By Allie Lochiatto
As a small business owner, you want to look professional when walking into your office, regardless of the type of business you own. How you dress in the office sets the precedence for your employees, but you shouldn’t have to compromise your personal style when it comes to what you wear. Below are some tips on how to bring your own flavor of style to business attire, all while running a successful business. Show your personality through your outfit and remember that fashion should be fun. The more comfortable you feel in what you’re wearing, the more authentic you will come across to both your employees and your clients.
There’s no need to purchase an entire pantsuit if you’ll never wear it, but your closet should consist of basics that serve as a foundation to your work outfits. Start by purchasing a few items that are office appropriate and can be mixed and matched to create a week’s worth of outfits. I recommend starting with a pair of classic trousers, a shift dress and a pair of dark denim to rotate with different items in your closet.
Rather than splurge at the mall, try shopping for your basics at secondhand stores. Online consignment shops like thredUP offer high-quality workwear for a fraction of the original price tag. Items that are functional and can easily transition from a work meeting to a dinner date will get the most wear and bang for your buck.
Mix Business with Casual
Over the recent years, office dress codes have become a lot more flexible. Many companies are allowing their employees to retire the suit and tie and wear business casual attire. Jeans, t-shirts and leggings are often acceptable, as long as they are worn with class and modesty. As a business owner, the way you dress sets the tone for your employees. You can still look the part without coming off as stuffy by mixing business with casual.
If you wear jeans, make sure they’re a dark wash and pair them with a blazer for added sophistication. Dress up your t-shirt with classy flats and ankle-length trousers. Make leggings office appropriate by pairing them with an over-the-knee boot and a long tunic. You can still dress casual and feel comfortable, even as a business owner.
Wear Colors and Patterns
Wearing a bright, bold color is a great way to showcase your mood and your personality. Best of all, brands are designing office wear in an array of colors that go beyond black, brown and gray. Black pencil skirts have been replaced with skirts in different prints, patterns and textures, such as tweed and metallic stripes. Boring pantsuits in muted tones have been replaced with power suits in pretty hues and streamlined silhouettes. Let your personality, hard work and positive attitude be echoed in the bright colors that you wear.
Accessories are an easy way to display your personality when heading into the office. Try donning a printed scarf, fun statement earrings or a fancy pair of heels. Invest in a designer pair of sunglasses or a stylish watch that automatically upgrades an outfit with a touch of class. Switch out your purse for a sleek computer bag, or opt for a chic backpack to hold your laptop and other belongings.
The great thing about running a small business is that you have the flexibility to construct both your business and your wardrobe. Whether you choose to wear more color, tie a printed scarf to your computer bag or have a wardrobe full of tailored basics, strive to look and feel your best when heading into work. Not only will your confidence make a lasting impression, but your unique style will stand out from the rest.
Allie Lochiatto has a tech job by day and is a fashion blogger in her spare time. She provides budget-friendly fashion and style advice. Besides creating content for her blog Allie Wears, she also writes for thredUP.com, an online and offline consignment store that features lots of women’s dresses and outfit options for work.