So you’re one of the lucky ones who got hired into an office casual workplace. Your brilliant HR department recognizes that productivity, creativity, and innovativeness can be directly correlated with comfort. I mean let’s be real here, how can you think freely when you’re being choked by your necktie or trying to sit still to avoid wrinkles? Ladies, how can you run down the halls cranking out work when you run the risk of tripping over your heels? So much for efficiency.
But now you can breathe a sigh of relief. Those days are behind you. No more ironing or dry cleaning. You get to wake up and throw on whatever the heck you feel like and waltz into work straight up Zuckerburg style. You’re ready to innovate, produce, and speak freely in your white tee and jeans. Your productivity has soared. You feel like a gazelle flying through the Sahara. Nothing is stopping you now. At least nothing YOU seem to notice. But not so fast speed racer.
Let’s face it. Work clothes are annoying. They’re expensive, and they put many of us in a bad mood even before we put them on. But I think we can acknowledge that, when worn correctly, they make a good employee look really good. A serious employee look seriously driven. An all-talk employee look, well, believable. Basically, work clothes make a worker look legit. Put someone like that next to the t-shirt and jeans guy and let the stereotype answer the question for you – Mr. Suit-and-Tie surely has to be the other guy’s boss, right? Not necessarily. But you must realize, perception is everything. And whether you like it or not, a HUGE part of one’s upward movement in a company, no matter the size, industry, or location, is based largely on the element of perception. Perception of your work ethic, your accessibility to others, your willingness to help, and, wait for it, your appearance. And guess which one is recognized by most people first? Ding, ding, ding! First impressions are everything, right? This still holds true in an “office casual” setting, yet this logic often gets thrown out the window with the dry cleaning bag full of no-longer-needed white collar shirts.
So let me introduce you to a concept I like to call, “polished casual.” This is my inspiration, my passion, my main purpose behind creating Suits & Sneaks. You can dress as casually as you want, exactly to your personality, and still look driven, passionate, and promotable. So, some tips:
Rock the Suits and Sneaks look (obviously): I’m not even kidding, blazers are the godsend to the office casual phenomenon. And yes, I know they can get hot, but listen here, if I can sport this attire in Tampa, Florida’s 100 degree, 98% humidity months, then y’all can too. The look here is to be yourself, with an added layer of professionalism (blazer), offset with an added layer of hip (sneaks). Contrary to the full business professional attire, you’ll rock the same fashionable look while appearing as if you didn’t even try. [suddenly singing Beyonce’s “I woke up like this” song…] I can’t even tell you how many times people have stopped me and said, “I love the Chucks,” or, “You’re rockin’ that outfit, nicely done!” So find a few good fitted blazers or jackets, pair with some hip, casual sneakers, then get ready to rock.
Wear the right balance of fit vs. comfort: Obviously fitted clothes will always look better than baggier clothes. But, you can totally mix both! Gentlemen – Wear that comfy t-shirt with an added sport coat on top. Add fitted jeans, and finish off with some spankin’ new casual kicks. I can’t speak for all women, but for those who share my style, gentlemen - you will look HOT (again, that Beyonce song is in my head). Ladies – there are some awesome linen pant styles out now that finish off fitted at the ankles. Tuck a loose fitting shirt into these, add a scarf, pull your hair back, finish off with fashionista sunglasses, and voila! You’re totally comfortable, yet look like you stepped right out of a Pinterest board. Which leads me to my next tip...
Accessorize! Guys and girls both. Guys – you can do this by rocking all different watches, belts, ties, and shoes. Girls – Scarves are the easiest, most manageable, versatile, cost effective accessory you could buy. Check out some of our favorites on our Shop page. Accessories will instantly dress up your I-rolled-out-of-bed-and-threw-on-what-I-had look.
Carry a trendy laptop bag. This is getting easier as more purse-laptop bag hybrid styles are hitting the market. Buy a few different colors so you can swap them out with your outfits then get ready to rock your new arm candy. See some of the styles we picked out on our Shop page.
Look crisp. This is all about ensuring you look polished in your comfy clothes. So give them a good starch and iron before wearing them. Don’t come to work in wrinkly, casual clothes. That is when you look like you don’t care.
And finally, be yourself! Dress to your personality. Make your base truly reflective of you and use some of the above tips to simply polish off your look. Then, go into work feeling fabulous in your body, because your outer shell better reflects the inner you. And to have a feeling as fabulous as that during your 9 to 5 workday is truly rewarding.
So you get the concept but need some inspiration ideas? You came to the right site my friends, because this is what I love to do. Follow Suits & Sneaks on social media and check out new outfit inspirations weekly! Want to contribute your inspirations to Suits & Sneaks? Go ahead and tag us on social media or submit your best kicks here.
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