Reader Question: My job has an all-black dress code. What can I wear that’s professional?
A lot of jobs have uniforms and dress codes. We all know those places that require us to wear all black, and while we sometimes tend to step out in all black outfits on more casual days, it’s not uncommon to get intimidated when having to dress in all black for a professional setting. Whether you work behind a counter in retail or at a desk in a corporation, it’s important to find an appropriate work wardrobe that is not only comfortable but is within the employee guidelines. Presentation isn’t everything but it is very critical. How you present yourself to others not only says a lot about how you think of yourself but it helps give a bit of insight into your mood and personality as a whole. So although it may be intimidating, wearing all black in a professional setting is not only possible but it will still allow for you to show some creativity.
Play With Those Textures
I personally have trouble wearing colors that aren’t neutrals so I like to go with the idea that textures are the color of my wardrobe. Leather, tweed, denim, fur, knit – it’s all there. The different textures add some fun to the outfit and make it more eye-catching since you’re working with a limited palette. I try to keep my textures to a maximum of 3 at a time just so that it doesn’t get too busy and looks like I’ve throw on everything I own. A note to make when playing with textures is how heavy they are and how to plan your layers or lack thereof accordingly.
Accessorize & Then Accessorize Some More
If you find yourself still bored with your all black ensemble, try adding and layering accessories. Accessorizing can make or break your look so choose wisely here. You can go with some dainty, minimal jewelry or on the opposite side you can wear your loudest statement pieces. Throw a bag over your shoulder or carry your favorite clutch for the day. Wear a hat, scarf, belt or another favorite and get creative. Whatever you choose, make sure it compliments and completes your look.
Add In Other Neutrals
Some times an all-black dress code means majority black with wiggle room for neutrals. Do you know what that means? Prints and patterns galore! Maybe not galore, but that does give you some room to add some polka dots or stripes or whatever you fancy without breaking the code. You should also pay attention to the proportion of the other neutrals in comparison to the black. As long as whatever it is is mostly black you should have no problem getting away with with a little black and white stripe or plaid. Mixing prints, on the other hand, may be pushing it.