Proof that there’s plenty of room to play even with an office dress code in place
Dress code policies in the workplace exist with good reason: They guarantee that employees represent their companies in the best way possible and ensure that they reflect the values their firms uphold. It’s part of the gleaming prestige of being a professional. Yet mornings getting ready for work are usually nothing spectacular… uninspired at times, if we’re being honest.
The pitfall lies in thinking that dressing like a professional means narrowing choices down to: safe, drab or dowdy. In reality, the styling options for workwear are anything but. Just ask Wonder editor-in-chief and Stylefestph mentor Sarah Santiago.
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When it comes to office wear, learn the rules not so you can break them (we’re as fond of fashion as the next girl, but even it’s not worth getting sanctioned at work for). Learn them so you can determine exactly when, where and how to push your style boundaries. Something Santiago knows a thing or two about.
The good news is dress codes are pretty diverse and relatively more relaxed in the Philippines (they’re somewhere between casual and business casual, with the exception of the business formal attire on days when certain interactions call for it). This means the use of color is welcome, sporting more than just the classics isn’t necessarily a bold move and you have the freedom to experiment with trends.
Easier said than done? Perhaps. So today, we not only take cues from the always-stylish Sarah Santiago, but invite her to show us precisely how non-boring but safe-for-work styles are done. On board for this fun workwear style session, we have corporate girl and video producer Bea Bermundo and ahead, three trends you can rock at your office, too.
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With more rainy days ahead (where one of the few upsides is being able to pile on pieces and use heavy-duty outerwear), why not experiment with layering? There’s more to office-appropriate outerwear than the conventional blazer, too. Think: practical, utilitarian or even something outdoorsy. One way to accessorize this is to belt your outerwear at the waist to create a feminine silhouette.
Just about anyone can pull off neutral monochromatic looks. They make a strong statement but they’re easy on the eyes. They’re simple yet striking. Going for a precise single color from head to toe, however, may mean shopping for deliberately coordinated pieces. Save yourself the shopping spree and instead build a look with a color family in mind. The final outfit can be just as streamlined and sophisticated.
Mix prints with similar shapes (lines with lines or tartan with gingham) and put together pieces with complementary colors so your outfit looks deliberately mismatched but still put together. What you can also play around with here are the sizes of your prints. Try pairing a top with small patterns with trousers that feature large ones, for example. This way, the pieces don’t compete with one another and you instantly strike a balance.
The best part is that this kind of workwear wardrobe upgrade doesn’t require brand-new clothing or thinking way outside the box. You can pull off the trends above with pieces you already own and easily rehash them to create “spin-off” looks.
Statement-making outerwear, tonal dressing, clashing prints: How about you try these out next workweek?
Art Alexandra Lara