Rule Benders: Workwear That Inspires… Without Breaking the Dress Code

What you wear to work is a challenge a lot of women face: you want to dress nicely, professionally, but still have personality and style. Dress codes and workwear rules are ones that should be taken earnestly, but sometimes we can end up in a rut, wearing the same ol’ safe outfit to work. Today, we’ll take a look at a few rules that can be bent… without breaking. GB team member and style blogger, Jamie (Hey Jay Blog),  shows off a few rules you can bend to your advantage, while remaining polished and professional.

RULE: “Weekend wear and workwear don’t mix.”

DSC_5593 Sharagano Chesapeake Dress in Rooibos Tea and Tahari ASL Cutout Jacket in Navy

Bend it: Your weekend wear and your workwear may not have to live in separate worlds. If you’ve got a casual dress (in great condition!) that you love to wear in your downtime, make it pull double duty by dressing it up with a sharp blazer and some heels. Jamie chose a smart color combination of orange and navy, for a look that is fun, but not overly bold. This a great look for a work lunch or day event, where a dress code is less strict.

RULE: “Taking style risks isn’t for the workplace.”

DSC_5557 Jete Melissa Dress in Darkest Indigo Combo and Jay Godfrey Lewis Jumpsuit

Bend it: Expressing a point of view though your work wardrobe is completely doable, if you keep the final look polished. You can push boundaries, and even be edgy, if you’re careful in choosing the right pieces. Jamie is wearing a dress unzipped over a jumpsuit to create this look. Because the lines of this outfit are clean and she paired the look with traditional pumps and a classic work bag, this look is definitely office appropriate, while tasking a risk.

RULE: “No sleeveless dresses or semi-sheer tops.”

DSC_5612 Skies Are Blue Convertible Sleeve Blouse in Salmon and Tart Collections Dinah Dress

Bend it: We understand these rules to be about modesty. A semi-sheer top or a sleeveless dress might be appropriate for a night out, but not necessarily for the office. However, pairing them together (or with other pieces!) means you can bring them into the workplace in a perfectly appropriate way. Jamie layered this semi-sheer blush blouse under a sleeveless dress for a look that is covered, yet has personal style. Layering is also a smart option for offices that have the A/C in permanent blast!

RULE: “Workwear is a formula.” 

DSC_5665 Universal Standard Rubicon Shirtdress in Black

Bend it: While it’s true that some pieces are workwear staples (pencil skirts, black slacks, blazers), you don’t need to get stuck in that safe rut. Jamie has put together an outfit with a lot of personality here (inspiration from a little menswear, a little Pan Am flight attendant), that still works great for the workplace. This works because she’s taken a twist on classic workwear with this button down shirt dress, and pumps with loafer details. Adding a chiffon scarf around her neck and an easy top knot, means this outfit is definitely outside of the box without making any waves.

How are you pushing the boundaries with your workwear? Share a snap and tag us #ShareMeGB for a chance to be featured. 

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