Whether you work in a traditional office setting or non-traditional, what you wear must be as FIERCE as your work.
Growing up, girls learn that they can be anything they want to be. But often we end up choosing an occupation that requires some sort of uniform, but who says you have to fall in the norm? Long gone are the days of standard working hours and having to report to superiors. As a matter of fact, more and more women are making their own hours instead of clocking in. In a 2013 Women-Owned Business report released from American Express Open, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 59% between the years 1997 and 2013. The report also says that over the span of 16 years, companies headed up by female entrepreneurs went up by 10%.
Yes! We’re definitely running the professional world! And while doing so, we’re rewriting the rules on what to wear.
Helping define your girl-boss style
As a working woman who holds down a traditional job while simultaneously building my brand, I try to always make my best impression with what I wear. I truly believe being well dressed is a form of good manners. Whether I’m working a traditional 9 to 5 or building my empire from the comforts of a cozy coffee shop, it’s important to represent myself and my empire.
The first thing I recommend to my clients before they shop is to make sure they are subscribed to all their favorite retailers/bloggers. To score pieces for the work environment I suggest signing up with the retailers below:
- Nordstrom Rack
- Ann Taylor
- Forever 21
- Lord and Taylor
Also set up a separate email address for everything fashion related. Once you subscribe, retailers will send you emails, promotions and coupons that will help you save on your style finds. Below are a few tips to help you get started:
- Get inspired: Find people whose style you admire and follow them on social media,
- Get in the loop: Sign up for emails from your favorite retailers and fashion bloggers
- Save Save Save: Don’t be afraid to use coupons and shop clearance
- Quality over quantity: Spend money on staple pieces, quality pieces will serve you for years to come
- Take on challenges: Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines of style, it okay to take risk!
- Find staple pieces that are in-line with tradition but allow for flexibility.
Break the rules!
Believe it or not, the blazers and suit sets of your mother’s heyday are still very much relevant today. Women of today don’t have to be confined to the drab colors in order to be taken serious. To accomplish a polished look, I turn to stores such as Ann Taylor on the days where I’m in a professional setting like networking, jetting to a meeting or perhaps inking a deal.
I love shopping at Ann Taylor when I’m searching for traditional pieces like blazers, slacks and suit separates. The key to scoring these pieces are finding them on-sale. I sign up to be notified of sales and deals. Often I can save upwards to 70 percent off sale off already reduced prices. Sales like those allow me to get a structured look for less.
Below is a great example of a statement piece that you can also score for less. (Please keep in mind that these deals don’t last for long, but you can always bag similar deals if you look for them.)
The original cost of the blazer is $169, on sale it’s 69.88 and for an additional 40 percent off it brings it down to $41.93. I’m able to pair this blazer with a dress or pair of slacks for an instantly sophisticated look. I also have learned its okay to modernize the ‘boardroom ready look’ — add in a splash of color, go for a sparkly statement necklace, choose a moto jacket like this to add instant edge in place of a traditional blazer!
What about the days where you work from a coffee shop or local lounge? You can still represent your brand and stay on style. With the rise of women becoming their own boss – we are setting our own hours and redefining the rules. In a study published by the Pew Research Center, 3 in 10 jobs are held by people who are self-employed. Building your brand is pivotal so don’t be shy to promote yourself with fashion.
Make it personal!
What I tell my clients is that fashion means flexibility. Fashion should never confine you to a box, but rather give you the courage to explore. I always say with accessories and the right shoes, you can make jeans and a white tee runway chic.
Keep in mind, you are a walking build board for your business even on your casual days!
As a fashion/lifestyle blogger, on my days where I’m committed to building my brand, I still find myself balancing business and wanting to keep it comfortable. I often head to Starbucks to work on my ventures. I share a space with women in suits, college students in sweatshirts and other people enjoying the free WiFi and awesome drinks. Wherever you get work done is essentially your office.
One of my favorite finds is from The Trendy Sparrow. The cute Etsy shop I discovered on Instagram has a great selection of girl boss themed shirts. My favorite is the ‘Bloggers gonna blog’ v-neck tee in gray. I can pair this simple shirt with a casual pair of boyfriend or dark washed jeans and pumps. Whenever I wear this outfit while working, there is always someone who ask me what I blog about and that gives me the opportunity to network and expand my business.
Another good option is to create your own tee shirt expressing your business. Companies like Vistaprint gives you the option to create cool tee shirts with whatever your heart desires on them. Are you a woman who owns a makeup artist business? You can create a shirt for that. Are you a woman with her own hair care product line? You can create a shirt for that. The options are endless!
Get ‘The Look’ for less
Lastly as the Lady of your budding kingdom — be fearless in your approach to your work wear style. Once you start networking, you will get invited to evening events/functions that will require you to get glammed up. Often times we look at the fashion of our favorite celebs when it comes to recreating a stunning look. Whether you want to sting like Queen Bee or be edgy like Rihanna, it’s important to know you can recreate any girl boss look for less. Don’t be shy to finger through the sales and clearance racks because they’re so many gems you can collect. If you ever have an evening event, Nordstrom Rack is an awesome place to look for luxury brands for less. The best part is you can get a $300 dress for under $100 if your do your due diligence in searching around. $7 will cover all orders under $100 (anything above $100 is free). Nordstrom Rack is my favorite go-to shop for my fancier events.
Never forget that no outfit is not complete without your inner glow! Own that girl boss attitude and make a strong statement through your fashion.
Kayla Boronell, founder and blogger at Saltlight and Co., shares some of her tips on how Royal Women can stay fierce while being On The Go
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.