There is a fine line between what you can and can’t wear in a professional workplace and strict cookie cutter dress codes can leave people feeling confined to normality.
While dress codes may seem self-explanatory, making assumptions about what is appropriate is never a safe bet. Most places will tell you what the dress code it but if you’re still not sure what you should wear, ask your employer or coworkers for more clarification.
If you don’t feel comfortable asking then you can let the culture of the company be your guide. If the people around you generally dress up to go to work with professional attire, so should you. On the other hand if your co-workers are dressed in business casual attire, you can probably make more relaxed wardrobe choices.
Regardless of gender, when the dress code is business casual it is probably still not appropriate to wear your favorite old t-shirt, ripped jeans and ragged sneakers. Keep the “business” part of business casual in mind when choosing an outfit. Also know that every organization is different and what may be appropriate in one office may not be appropriate in the next.
In this blog post I have researched some outfits that are both appropriate and stylish for the workplace so you don’t have to!
Please keep in mind that the clothes I selected in this article are gendered as per the website they are being sold on. I am not big on gendered clothing and wholly believe that regardless of gender, these clothes can be worn by anyone. If you identify as a man and want to wear cute blouses, go for it! If you’re a woman and want to wear vests and ties, you do you! What you wear is about style choice and gender has nothing to do with it. Now let’s get started!
This Goddess Jacket from RESTYLE is a fun play on traditional blazers. As someone with full arm tattoos that can’t be visible in most professional work environments, my suggestion is to wear a long sleeve shirt or blouse underneath if your arms need to be fully covered. Sheer bell or puffy long sleeves will give this jacket a more dramatic look.
The Draco Blouse from Spin Doctor and available on the Hell Bunny website. It’s an elegant alternative to the typical blouse and cardigan.
Have a little bit of room to play with your personal style? This Full Moon blouse by Hell Bunny isn’t subtle at all.
If bats aren’t your thing, try spiders instead. This Miss Muffet blouse doesn’t just catch flies, it catches looks too.
If you’re a Halloween lover like I am, maybe you want to bring some spooky fun to work with you during the spooky season. Modcloth has a lot of unique retro and vintage styled clothes that are well suited for the workplace. Pair this sleeveless Jack O’ Lantern top with a vest or blazer to frame the Jack-O-Lantern faces better.
If you’re looking for something that really showcases your love of Halloween, this button-up top will make your personality shine as bright as the Jack-O-Lantern faces on it. Or you can make it more subtle by pairing it with a blazer to let just the top peek out.
Accessories like scarves, bags, socks and shoes are also ways to play with your personal style at work.
These Y.R.U. Aura Boots by DollsKill will shout your Moon Child style to the heavens without being overbearing in the office.
Don’t like the cut outs but still want to keep the moon child vibe? Try these Hologram moon and star boots by HotTopic. You can cover them up with pants or keep them visible with leggings or skinny pants.
Do you prefer wearing flats instead of heels? I got you. These Starlight Ballet Flats from Killstar are a good choice.
Maybe fancy shoes aren’t your thing or you have to wear a very specific shoe for work. Try these lace top moon and star socks from Killstar to give your style a lift.
Instead of getting trapped in the cycle of wearing the same solid colored shirts every week, try Necessary Evil’s Orcus Gothic Shirt. It has an all over faux leather trim, oversize collar and cuff detail to help you stand out.
The Slaine Shirt by Necessary Evil is a basic black shirt but the little the silver popper studs, over sized cuffs and epaulettes on the shoulders give it character.
This Wings of Desire shirt from Gothmall isn’t very subtle but gives a great edge to every day work wear.
This Asymmetrical Stand Collar Blazer from Rebel’s Market is both stylish and work appropriate. It’s asymmetry is a fun play on traditional blazers. BONUS, it even comes in multiple colors: Gray, black and white.
The simple but unique design of the Slim Fit Lapel button-up from Rebel’s Market looks like two shirts in one!
Break away from the typical with this Asymmetrical Vest from Rebel’s Market which is versatile enough for both professional and personal lifestyles.
I found a wonderful design by Jeansian Garment Factory by accident on Amazon. This Black and Red button-up shirt is a great contrast to boring solid colored shirts.
Another hit from Rebel’s Market is this Irregular Design Suit Jacket that vaguely reminds me of Keanu Reeves in John Wick. It’s just off-putting and stylish enough to make someone look at you twice.
Another design by Jeansian Garment Factory sold on Amazon comes in multiple colors, including black! The shoulder reminds me of a leather pauldron.
If you would like to accessorize but still want to keep it subtle, I highly recommend playing up shirt collars. There are a plethora of pins you can use to accessorize a plain outfit.
Here are a few collar pins that I’ve found to give your work attire a lift while still remaining work appropriate.
These wolf chain collar pins come in a variety of colors and the chain can be removed if you don’t want a ton of embellishment.
If you wear a tie at work it’s a wonderful way to show off your own personal style. You can make it as loud or understated as you want. My recommendation if you’re bored with traditional ties is to play with different fabrics and textures. Wear a leather, velvet or lace tie if you feel like being adventurous.
I think ties with studs on them are creative and fun but I couldn’t find a lot of pre-made ones available online. However if you have the time to dedicate, stud presses are cheap and available at any hobby store. This means you can make them yourself at home with ease! Making them at home also gives you plenty of leeway for design when choosing a tie design to embellish.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about professional dark styles in the workplace. It was fun to write and research different pieces that were not only stylish but also toned down enough to be considered professional and I would love to write another one again in the future.