How I Take Professional Attire and Make It My Own

As internship season rolls around and spring comes to a close, finding a look that is professional, yet unique and expressive, can be a puzzle. Perhaps the warmer weather that you were expecting has yet to truly arrive, leaving you awkwardly caught in between temperatures—freezing as you head to the office for the day and uncomfortably warm as the day unfolds. This can leave you searching for the perfect look that will span both the unreliable temperatures, and the divide between student and future professional. But following the outline of this look might just help those searching for the ideal work uniform get closer to their own goal.

Drawing inspiration from the unconventional work of designers such as Comme des Garçons’s Rei Kawakubo, whose name is even more recognizable after the annual Met Ball and exhibition were held in her honor, I toyed with the epitome of conventional business attire—a monochromatic suit. But instead of a pantsuit, or even a pencil skirt and blazer, I combined a menswear aesthetic with an unconventionally oversized silhouette, putting my own spin on workwear attire.

Rather than a blazer, I chose a soft a fuzzy black sweater for my top.  Layered over a tighter-fitting basic white T-shirt, this option was a perfect solution to staying warm in the nippy morning air, and something that could easily be removed if the weather grew warmer throughout the day.  The sweater’s nubby texture also added a layer of visual interest by providing contrast with the smooth material of the pants. Instead of a structured trouser, I paired the sweater with a more flowing and slightly flared pair of navy pants—a subtle nod to the ongoing popularity of the ’70s era.  This option anchored the look in a level of formality, while being slightly oversize and individual.

With an outfit that was almost monochromatic in color, accessories were the final touch needed to add just a bit of spark to my workday look. Instead of a traditional shirt collar, I tied a paisley print scarf around my neck, adding a pop of vivid red that mimicked the heart doodle on my otherwise plain white sneakers.  To keep the focus on the scarf, I kept the jewelry minimal, solely a delicate pair of stud earrings, and an eclectic collection of rings. And for a day on the go, a sleek leather tote was the only choice—just the right size for carrying everything that I could need, plus a little extra.

How do you take professional attire and make it your own? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista. 

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