Some people have the impression that fashion merely entails the mass production of similar outfits by anonymous dressmakers and seamstresses who base their designs on what pop icons and other celebrities wear. Others think that true fashion involves haute couture.
However, fashion means variety, and it has steadily transformed into a vast collection of clothing that can be mixed, matched, and worn on different occasions.
Take the grandad collar shirt for example. As a form of streetwear, it is commonly used in casual settings and informal gatherings. However, innovation in the fashion industry has paved the way for people to accept the use of such streetwear even in more formal settings like the office.
To pull off a similar fashion “eureka” moment, here are six important things you need to remember to rock urban chic streetwear in the office:
1. Choose Comfort
Every fashionista knows that keeping it comfortable is the baseline of a great ensemble.
When attempting to mix and match urban wear for office use, make sure to choose clothing which allows you to move easily. For example, when wearing baggy tops like an oversized boyfriend shirt, make sure to choose a pair of comfort-fitting or stretchy work pants that won’t hinder you from performing your tasks for the day.
2. Pair Multi-Colored Pieces with Neutral Ones
If you’re going to pull off a professional look when donning multi-colored streetwear, it is imperative that you match it with a neutral-toned piece. Fortunately, this can be easily achieved when you use streetwear clothing since it is basically black—at least, based on an online definition of the urban chic dress code.
Aside from avoiding an unsightly clash of colors, this is also the quickest way to pull together a streetwear-based office attire. That means you won’t have to be late for work since you only need a short time to decide on what you should wear.
3. Keep It Casual but Smart
Most streetwear pieces lean more on the rough-and-rugged spectrum of fashion, something that is quite the contrast to the typical sleek-and-neat formal office attire.
However, the creative minds of modern clothing designers paved the way for fashionistas to use their multi-colored dressy blouse under a prim, neutral-toned blazer.
Casual pieces— even ones included under the urban chic category— can complete an office ensemble when matched with the right formal pieces. A cropped top, for example, may be acceptable with a pair of high-waist slacks and office blazer.
4. Choose the Right Shoes
For many fashion enthusiasts, the shoes decide the theme of the ensemble. Others even consider it as the key piece that will dictate the type of top or bottom that they are going to wear.
Whether you pick your shoes first or last, the bottom line is that you choose the right one.
For men, flip-flops and sandals are out of the question, obviously. Neutrally toned sneakers may do the trick for men wearing baggy sweaters over collared polo shirts.
Women, on the other hand, can wear high-heeled sneakers or stilettos with a blazer, trench coat or dark denim jacket over a plain or patterned tight-fitting tank top.
5. Dress to Impress
When treading uncharted fashion waters, it is also good to keep in mind whom you’re dressing for. If you are after emphasis, using one piece with a bold color matched with accessories and a top or bottom with neutral hues is the best way to go.
If there is little choice when it comes to the top and bottom because of the uniform requirement, women can accessorize with unique pieces like an elegant-yet-simple bar drop necklace that runs down to your midsection.
Men, on the other hand, have little to go on in terms of accessories except, maybe, for a stunning neck-tie with a symbolic tie clip.
6. Stay True to Office Dress Code Rules
Since you will still be going to work, it is important that you keep the rules in mind when choosing streetwear for your office look. Since it can be tricky due to the nature of some office policies, it is best to play safe by keeping your look professional.
Some companies require business formal outfits, so you may need to ditch those multi-colored or bold patterned coats and blazers. However, these may allow minimal flourishes and low-key highlights, like eye-catching ties and modest accessories.
Other types of office dress rules allow for greater flexibility, especially in terms of color, cut and style. If this is the case, men can still use that button-down cardigan or double-layered denim jacket while women won’t have to keep their fine-striped blouses and high-cut boots in the closet.
Ready to Strut Your Stuff in the Office?
Now that you know the six important things to consider combining urban chic with office dressing, you can now walk down your office corridor confidently.
Just make sure that you look in the mirror a second time before leaving home for one quick check if everything is in its place.