Work wear with personality!

Written By Wendy Mak

Maybe you’re a creative, in sales or a small business owner. Or maybe you work with lots of corporates but you’re not actually working FOR one.

Either way, YOU aren’t “typical”. And you certainly don’t want your outfits to look boring & stuffy.

But you still want to be taken seriously. You want your outfits to say “I’m fun and interesting, but I’m also smart, savvy and totes going to turn this project into a million-dollar success”. (OK, maybe without the “totes”!)

And I get that – as a personal stylist I’m meeting companies & people in business to pitch myself as a speaker, and I feel a need to channel my personality but still look professional. You know – outfits that are JUST that little bit left of centre but not too far left (I wouldn’t want to be getting too close to North West now!)

1. Simple base + dashes of colour

This formula is an easy one for anyone to adopt.

Look for a basic colour as the base, then sprinkle on fun coloured accents, like in this dress. While in essence it’s a black dress, it comes with a whole lot of oomph with the blue detail. AND as an added bonus the blue detail creates elongating lines which help to slim & lengthen (got to love that!!!).

If you want to inject more of your individuality into it, use accessories in a contrasting colour, instead of predictable black.

(Not sure what colour will be a good match in terms of contrast? Re-visit my post on how to combine colour here).

13 07 02 Business work wear Using accent colours in a dress

Dress from Diana Ferrari
Bag from ASOS
Shoes from ASOS
(Note: if you can, get shoes in a better colour match with the bag as they’re a little on the redder side of orange) 

2. Use the unexpected

Unexpected “non-traditional” touches like contrasting textures / fabrics, or leather, suede and even fur (but only in the tiniest of amounts!! I repeat. Fur only in TINY amounts), can lend big personality to your work outfits.

If you’re unsure about introducing them into your daytime wardrobe, then wear them for after-5 work events like networking events, functions, client dinners or office parties.

The key is to keep everything else really clean & un-fussy, so that there isn’t too much going on all at once.

13 07 02 After hours work event outfit

Top from Sheike
Cigarette trousers from Next Direct
Bag from Colette Hayman

 3. Bring your weekend style to work

Integrating your weekend look into work wear can be tricky – casual fabrics like jersey and cotton can run the risk of making you look too casual and not professional enough.

So if you do want to do a left-of-centre piece like this ruched jersey skirt (or anything in a casual fabric like the tee), then pair it back with something more tailored like a lovely blazer and a structured tote bag.

13 07 02 Business casual outfit cotton skirt tee


Skirt from Witchery
Bag & necklace from Colette Hayman
Tee from Marcs


I hope that gives you some inspiration on how to keep the “YOU” in your business style.

If you have enjoyed this please share it and tell me in the comments below, what’s the one piece / thing you do to keep the “YOU” in your business outfits? I’d love to know!!!

Until next week, stay stylish & successful!





By | 2017-09-06T08:55:34+10:00 July 2nd, 2013|Fabulous Fashion, How to fashion|10 Comments


  1. Kim July 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Great ideas Wendy. Love that Diana Ferrari dress and I would never have thought of the orange accessories.

    • Wendy Mak July 2, 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      Hi Kim!! Tell me about it – I am IN LOVE with that dress!!!! It’s so simple but so striking x

  2. Petrina July 3, 2013 at 6:48 am - Reply

    Hi Wendy, thank you for putting this together. I’ve just started working in a small business that has to maintain a professional appearance to the customer but is too small for uniforms. This has given me some ideas. Thanks again

    • Wendy Mak July 3, 2013 at 7:04 am - Reply

      You are so welcome Petrina!! And I hope you find the balance that works for you in your new business!! Thanks for connecting! x

  3. Suellen July 4, 2013 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    Hi Wendy, I love these combos and my work uniform is usually Lycra. The weekend wear skirt, I’ll be slipping into soon. Thanks, Suellen

    • Wendy Mak July 5, 2013 at 7:56 am - Reply

      Glad to hear it was helpful for you Suellen!! And thanks for connecting!! xx

  4. Karen July 11, 2013 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Hi Wendy,

    I love all those options, so smart and not too ‘out there’. I’m going straight to
    those websites now. Love, love, love those cigarette pants and top. Thanks again.

    • Wendy Mak July 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      So glad to hear you like them!!! I love a good cigarette pant – so versatile and chic as well xx Enjoy!!

  5. Mary July 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Love this article Wendy! These are the perfect tips I needed as I’m always looking for ways to make my workwear fun and interesting.
    Look forward to more great insights x

    • Wendy Mak July 11, 2013 at 4:23 pm - Reply

      So glad you enjoyed it Mary and thanks for connecting!!! Looking forward to all your fun outfits now!! 🙂 xx

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