Thursday, June 23, 2016

Office Wear: What to buy with your first paycheck

How's your new job? During your first two weeks, you've been trying to fit in and you've gotten a sense of what your office culture is like. Maybe it's cool and laid back. Or maybe, you're in my situation, and you've ended up somewhere corporate. While maybe not wearing an 80s power suit, your manager wears a blazer and your coworkers wear those ugly AF sheath dresses, or variations thereof. Like I don't know where those dresses came from, but I can promise you that everyone's wearing them. OMFG. That tank on the right is truly a marvel: for the sheath dress experience, but for when you want to wear pants too.

Your coworkers:

ugly AF

ugly AF featuring ugly shit from Banana Republic

Even though I do have one of those sheath dresses! But in a wood print fabric, which I've been known to collect. No one makes things in wood print, for some reason. My ironic tank on a super corporate style.
Dress by BCBG

Ironic clothing is popular now, so if you don't want to be stuffy and corporate, there are plenty of blouses and dresses in a corporate fit that have fun patterns of dinosaurs and animals and things. One coworker was an expert at this...I think she bought everything at H+M.

I wouldn't say that I feel less able to express myself at my super corporate job. I still wear what I want, but the thing about standing out all the time is when you have an "off day," that too is noticeable. Everything you wear should:
  • match
  • be clean
  • be ironed
  • fit you perfectly
You want to wear trendy pastel colors in your hair? Fine, but your outfit needs to match your hair (even though I didn't match it in the final set below). Got 1" tunnels in your ear? Ok, but those better be polished to a mirrorlike shine. Bloodred lips? Ok, but that needs to be perfectly applied. 

There are different schools of thought on dressing in dark fashion for corporate wear. Many people online suggest dressing corp like the above and "sneaking in" goth elements. I suggest an alternative. Dress the way you want, but everything needs to be absolutely on point. No cheap garbage made from slave labor. Example: if you wanted to forgo all professional advice and wear a circle miniskirt with a lace top, or wear a babydoll dress, you could actually get away with it, if you were wearing quality items:

workwear quality

workwear quality (low quality next to high quality alternative)

If it's too stressful for you to look your best every day, then you should reconsider dressing "alternative" to work. On my "off days" I wear normal office clothes.

Since dark fashion is a whole body look, I suggest that you wear a balanced look for the office. If you prefer noncorporate makeup, wear more corporate clothing. If you have tattoos, piercings that your executives won't "get", dress in more corporate silhouettes. If that looks good. You may need to turn it up--I found it was more balancing to wear more dramatic lipstick to balance out my septum ring. Bold-printed pants may balance a dramatic hairstyle. See below:  


workwear featuring t shirts

So, buy something nice with your first paycheck from your new job. Something you will always look your best in, whatever style that may be.

Do you have workwear tips for someone starting at a new job?


  1. Hahha, lol, I hate those sheath dresses too...
    Right now, I'm on job hunting and I have this rather edgy hairstyle, that looks pretty weird with corporate clothing, so Ihave to find a way to balance it somehow...I might try a bold printed bottom like you suggested. ;)
    When I want to get away with a geeky or band t-shirt or a dramtic, gothsy blouse, I wear it with a pencil shirt, tht always works. :D

    1. Yeah if your hair looks weird with corporate clothing, go for something more fashionable than corporate. Better to look balanced than corporate but odd. Good luck on the search!

  2. woah, your sheath dress is a huge lead from that vanilla crap up there! I think the print is a great idea. I also think that dressing to the office in a more "fashion forward" way is a good tip, I hate corporate clothing, I hate how restricting and tight those blouses and pencil skirts are.

    1. Yeah they are super restrictive. And tbh, they aren't designed for someone who has to sit at a desk all day.

  3. Ohh, those are some good tips, thanks! I will definitely remember this next time I go shopping for work-appropriate clothes.

  4. LOL I am that person at work in the blazer AND the ugly AF sheath dress!! I hate my job so I reserve my good/nice clothing that I actually like and that fits my style for when I am not there. That wood print dress is pretty cool.