How To Put Your Own Creative Spin On Corporate Wear

Corporate women know style-related struggles better than anyone. By struggles, we mean the plight of maintaining a sense of personal style while constantly under the scrutiny of an office job's strict dress code. Working in corporate environments can feel like it stifles your creativity and dampens your self-expression in more ways than one. It's true that nine-to-five jobs have the potential to be full to the brim with experience and opportunities to grow in one's career. However, this doesn't mean we have to like the rules about what we can and cannot wear. It is undeniable that these dress codes leave something to be desired when it comes to catering to your creative side — especially if you're a fashionista at heart.


The good thing is that you don't need to adhere to these regulations as closely as you think. Sometimes, all you need to feel like yourself again is to push the boundaries of your dress code, bring some color back into your daily outfits, and put your own touch on corporate chic — plus, some statement jewelry never hurt anybody. If you really want to spice up your style, you can't overlook a cute hairstyle.

If you want to know how you can start bringing life back into your office wardrobe, here is how you can put your own creative spin on the confines of corporate wear.

Expand your color palette

Step one to finding the elevated version of your corporate style is to play around with color. To some people, this might feel like an intimidating step to take. The corporate world isn't exactly known for vibrancy and playfulness, but some of us just need that pop of color to feel like we're embodying our personal style. This step is all about pushing boundaries and finding office-friendly colors that suit your style. 


Many companies have their own dress code, and depending on your business' stance, you can get away with certain shades that deviate from the neutral norm. For instance, if your office has explicit bans on bright colors, dark shades and muted pastel hues are exactly what you need. A pale rosy pink suit can take you from on-the-clock to after-work drinks with friends in no time. A burgundy wine ensemble remains serious and professional while distinguishing your style from a sea of black and gray. The secret is to incorporate subdued versions of your favorite streetwear colors into your nine-to-five wardrobe. 

If your office has no strict rules on colors, consider yourself lucky. You can be as bold as you want in vivid greens and purples, or even accentuate your neutral outfits with boldly colored accents (shirts or scarves, for example) peeking out from beneath your blazer's lapels.


Combine the business with the casual

Step two: embrace the business casual. While corporate jobs often demand a certain level of formality, this doesn't mean you should give up comfort altogether. If you're going to be sitting around for eight hours of your day, you might as well get comfy. While you might not be able to get away with wearing your lounge sweats at your desk, you can still make certain trends work in your favor.


Combining comfort with corporate wear can look many different ways. You can adapt the oversized clothing trend into your office style, for example, by wearing loose-fitting two-piece suits or flowy maxi skirts (pleated for the sake of formal wear). Not only will you be comfortable all day in your non-constricting attire, but you will also show you're up-to-date on the trends. If your job is more lenient, you can also experiment with wearing more casual, simple tank tops underneath your blazers instead of the usual stuffy button-downs.

If you're tired of loafers and uncomfortable heels, you can take a page out of Robert from HR's book of style and pair your dad sneakers with your suit. The chunky dad sneaker doesn't show any signs of going out of style, and your feet will thank you.


Keep things interesting with patterns

A third step to take when going outside your corporate-wear comfort zone is to incorporate fun patterns into your outfit rotation. For many office workers, patterns can be too daunting to style. They're either too busy, too bright, too passé, or downright impossible to match with the rest of your office-appropriate outfit — but this doesn't have to be the case. Start simple and build up to your desired level of pattern.


Wearing patterns in the office can be as simple as choosing one patterned piece of clothing to blend into an otherwise neutral and unassuming ensemble. Alternatively, it can be as daring as pattern-clashing, where you pick two or more differing patterns and pair them together in visually interesting ways — this way, the whole outfit becomes a statement.

Patterns can be a saving grace when you're trying to express a sense of personal style in doable ways. Plus, the right mix of patterns and accessories can have you looking like you're having your Emily in Paris corporate fashionista moment.

Play around with your accessories

Now, let's talk accessories. This fourth and possibly most important step will bring you miles closer to unleashing your inner corporate baddie. Accessories cannot be overlooked when putting together an outfit for the office. They're the cherry on top of any good corporate outfit.


There are many ways you can enhance the stylishness of your office outfit with accessories, starting with subtle accents. Delicate bracelets and thin chain necklaces are a good place to start, especially if this is the kind of jewelry you wear in your free time. On the other hand, some people are innately drawn to statement pieces. This can be harder to work with, but chunky earrings or a chic oversized pendant on a subtle chain can make all the difference if you play it right. Plus, investing in an elegant watch will always take your style to the next level, both in and outside the office. Here's a metal jewelry tip — you can elevate any outfit with an understated yet risky mix of gold and silver bracelets.


Lastly, while we're on the topic of accessorizing, never overlook shoes. For the formal shoe lover, a classic pair of slingback kitten heels can be a real game-changer. For comfort-above-all people, a trendy sneaker will do the trick.

Don't skip hairstyling

One final step you can take to show your creative side at work is styling your hair every day. Though many people are tempted to skip hair on a daily basis, a cute hairstyle is key if you want to look put together. We see you, sneakily putting your hair up with a claw clip before leaving for the office. Instead, we encourage you to show your creative side by mixing it up, even if just for a day at the office. 


Braids, sleeked back buns and ponytails, or curls carefully shaped with a curling iron are all great options, but there are also quicker hairstyles for the low-effort office gals. One way to get through a workweek where all the days are good hair days is to have a rotation of quick and easy hairstyles ready to go. It can as simple as heat-styling your bangs into place one day, sleeping in your heatless curls to achieve the perfect natural waves by the next morning, or giving yourself a quick blowout on hair wash day. While you don't need to spend long stretches of time styling your hair every morning, you also shouldn't give up on your hair entirely. A happy medium is where it's at.