6 Tips to Styling the Modern Businesswoman

by Petey G.

April 11, 2018

Whether you’re just starting out as a businesswoman or you’re a veteran of the field, experimenting with your look can assert your professional presence.

“Dress for success” is never more relevant than in the workplace. Part of being a modern businesswoman is navigating this tricky sartorial field. Here are some tips to help you on your way.

Looking professional on a budget.

Put on a blazer.

This is a businesswoman’s outfit hack for both the young and the experienced when approaching work fashion: put on a blazer. It doesn’t matter what you’re putting it over. A good blazer will instantly elevate your casual outfit to business casual. It works equally well over a dress as it does over a nice top and fitted jeans.

What to look for in an all-purpose blazer: neutral colours such as gray, brown, beige, and navy; go for solids or understated print like pinstripe or large check; tailored fit. Tailoring is very important when it comes to suits because without it, you’ll often look like you’re wearing someone’s hand-me-downs. Take the money you saved from not buying a new outfit and get that blazer tailored, instead.

Accessorizing: bold accessories will elevate the professionalism of this look.

Pros: shows off your creativity and versatility.

Cons: it’s easy to go too casual and young with this look. Bring statement piece accessories and take care with your make-up to project professionalism.

Suggested brand: Unsigned Blazer

The look is in the details.

Suits don’t have to be boring. Punch up your two-piece suit with pops of colour and texture.

You and the two-piece suit.

The workhorse work fashion outfit for the businesswoman is the two-piece suit. It can take you from day-to-night, Monday to Friday, without a care. But you run the risk of fading into the background with this look, especially since so many other businesswomen will also be rocking it. You’ve got to decide to be playful and bring in exciting colour and texture through your dress shirt or camisole and assorted accessories.

What to look for in a two-piece suit: a tailored fit; either an unexpected colour or an unexpected cut. Pick a suit colour that’s easy to accessorize with to get the most adaptability out of this business fashion look. This is also where you can try out interesting crops to the pant hems and cuffs, different cuts to the pants, and experiment with lapel width to see which suits your clavicles and bust the best. Wider lapels exude authority while narrow lapels project flexibility. Prints are not recommended for two-piece suits.

Accessorizing: either minimal or big, both will work with this look. Have fun with colour or keep it low-key. Bracelets, necklaces, and earrings are all good ideas for this look.

Pros: versatile and always professional, can easily dress up or down.

Cons: potential wallflower syndrome. Stand out with unique cuts, textured camis, and bright accessories.

Look powerful and professional at the same time.

Mix up your fashion genres.

What does this mean? It’s when you invoke other styles and other mediums than business-wear into your look. This is a modern and edgy choice for a businesswoman. It indicates youth, vitality, and risk-taking as well as a singular sense of style. It’s not for everyone, but those who do it definitely stand out. Bring flair to the workplace with this look.

What to look for in mixed genre: one business-style element such as a tailored pant or tweed skirt matched with one or more stylish contrast pieces. Try to match the industry you’re in. If you work in sports, then bring in athleisure; if you work in tech, bring in a dressy sweater with a dramatic applique.

Accessorizing: class it up. All accessories are appropriate with this look. Wear solid colors in footwear and focus on metallic jewelry to really bring the professionalism, or experiment with colour and print to emphasize your creativity.

Pros: dynamism, experimentation, getting the most out of your closet, ability to reference other fashion genres – this is an exciting look!

Cons: could veer to the unprofessional. Take care with accessories and make-up to pull this to the business fashion side.

The pop of colour

Bright shoes can really stand out against a monochrome outfit.

Inject a pop of colour.

Sometimes colour coordination and print are just too difficult to figure out, especially if you have enough on your plate with your actual work. Wearing all black, or gray, or navy, might seem like an easy  business style alternative. But don’t let yourself get washed away into the background. You don’t have to endlessly invent new outfit combinations from your closet; if you want to go monochrome, more power to you. Just consider a pop of colour to punch up your look and bring you to the front of everyone’s attention.

What to look for in a pop of colour: statement. Drama. The unusual boot, or the unexpected hat. Pretty much every colour plays well with black. Reds pair beautifully with gray, and bold yellow enlivens navy. If you’re feeling truly adventurous, you can venture into animal prints and metallics for your statement accents.

Accessorizing: bring all the accessories you can stand. Go big. Stay in one accent colour or bring a multitude. And then, in Chanel’s immortal words, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”

Pros: show off your statement piece collection.

Cons: all that jewelry can get heavy. You can go with the statement shoe, instead. 

This look is a total power-move.

Tailoring is a must in this ultra put-together look.

The powerful three-piece look for the career-minded businesswoman.

This is some next level businesswoman style. The three-piece suit conveys confidence and power. The woman who wears the three-piece suit is going to get noticed, and is going to enjoy every second of it.

What to look for in a three-piece suit: tailoring. Tailoring, always ultra-important, is even more so when it comes to the three-piece suit. The vest can add weight to a woman’s mid-section, so take care in getting it as closely fit as possible. Also pay close attention to where the pant rises on the hips or waist. Proportion is key in the three-piece suit. You can have fun with colour and print in this business style, though not necessarily both at once. I personally recommend print for the businesswoman wearing the three-piece suit. Pick a print with a dominant neutral colour and a few pops of contrast colour in the mix.

Accessorizing: avoid most jewelry except for a statement ring or three. If you have a favored hat in your closet, now’s the time to pull it out. Finish with a bold shoe.

Pros: this is a power move look. You will look, feel, and act like the powerful career-driven businesswoman that you are in this outfit.

Cons: it’s easy to lose femininity in this look. If that’s a concern, then style your hair softly and keep your make-up dewy and fresh.

Express yourself with creative pairing of different prints.

The skillful whimsy of the mixed-print businesswoman look.

You’re the businesswoman who has built a huge library of wearable pieces, and you’re the artist with the intuition that brings disparate looks together into a harmonious work-fashion whole. This is not an easy skill to master, but it will make you memorable for all the right reasons. The businesswoman who mixes prints has a keen eye for detail and a sharp sense of what is appropriate.

What to look for in business style mixed prints: enhancing contrast. Prints that don’t run the same way, yet don’t clash. Colours that look fresh and new when juxtaposed. Hard and soft contrasting cuts to different pieces. This is a skill each businesswoman must master on her own, but staying to mostly neutral colours will help keep you from egregious errors right out of the gate.

Accessorizing: minimal. You’ve got so much going on with those prints that you should stay in the delicate range of jewelry here. Think thin metallic chain necklaces and bracelets and subtle earrings. You can go for the brooch with confidence, however. A classy solid colour manicure will also help tie this look together.

Pros: get the most wear out of your closet. Showcase your skillfulness and keen eye for detail.

Cons: if you get this wrong, it’ll be extremely obvious to everyone around you. Test your print combos by laying your pieces out and then looking at them from a distance. Perspective is all.

You’ve got options, now get shopping!

Take advantage of Fashion Shopr’s huge range of brand names and products to build your wardrobe.  Fashion Shopr has got you covered from hats to boots and everything in between. Shopping online has never been so easy. Get serious about your look, but stay playful and creative and, most of all, have fun!

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