Corporate Clothing with Ladylike Polish

As professional women we can often feel trapped in a dichotomy of social pressures and expectations. If we don’t dress well at work we’re vilified, but if we do take care of our appearance we can’t possibly have enough time left over to actually do our job well. Working in a competitive corporate environment is tough enough as it is, and you fundamentally want to be recognised and remembered for your work rather than your outfit choice – be it amazing, appalling or otherwise. So what’s the happy medium?

As Coco Chanel once said, ‘dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman’. A woman after our own heart, this is a sentiment we wholeheartedly agree with. It’s not about impressing colleagues with labels and logos; it’s not about following fashions or being a slave to seasonal changes. It’s about visually communicating the professional principles that you value.

Although you might have a little less fashion freedom than those who work in less corporate environments, Kristen, the designer behind Senza Tempo, is clear that this need not mean your work wardrobe has to lack style or personality. ‘It’s all about balance’, she explains. ‘If you love prints, colourful shoes or bold jewellery you can absolutely wear them, but you must pair with something simple in a neutral colour and only choose one item to feature’. Knee length skirts that flatter your body type, in black, navy and camel are corporate wardrobe staples. The LBD gets plenty of press, but we’re convinced that the little navy dress is a piece to shout about too. Wear with pearls and leopard heels for a regular week day look, and knot a silk scarf around your neck and pair with ballet flats for a corporate casual Friday.

Just like you, your clothes should shine both outside and in. Meaning ‘timeless’ in Italian, Senza Tempo is committed to superior quality.

Kristen describes how featuring a beautiful lining is a way of adding a bit of sexiness to a piece that’s meant for an office where you can’t really wear something sexy. ‘Most of the women I know would take the time to match their undergarments for a date for a little confidence boost, but don’t even think about it when dashing to the office or to an important meeting. Again, it’s all about the little details’.

As for the outside, knowing your body shape and picking silhouettes accordingly is just as important. The three core silhouettes – the hourglass, shift, and A-line trapeze – are all timeless styles that flatter different body shapes. Kristen has noticed that some women will gravitate to one style or another, for example ‘women who are apple or pear shaped tend to like the A-line trapeze because it hides their middle or bottoms, but still looks neat and polished’. The better the fit and more flattering the cut, the more put together and professional you’ll appear.

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Anouszka Tate

Anouszka is a print journalist and radio & TV presenter with a penchant for sarcasm and tongue in cheek wit. Most importantly she’s YCB’s Features Editor. When she's not busy being all career driven she'll be baking, working out or making lists. Sometimes she wishes she had been born a decade earlier, and male, so that she could have been in a 90s boy band. Follow her on twitter and instagram @anouszkatate for vital updates on the above things summarised in 140 characters / in photo form.