Dress To Impress The Higher-Uppers

Dress To Impress The Higher-Uppers
Believe it or not, unicorns do exist. They do. They just don’t exist in the form of pearlescent white horses with long eyelashes and sparkling horns protruding from the heads; they exist in the form of women who manage to nail their office outfit every. single. day. These women are the rarest of the rare, yet they do exist, as you have probably come to accept because Karen in sales always looks amazing. (Karen, if you’re reading this, congratulations on being a gorgeous unicorn, but there really isn’t any point in your reading on. You’re already there, girl.)

For everyone else out there - and we are talking to the mirror too - there is no harm whatsoever in seeking some advice on how to improve your closet and which pitfalls to dodge so that you can start impressing the boss with your business attire from Monday through Friday.

Now, the reason we’re telling you all this isn’t just because looking your best helps you feel your best; although that is at the top of the pile, especially given you have used a Sharpie to scrawl the words “New Year, New Me” across your vanity mirror. No. It is also because people do judge books by their cover and, in this instance, you are the book and your bosses are the people. But not just any people; the people you want and need to impress, turning that dreaded side-look you used to always get into a gentle nod of approval every time you walk into work looking like you’ve just secured another $10 million deal before breakfast.

So, without further ado, here are the tips, tricks and items of clothing you need to add to your working wardrobe so you become the Karen of your department. Trust us, follow these pieces of advice and you’ll have your colleagues asking for style advice and your higher-uppers calling you into their corner offices with a smile on their faces before April comes around.

1. A Blazer For All Occasions

Every girl’s closet should house a few staple pieces of attire. The little black dress, the classic black pumps and, yes, the tailored blazer. It is just one of those universal pieces of clothing that can make almost any outfit look more sophisticated without compromising on style. Pop it over a sundress when the temperature soars, make your jeans and button-down shirt look more business than casual, and make your colored suit trousers more ‘wow’. Of course, much like when you are choosing your first LBD, the pressure of choice can make you shake more than an autumnal leaf, but black is best. It’s the color of a classic. It’s the shade of timelessness. That said, you shouldn’t dismiss the other options; the navy blues, the whites, the neutrals or even those that are printed.

2. When It Doubt, Close Off

Men have it pretty easy when it comes to picking a pair of shoes to match their outfit. Brogues, Oxfords or boots - that’s kind of where it is at. But for us girls, wow, the options are more dazzling than a ten-course dinner at The Carlton in Cannes. You’ve got slingbacks, kitten heels, flats, stilettos, moccasins, wedges, platforms, mules, clogs, boots, ankle boots and much more. It’s enough to put a niggle of doubt into any girl’s mind. However, whenever you’re in doubt, always opt for a closed-toe heel. It could be beige, grey, red, navy, suede, leather, the classic black pump or whatever takes your fancy. The point is, they always look sharp, and that’s the impression you want to give off.

3. Straight Down The Midi

Trends come and go like tides and, right now, the midi skirt is enjoying a real moment in the spotlight, especially the fashion-conscious business-women. Why? Because there are so many ticks in the pro column and not a cross in the cons. Think about it for two moments. Midi skirts are the most comfortable length a girl can where. You don’t have to worry about them riding up when you sit in your chair and, you know, exposing you to your colleagues (unlike with the traitorous mini-skirt). They aren’t long enough to get caught in your heels. And, best of all, there are so many styles you can play around with from the flowing pleat to the figure-cuddling pencil. Yeah, the midi skirt is having a moment, and you should latch onto it.

4. Make Your Accessories Sophisticated

You may have read that subtitle and felt a bit lost, racking your brain for ideas on what constitutes a sophisticated accessory. Well, at the top of the pile is glasses. People still think glasses make you look smarter, which makes it one of the most favorable stereotypes out there. Now, if you want to go deeper than this, then thicker frames work better than thin ones and, if you want to prove this stereotype right, you should visit SpektrumGlasses.com because they will literally make you more productive by reducing the blue light from all those screens. But glasses aren’t the only sophisticated accessory out there. A classic timepiece is always a great shout. Something with a smaller face and a precious metal face that you can be proud of. It’s that one piece of jewelry that impresses the people upstairs, which is probably because it gives off the impression of timeliness and punctuality - two pretty valuable skills. All the better if you can get something with an impressive name; people like that.

5. Guess Who Bag, Bag Again

This is the part of an outfit that can make or break your look, which is why it is so delicate. You spend all that time on Sunday night laying out exactly what you are going to wear the next day, only to forget the bag and just pick up either that crossbody or mini bag you wear out of default. Don’t get us wrong, we love both these styles. They’re gorgeous. However, if you want to dress to impress without impacting on practicality, then you need to get yourself a tote bag, and preferably one that holds its structure so that it doesn’t start to look a little, how do you say, sloppy after a weeks use. That way you will have all the space you need for things like your iPad, your paperwork, your extra pair of shoes and whatever else, whilst still looking fantastic.

6. Listen To Your Heart (And Gut)

Every so often, you have the mornings where you wake up and feel proper spritely. You got a good night’s sleep, the coffee you made was perfect, the radio played one of your favorite songs ever and it has put a spring in your step, the kind that has you feeling a little brave when you look at your closet. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. Basically, what we are saying is, if you feel your stomach tightening slightly when you look at a dress or a skirt and think “is that too short or too low cut” for the office, then it probably is. Your gut never lies. That’s one of those unwritten rules of the universe and one that will keep you out of trouble in the office outfit stakes. Trust us, you don’t want one slightly misjudged outfit to give you a reputation. It isn’t worth the hassle of finding a new job.

7. Stay As Polished As Possible

There are certain things you can do that will make you look a million times more polished (read: give off a much better impression). The first on this list is hair. You probably already knew this, but an up-do you’ve spent three minutes on is better than loose locks that make you look I-didn’t-hear-my-alarm-go-off kind of dishevelled. That isn’t the only telltale sign you don’t care, though. The other one is the dreaded chipped nail polish. Mmm hmmm. That is one of those things that people will grimace at when they see. So, the moment your nails start to chip, make sure you touch it up immediately or douse them with nail polish remover so that the polish is stripped away in its entirety. Looking polished means cutting down on the visible cracks in your facade, and that boils down to hair and nails.

8. Wrinkles Don’t Lie

Nothing will argue against your professionalism more than an outfit that is stained with wrinkles and crinkles, which sucks because ironing clothes are one of those time-consuming and mind-numbing exercises absolutely no one on earth enjoys doing. No one. That said, you don’t want to be looked at by the higher-uppers like you don’t care about your appearance because that makes it look like you don’t care about your job, your office, your performance or any promotions that may have once floated your way. Yeah, all that from not ironing your clothes. So, to avoid this vicious cycle, go onto Amazon.com and grab yourself a steamer - the quick and easy alternative to ironing your clothes when your eyes are still partly stuck together by sleep.

And there we have it, your complete style guide to impressing your bosses with the way you dress. Goodbye old useless you, hello promotions.