The way that you dress can say a lot about you. Everyone has their own special style, and one of the easiest way to express yourself is through what you wear. It is the first thing people see, and often their first impression comes from what you have on. Many people take this as to say that in a professional setting there is only one way to dress, however there are benefits to showing your style at work.

Of course in a professional setting there is a dress code. You can’t show up to work in a t-shirt and sweats every day, although many of us would like to. You need to show that you are serious about your job and what you do. Dressing appropriately can range from a simple button-up to a full business suit, depending on the office, job, and individual. For most offices a pair of slacks, a button up, and possibly a tie is all it takes. However, this often leads to many workers looking essentially the same, and a lack of expression from each individual. There is no reason that you can’t adhere to a dress code while also expressing your individuality.

Show Your Style

There are plenty of ways to play around with your look while still keeping it professional. The trick is not to change the outfit completely, but to experiment with different pieces of the picture. Tired of the same old button up shirt? Try throwing something else under that jacket. Although plunging necklines may be inappropriate for the workplace, that doesn’t mean you have to wear the same style. High necklines can be just as fun; try a tall turtleneck or a ruffled collar to show off some style. Play with the tailoring of your outfit. No one says that there can be only one cut of pants in the office. Mixing fabrics is another way to stand out, without looking out of place.

Shoes are another great way to showcase individuality. Open-toe is often inappropriate, but there is a wide range of closed-toe styles. Feeling fun? Throw on an ankle bootie. Want to relax? There are many pairs of loafers that can still be styled professionally. For women, be sure that your fun heels that you wear to work aren’t the same heels you wear to the club. Bold heels in the work place should not be taller than 2-3 inches, no matter what the rest of the outfit entails.

The key is to keep a professional style, not keep every piece professional. This means not going overboard. It is wise to only have one “fun” piece of clothing at a time, so as not to go overboard. If you choose a bold-patterned blouse, be sure to wear more neutral bottoms and shoes. If you have a fun blazer, keep the undershirt tame. To avoid looking the same everyday, don’t buy all of your work clothes at the same place. Buy pieces you like and build a professional outfit around them, and remember to have fun with it. Dressing for work shouldn’t be a chore!

Don’t let work steal your style!