Looking professional at work doesn't have to mean boring. Who says you have to wear black or pinstripe?
Looking good at work is all about finding what's right for you and, while there are certain rules you should follow, avoiding prints isn't one of them. Prints are perfectly acceptable in the office, you just have to be careful about how you wear them.
HOW TO WEAR PRINTS IN THE OFFICE
1. Wear a print dress with a neutral or black shoe
2. Wear a print cardigan or sweater over your traditional work outfit ie. white collared shirt and black skirt.
3. Wear a print shirt under a neutral blazer.
4. Wear a print shoe to jazz up a traditional work outfit.
5. Wear sharp geometric prints for a 'hard-nosed professional' look.
6. Wear floral print for a softer look
7. Add structure and formality with a blazer and belt over a floaty print dress.
8. Wear prints in a pencil skirt and keep accessories simple.
10. Wear toned down colour. A print doesn't have to be bold and bright.
11. Wear animal print tights under a black and white suit. It's a great way to inject some personality without being too informal.
12. Carry an animal print bag
13. Wear a printed scarf
HOW TO NOT WEAR PRINTS IN THE OFFICE
Head-to-toe print is the biggest no-no in the office and will instantly make you look unprofessional. The trick is to keep print minimal, showing just a hint of personality in an otherwise corporate outfit. Go overboard and you'll stand out for the wrong reasons.
If you are wearing print in the office, keep makeup subtle or it will compete with your choice of clothing. You want to look professional, not clown-like.
Jumping in head first
If you are new to the print world, start slowly. Don't just jump in by wearing an animal print dress, and keep fabric at the minimum. Introduce a scarf or shoe first, or ensure your print is in keeping with what you would normally wear ie. a pencil skirt.
If you are going to wear print in the office, you need to be confident in your choice. Wearing print shows you want to be heard, so let your coworkers hear you. Show you are serious about your work and here to do business. Your confidence will speak volumes.
Remember, your fabric is the statement, not your jewellery. It's one or the other.