nice but dare to try a color like burgundy, midnight blue, red or forest green. In addition to wearing colors that look good with your skin tone look for colors that go with the seasons.

I hope this post answered some questions for you on how to dress professionally!

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