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What Works!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Looking good at work not only helps improve your image, it also makes you more confident. Anindra Siqueira tells you how to accessorise your work outfit

Accessorising an outfit is about more   than just adding a few finishing   touches to your look. You can make a dull outfit pop or update your look, just by accessorising it. A subtle sparkle of jewellery can help you stand out from the crowd, but when it comes to dressing up at work, you can’t go overboard! Take a look at what to consider while you’re accessorising a work outfit.

Why you should accessorise
Suhasini Mehta, a personal image coach and soft skills trainer at Stellant Communications, tells us, “Accessories create a visual impact about you even before you start a conversation.” You’re probably thinking about the extra time that it will take to accessorise your outfit every morning and how unnecessary it is to do so. But, it won’t take that long to pick a set of eye-catching earrings or peppy shoes. Here’s why accessorising is a good idea.

  • To save money We know that you’re wondering how buying things can help you save money. But, remember that accessories allow you to fall back on a basic outfit that you can reuse. Accessories are cheaper than buying new outfits and can be used to change up your look.
  • To stand out How dull would it be if everyone wore the same white shirt/ blouse with dull grey or brown trousers and plain Jane shoes — every single day?! Accessorising helps you stand out in a crowd.
  • Personal style Suhasini tells us, “Accessorising gives you the opportunity to create your own personal style. A statement piece can add a chic touch to your entire outfit.”

Accessorising right

  • Draw attention A simple silk scarf in a flattering colour will draw attention to your face and neck.
  • Earrings Earrings are a great option for women with short hair, as they lend a balance out your look.
  • Shoes and bags Choosing shoes and bags in neutral colours, which are clean and simple, make your work attire look more elegant.
  • The whole package When you’re accessorising, you will need to think of your entire outfit. Suhasini says, “If you’re wearing a white cotton blouse with grey trousers, you can add grey or black pumps, a black structured work bag and a lightweight silver bracelet, silver watch and silver earrings to your look. You could also wear a colourful scarf or a neckpiece (in red or navy blue), depending on your work environment. For example, if you work in a bank, a scarf would work better than a neckpiece. If you’re in media or an advertising professional, pick a statement neckpiece.”

We’ll end by telling you that subtlety is key here. Don’t decorate yourself like a Christmas tree. Suhasini adds, “When it comes to accessorising at work, it’s always better to err on the side of subtlety. Your colleagues and clients should look at you as a trustworthy, capable professional — your clothes and accessories should be stylish. Your accessories should spell class and blend with the outfit. In the words of Giorgio Armani, ‘Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered’.”

Use These Tips
Suhasini says, “Invest in silk scarves, lightweight jewellery, watches (with metallic or leather straps, but not digital ones) and bags (structured and classic) to add more panache to your outfit.  Low-heeled, close-toed pumps add to your ensemble and create the illusion of height, especially if they are the same colour as your trousers.”

  • Less is more Remember that the way you accessorise says a lot more about you. When it comes to accessories, less is more.
  • Make it count Make sure that each accessory you pick adds value to your outfit, and isn’t there only because it looks nice.
  • Don’t go overboard Don’t let your accessories overpower your outfit — think Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, right down to her pink, scented stationery. Suhasini suggests, “Accessorise in sync with your work culture and the corporate brand that you represent. Not every fashion trend is worth following. Sporting bling at work is a big no-no.”
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