The Complete Guide to Dressing for Work - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


The Complete Guide to Dressing for Work

Make sure you know how to always dress appropriately at work, and after work.


In Corporate America, many offices have switched from suits to a business casual policy. Men are dressing down from full three-piece suits, oxford shirts and ties down to golf shirts, khakis and loafers. As women, we need to be more careful about dressing appropriately in our work environment. How can we dress down without crossing the threshold of looking too revealing, lazy, or just plain inappropriate?

The Complete Guide to Dressing for Work

With a few basic guidelines, the modern woman can indulge in the fashion world – piecing together funky and dressy outfits that transition wonderfully from weekday office attire to happy hour evening wear. Read on for how to tell if that pricey item is worth it, how to transition your outfit from day to night, what colors to choose, how to look great in anything, and my career-dressing guidelines to live by.

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Originally from Denver and now living in NYC, Angie has been writing since she was small. She lives in the Flatiron district with her partner Tanya and their mutt Sparky (always adopt!) In her spare time she loves to paint (mostly abstract) and talk to random people on the street to find out what's interesting to them.

Reader Discussion: 13 Comments

  1. Jackie Lewis

    As someone who is just starting out in the corporate world after college, the article is something I live by. I think this article was great for helping me to decide where to start with a “base wardrobe” and then after a few days in my office, I can start adding more of my personality into my clothes like adding a few more colors or more interesting designs. Thanks for the advise, it is such great help.

  2. Naincy Winget

    this article is very interesting. it will really help me for office wears,I try to dressup different for every day . this article give me lots ideas to dressup for office .
    Good one

  3. Sarah Evanston

    I’m obsessed with the rose handbag on page six… do you know where I can buy it?? Also wanted to point out that J Crew has gotten a lot better quality-wise lately, and now I buy a lot of work clothes there.

  4. God, I never know what to wear at work! I’m always dancing the delecate line between fashion and business appropriate. This article will really help me get a better handle on that balance, and pull off both at the same time. 🙂

  5. I love this article! Dressing up for work has always been my problem plus I don’t want to spend so much money on work clothes. This article just saved me from my morning dilemmas! Thanks for posting this, Angela 😀

  6. Thanks for sharing this! In my opinion, there’s far too much emphasis placed on business wardrobe these days. I think it’s more important to go to ‘that important meeting’ wearing whatever you are most comfortable in (within reason of course!). Why dress up in a smart suit to impress if it means you’re not being yourself. I don’t want to do business with anyone who makes social and professional assumptions about others based on what they wear.

  7. It took me years to find my own balance between dressing professionally (like the CEO that I am) and dressing casually (like the Creative Director that I am). I think it is most important to feel well put-together and stand confidently in your own skin. Posture, eye contact and tonality make a huge difference in how you are perceived. Before an important meeting, I always set the intention to be a good listener, to speak with confidence and to make a good impression. I think dressing for success is half of the equation and mindset is the second.

  8. Very interesting article! If you want to appear friendly but competent, wear casual attire in classic styles, like khakis, subdued polo or camp shirts and no jewelry. Unless you actually work for the fashion industry, never take advice on work dress from a fashion column anywhere. Instead, look at the news photos of successful people in your profession while they are on the job. That’s the only way to know that you might consider wearing Hawaiian shirts to fit in at Pixar Studios.

  9. Great article Angela, very informative. In my opinion, if you are a creative, treat your attire according to what you’ll be doing the day, or what goals you are trying to establish in your workplace. I am lucky to have my own design studio, so for example, if one day I’ll go workout after office, I’ll go sporty, to make it easier for me to enter sport mode. Generally when I just work, I’ll try to go casual, but not too casual either (shorts, jeans, etc). I try to dress up different, to make me stand out from the usual urban crowd.

  10. As a general rule, try to fit in to the culture in your company. If you dress completely differently from everyone else in your company, you will stand out and not in a good way. Dressing in a manner appropriate to the company culture shows that you are a team player and are concerned about the kind of image you and your company present to clients. Also, be sure to get a copy of your company’s dress code policy. When in doubt, imitate your boss.

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