Why do you need instant chic work outfits? We all have been there: You are checking your emails while having breakfast and see that your boss’ secretary had sent you an invitation for an important business meeting with customers. This means your usual morning routine doesn’t work and the outfit you planed for the day doesn’t work either. You had prepared a Casual Friday look, but the meeting requires a Business Casual work outfit. No reason to panic when you know the following instant outfit tricks. They will solve your problem whenever you have a last minute call for a wardrobe change or you are just not in the mood to create an outfit. Read how you get instant chic work outfits with the right dresses and separates for your body type.
- What is Instant Chic Style?
- Cut and Fit of the Dress Matter
- How to Style Instant Chic Work Outfits with Dresses
- Fitted dress plus trench coat
- Shirt dress plus blazer/cardigan
- Sheath dress with cardigan
- Sheath Dresses with a Turtleneck Are Instant Chic
- Staff and Client Meetings on Casual Friday
- Instant Chic Evergreen Looks with Separates
- Separates to Wear When You Dress in a Hurry
- Example of a Red with Gray Last Minute Separates Work Outfit
- How to Adjust Your Outerwear
- Wrapping Up Instant Chic Work Outfits
What Is Instant Chic Style?
Often you don’t have the time to think about or create an outfit. In such cases, an instant style outfit recipe is great to rescue last minutes dressing problems. There is also this statement thata dress with pumps and a clutch is instant chic. #effordlesslystylish #instantchic Click To Tweet
Like you can’t be over- or under-dressed in a LBD,A tailored, well-fitting dress in neutral colors always looks professional. #instantstyle #workstyle Click To Tweet
Add the respective accessories and you are ready for a business dinner, a meeting with clients, and even date night after work. These statements are true, when you have the right well tailored day dress in a cut that suits your body shape and pumps and clutches that go with it. In other words,
Instant chic means that you have dresses in the right fit for your body shape as well as bags and pumps in your wardrobe that coordinate well with each other.
Then you just throw on one of your work dresses, grab a work clutch/bag and pumps and you are ready to go.
Cut and Fit of the Dress Matter
A great dress can fail to give you an instant chic work outfit. Recall for example the late Princess Diana. Her worst looks were those when she wore a shift dress. Despite she wore well tailored and well crafted top designer shift dresses in high quality fabrics, these shift dresses failed to give her this instant chic factor; no matter with which expensive clutches and pumps she had styled them. Princess Diana like most of us just hadn’t the right body shape to rock shifts.Know your shape to find the dress that's most flattering on you. #dress4success #midlifestyle Click To Tweet
How to Style Instant Chic Work Outfits
Fitted Dress plus Trench Coat
A knee-length classic navy day dress looks great with a taupe trench coat, a gray belt, gray or navy pumps, and a red work tote, diamond studs, and a pearl necklace. After work, swap the pearls and diamonds for long chandeliers, the tote for a silver clutch, and the pumps for strappy sandals, and you are ready for date night.
For ruler-shaped women a printed fit-and-flare dress, for instance, provides instant chic with clutch, belt and shoes that repeat colors of the print.
Shirt Dress plus Blazer/Cardigan
A below-the-knees silk printed shirt dress looks professional with a tailored blazer, work tote, and Mary-Janes/pumps. Add a man’s watch and you are ready.
Sheath Dress with Cardigan
In summer, a printed sheath is a no-brainer, if your work dress-code allows sleeveless dresses. Otherwise, a sheath with sleeves does the trick. Just add flesh-colored pumps to elongate your legs, pearl studs, and a work clutch to meet with clients. In fall, just add a cardigan over the sleeveless sheath or later a layering top under the sheath.
Sheath Dresses with a Turtleneck Are Instant Chic
What I love about sheath dresses is that they give instant polish and are so work appropriate. Moreover, they are so versatile. One can wear them without or with a shirt or sweater underneath, with a little cardigan, a classic denim jacket), a blazer, or as a skirt, with a quilted leather jacket, a motorcycle jacket with pearls, or with a sweater over the dress as skirt. A green turtleneck with plaid sheath is also a great option.
Staff and Client Meetings on Casual Friday
This situation is tricky. For example, when there is a Casual Friday culture, a meeting with the co-workers and a meeting with an important client. A classic dress with long sleeves meets the dress code for the latter in a business casual style office. After the meeting with the client, add a denim jacket or vest for the meeting with the co-workers.
In summer, a floral poplin dress with a jacket or a sleek tailored shirt dress with pumps in the vibe will work for the situation as well. When your work dress code permits sandals use (non-sexy) sandals instead of pumps for Casual Friday like in the example photos above.
Stylist tip: Print instant outfit ideas and post them in your closet to save time when you are in a hurry.
Instant Chic Evergreen Looks with Separates
Separates to Wear When You Dress in a Hurry
Here are my secret tips what to do in the above “dressing emergency” when going for separates,
- Go for fool proof classic color combinations. Just go for an all neutral colors look. Great neutral color combinations are navy with beige, black and white, navy and gray, tan and winter white, or red and gray.
- In winter, a skirt and cashmere sweater with a necklace and classic knee-high boots are always a great work outfit combination for a mature woman. Other great options are a wool skirt with a twinset and a statement necklace.
- In summer, a white button-down shirt with a navy blue, mustard or gray summer wool straight or pencil skirt or a polka dot skirt are eternal classic options for a dinner with clients.
- In case that the weather requires outerwear, your outerwear is an outfit too in which your clients will see you. Thus, style your outerwear as well. A trench coat with a silk scarf is a no-brainer in spring and fall. In nasty cold winter climate a wool coat in a classic color with a scarf and matching hat or beret gives you an instant great look when wearing boots. Be aware that at the restaurant, your bag becomes part of your outfit. Thus, make sure its style goes seamlessly with your outfit also once you take your coat off.
Examples of Last Minute Separates Work Outfits
Let me discuss the above points by means of an example of a cashmere sweater with wool skirt outfit in two colors, namely, red and gray. It’s an all gray outfit for indoors with just a pop of red for interest. The red cashmere turtleneck sweater is the focus of this look. You can also style this red turtleneck with pants on an extremely cold day.
One of my favorite outfits is a denim skirt with a chambray shirt, red blazer and leopard heels like shown below.
How to Adjust Your Outerwear
When you have to go for lunch or dinner with your clients, customers or boss, your outerwear becomes a work outfit too. Thus, always style your outerwear and make sure it looks professional/meets the work dress code. Just in case.Outerwear is an outfit too. Style it. #styleadvice Click To Tweet
Go for a bag that is large enough to carry some work material. A large bag conveys the message “I’m willing to take work home.” In other words, “Dress to impress.” When you want to learn more about How to Dress for Success in Midlife you may want to buy my book.
Stylist’s tip: When wearing a short coat over a skirt or dress go for about two inch in difference with the hems so that 2 inch (5 cm) of skirt show. If the length of the hem is too short, belt the coat to “shorten” its length to get the proportions right.
Stylist’s tip: A great option to stand out of the crowd of black, gray and brown winter outerwear is to go for pops of color with your accessories like the scarf, gloves or head cover or even the bag.
I always look in the winter sales for gloves in colors beyond brown and black like these red leather gloves (see outfit photo).Have always a plan what to wear when you have to dress for work in a hurry. #dress4success Click To Tweet
Wrapping Up Instant Chic Work Outfits
You can have instant chic style. As pointed out above, the right dress cut for your body type is important. When you are 5 ft 4 or less, read these dressing tips for petite women for which cuts work best for you. There are also some serious challenges with respective to the cuts and colors of your dresses when you have large boobs. Thus, check this guide on how to master the style challenge when top heavy to pick the right dresses for your instant chic style.
If your work place is more a pants type of environment, read my tips for the best pants for your body type.
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Photos of me: G. Kramm
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