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Break out of a work outfit rut
March 1, 2016, 4:39 pm
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Getting dressed for the office can be a daunting task as finding that balance between what you actually want to wear and what is HR-approved can feel like walking a very thin sartorial tightrope. And while you would think having a somewhat flexible work dress code would be a blessing, it is still all too easy to reach for the same black trousers and five-year-old blazer you know does the trick. And that is what is called a style rut. You need to break out of it ASAP. Here are some tips to challenge you to change up your workwear staples and introduce versatile pieces that are way more fun to wear.

Get creative with your work shirt: The easiest way to make getting dressed in the morning a breeze is to have a collection of fresh white button-downs in your arsenal. Sure, the classic style may be the first you gravitate to, but innovative silhouettes that feel on-trend are just as versatile. A brand name shirt with a zesty flair can be just as professional as the regular ones, and can add an extra punch to your look. Plus, with a simple top, you can go big on the accessories, with items like printed loafers and a bold bag.

Go bold with your trousers: You have updated your top situation, now change up your go-to bottoms by looking for a funky pair of trousers. One that pairs well with the aforementioned work shirt and are the ultimate party pants for after-work engagements, too. Keep the rest of the look understated and professional with simple outwear and muted accessories.

Invest in a bold matching set: Think of a suit embellished in a bold print like florals as the seasoning to your woefully bland work staples — i.e., it will make everything better. Keep things grounded with coordinating pieces in simple silhouettes, like a slim turtleneck and blocky mid-heels. Or to mix things up, wear the jacket with dresses, midi-skirts, and culottes; and pair the trousers with sweaters, button-ups, and blouses.

Refresh your carryall: Your tote bag has likely seen better days. As trusted as it may be, it's time to replace it with one that is a contemporary in silhouette and bright in color. Since it is an item you actually wear every day, it should be the perfect finishing touch to whatever outfit you end up putting on.

Switch up your kicks: Unless your job specifically requires it, there is no reason to kill your feet in pumps every day. A low-heeled Mary Jane looks just as polished, and they are practical to throw-on-and-go. Plus, you can even change out your usual black and go with a navy instead. Pair them with a contrasting midi-skirt, structured sweater, and a matching bucket bag for an office outfit that will be the talk of the meeting.

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