Working in a creative space is a blessing and a curse when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. While we rejoice at the opportunity to embrace our personal style, a lax dress code can be a bit confusing: Will my boss think I take my job less seriously if I forgo a button-down in favor of a comfy T-shirt ? Does HR really approve of jeans?
To help answer these questions and quash your worries, we sat down with career expert Lauren McGoodwin, founder and creator of Career Contessa, to learn her thoughts on how to dress for a professional environment without sacrificing your personal style. Scroll to read her advice (and feel free to treat yourself to a few new HR-approved pieces in the process).
Tell us a bit about your business.
Career Contessa is a comprehensive resource for women that provides online tools, advice, courses, and the direction they may need to navigate, enhance, or change their careers. I wanted to ensure women felt supported.
What exactly does dressing for success mean to you?
I used to reply to this by saying “Dress for the job you want,” but after interviewing plenty of great women for my podcast, The Femails, I realize that dressing for your authentic self is best. If that means a great pair of heels, great, but it might also mean sneakers with a dress. However you need to dress to show up and perform at your optimal level is how you should build your look. If that means being more comfortable and casual so you’re not shifting around at your desk all day getting distracted, opt for that.
Speaking of dressing for the job you want, not the job you have, do you think upper management notices how employees dress?
All people experience unconscious bias, so you might have a boss who associates your appearance with how much you care about work. A good way to decide how important your put-together appearance matters to your boss is by looking at how they dress for their day-to-day. It’s not a great reality, but it’s the truth. That being said, putting in extra effort should not mean changing your look. Just because your boss wears a blazer and slacks doesn’t mean you need to change your personal taste to impress them. Find a way to look polished that feels true to you. And you can make sure when you’re a boss one day to only promote/reward based on merit.
Creative offices with no dress code can feel like a bit of a gray area. Are there any pieces you believe should be avoided despite not necessarily being inappropriate?
I think “polished” and “practicality” are a good filters to run gray-area items through. For example, do flip-flops look polished? Are they practical if you need to walk around the office with clients? Probably not. Are ripped jeans polished? Not necessarily, but they may look polished as long as you pair them with the right top and shoes.
If your pieces aren’t stained, worn-through, and or impractical for your job, they pass the test. I’ve found that investing in wardrobe essentials is key. Some items I invested in that I still use all the time are flattering dark skinny jeans, leather flats, a black blazer in a less-formal material, and a “grown-up” backpack that feels practical (but a bit more exciting that a tote or briefcase).
What if your office does have a strict business dress code? Any tips for still making the style your own?
My first job had a strict business dress code, and most of the things I wore were black, white, and gray. To mix it up, I’d wear brighter jewelry, paint my nails a bold red, or wear a printed shirt under my jacket. It’s important to inject a bit of personality into your look when you can.
Up Next, 8 Who What Wear Editors on the Outfits That Got Them Hired
I Tried on 21 Dresses From Reformation, Topshop, and Zara—These 10 Made the Cut
If there’s one type of email I love to receive in my inbox this time of year, it’s a summer invitation. Whether it’s for a wedding, a barbecue, brunch, or bridal shower, seeing a Paperless Post pop up in my inbox never fails to excite. This is followed closely by my second favorite email: a travel confirmation from an airline. (It’s true. I get giddy at the sight of a booking reference number.) Why? Because both emails signify the start of fun summer is finally here.
It also signifies the need to get my summer wardrobe into gear. And lots of summer events call for lots of gorgeous summer dresses (or at least a small handful to see me through the season).
So this week, I went to some of my favorite retailers—Reformation, Zara, and Topshop (all known for their chic selections of dresses)—to seek out cool summer frocks that will see me through laid-back summer weekends, an upcoming Italian vacation, a wedding, an engagement party, and a bridal shower—all taking place in the next few months. I tried on a plethora of dresses (21 to be exact), but these 10 made the final cut. From floral minidresses to polka-dot slip dresses, scroll below to whet your appetite for a brand-new season of summer dressing.
The Best Maternity Bras to Get You Through Your Pregnancy (and After)
If you’re a pregnant bra wearer and asking yourself if you need to buy a new one, the answer is undoubtedly yes. I am currently six months along and have swiftly transitioned from a B cup to a D cup in the blink of an eye. Breasts increase in size pretty early during pregnancy (around 6 to 8 weeks), and many will find they outgrow their bras rather quickly. The hormonal shifts, weight gain, and expanding rib cage associated with pregnancy contribute to this growth, as will mammary glands preparing to make milk later in pregnancy.
I was tempted to squeeze into my regular bras for as long as possible, but I quickly realized how uncomfortable my pre-pregnancy lacy bras were becoming, and they simply couldn’t support my heavy (and itchy) breasts. Time for an upgrade. There are a few options as you’re growing. 1) Buy a larger size of your normal pre-pregnancy bra. 2) Switch to a maternity bra. 3) If you’re somewhere in the middle of your third trimester, buy a nursing bra. Many, like me, prefer a combination of the two or three.
So how are maternity and nursing bras different from regular bras? Think of a maternity bra as an improved version of a regular bra—designed specifically for comfort as your breasts grow during pregnancy. Some features include a soft cotton lining, wider straps, extra latches on the band, etc., and they tend not to be underwired. Many regular bras offer these features too, which will work just fine during pregnancy.
Nursing bras differ in one way from maternity bras: They feature clasps on the straps that allow for easy breastfeeding access. If you buy a nursing bra to wear during pregnancy make sure there is enough room for you to grow as your breasts tend to go up another cup size or more after your baby arrives. Many of the bras available are maternity/nursing hybrids, which provide support throughout pregnancy and after.
Officially ready for a new bra? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite maternity and nursing bras that will get you through and beyond your pregnancy. And remember: If it feels tight, then it isn’t right. Find your correct size by getting measured at the lingerie department or do it yourself.
This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated by Judith Jones.
Up next, these are the summer maternity outfits to try right now.
Don't Visit New York Without Stopping By These 6 Stores
As someone who quite literally shops online for a living—and loves it—it takes a lot to get me out of my e-comfort zone and into an actual store. After all, I pride myself on being able to track down pretty much any item on the internet within seconds and have a weekly excuse to peruse all my favorite sites’ new-arrivals sections—making me pretty familiar with all that’s out there.
However, once in a while it does happen, mostly thanks to a handful of boutiques that have managed to curate such a good selection, it’s worth the trip every time. So which are the stores one simply must visit when in New York? Just keep scrolling to read about all six and (because I couldn’t help myself) do a little online shopping along the way.
Up next? The surprising new It bag I couldn’t even get my hands on.
Fashion2 weeks ago
Hailey Bieber Just Wore a G-String Thong Dress to the Met Gala
Business2 weeks ago
Over 200 million people in West Africa live below poverty line – Dosso
Business2 weeks ago
Otumfuo and NLA to support Asanteman development through lottery
Business1 week ago
Investing in real estate is a sure way to wealth creation – Expert
Business2 weeks ago
Akplabanya residents fill lagoon with refuse
Business2 weeks ago
Government secures $1b to revamp railways sector – Minister
Sports5 days ago
Sulley Muniru accused of impregnating Night Club worker in Turkey
Business1 week ago
CDA Ghana demands immediate prosecution of Chinese rosewood loggers