For the next few days, I’ll be at a local conference for professional development and from what I observed today, I might as well conduct a simple but absolutely essential workshop – how to look professional at a work event.
My profession is known for many positive attributes but one definite flak we get a lot is our lack of style. Frankly, some look absolutely nonchalant about looking humanly decent to work.
So where was I? Ah yes, fashion sins.
1. Fit Flops or Crocs are not work shoes.
I don’t care how comfy they are. I know my fellow contributor Fen is a fan of Fit Flops, but I cannot bear to see a lady wearing nice clothes with Fit Flops. It kills me a little every time I see this.
Why on earth does the French think that it’s acceptable for their minister to work in Crocs? This is the land of Chanel!
2. Outerwear for work goes beyond cardigans.
I am bored by the number of generic cardigans I see at work. Worse still, when the cardigans look like they are bored as well – dull, washed out and frankly, unsightly.
I can safely say I counted less than 10 women in blazers or outerwear that are interesting. But, men certainly subscribed to a more appropriate dress code.
Not that I think I should be the Goddess of Fashion but here’s what I wore.
White blazer with black faux leather lapels, Bysi
Black lace top, Fairebelle
Black skinny jeans, New Look
I don’t think this is the best outfit but I think I managed to look professional and stylish in my blazer!
3. Wear some make up ladies!
I am brought up to think that make up makes a lady look more presentable and work worthy. I shudder to think of people who don’t want to put on some powder and lipstick for work. If you can’t bloody dress up for work, then why should anyone look at you in a flattering light? Natural beauty does not mean nothing at all. In fact, people spend a fortune trying to look good naturally.
Basic make up should include a powder, brows, blush and lip colour in my opinion.
4. Being fashionable does not mean being crazy.
Day 2 brought more pleasant sartorial surprises. I chanced upon a chic lady participant in a classic white shift dress, light grey tweed cropped jacket and grey heels to match. More interestingly, a Caucasian participant did not let her broken arm (in a sling!) affect her style too much – a floral wrap dress with killer heels (let’s hope she don’t literally break a leg). I was impressed by a Filipino participant in a cobalt blue suit and sapphire (or sapphire-ish) earrings to match.
There is a need to keep a focal point in your outfit to make your outfit pop.
My common dressing style gravitates among these themes:
1) Fierce Glamazon – This is where my love for caged heels ensures this is a recurrent theme. A lot of black and textures like sequins, military influences and even fringes.
2) Classic and Chic – Shift dresses, cigarette pants and clean lines come to mind. Colours will make or break the outfit.
3) Trend-spotting – My imagination knows no limit. My pop-art inspired top from Bugis Street, satin chain-pattern midi skirt from a suburban mall and my snake print tunic from H&M are some samples of my insanity.
Let’s just put it bluntly, my style might not be the stye. However, everyone should take pride in their appearances. Taking baby steps daily can go a long way to create a sartorial goddess in you.