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Choosing what you wear for your workday is a balance between following your company’s dress code and expressing your personal style. At Franco, our mantra is “dress for your day.” We might hop on a casual Zoom call in a Franco-branded shirt or step it up for a more formal in-office meeting with a sharp blazer – we’re ready to take on each day, regardless of what’s in store. 

As a young professional and lover of fashion, here are some tips to help you confidently dress for success based on these five frequently asked workwear questions.  

How do you elevate your 9 to 5 look?

Since the pandemic, workplace fashion has changed alongside other evolving business dynamics.

After accumulating a full wardrobe of comfortable work-from-home fashion, many of us might feel like we’re lacking the classic, everyday pieces needed for in-person work activities. We’ve all been there, standing in front of our overflowing closets, thinking we have nothing to wear. I can certainly say that I have been there (for hours), too.

Here are a few tips on how to declutter your closet and easily find pieces that are right for your day:

  • Pull out the classics and ditch the fast fashion! Consider purchasing 1-2 trendy items each year and devoting the rest of your time to purchasing timeless pieces. By doing this, you’ll build a versatile wardrobe.
  • Buy neutral colors. Classics are often neutral colors because they’re versatile for any season or occasion. Bold colors and patterns are fun – and you shouldn’t be afraid to have some in your closet – but simple, neutral colors will open the variety of outfit choices for your work wardrobe.
  • Section off your closet. I recommend splitting your closet into a work section and a non-work section. Once you do this, you can begin to see if your load is light on the basic work clothes or too heavy on the non-work clothes. It can also help you save time by not having to pick through clothes that might not work for your day.

Looking for inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board filled with classic looks.

What do you wear when working from home?

One of my biggest temptations on a work from home day is to work in my pajamas. However, I resist this because I believe the way you dress sets the tone for the day and affects your mindset. This doesn’t mean I throw on a dress every remote workday. Over time, I’ve found ways to have a balance between comfort and professionalism. It’s not always easy, but here are a few tips to navigate what to wear when working from home:

  • Every workplace is different when it comes to a dress code in a virtual setting. My rule of thumb is to wear what feels right for your day. If you second guess yourself on an outfit, it probably means it isn’t the right fit for that day. Trust your gut!
  • The first thing you should do the night before is see what your virtual day looks like. Do you have a lot of meetings, or is your day mostly meeting free? Understanding how your day will look ahead of time will prepare you for knowing what to wear the next day.
  • Business on top, cozy on the bottom! Throw on those comfy sweats and a button-up shirt and call it a day! Staying comfortable at home is important, and nobody needs to know you have cozy pajama pants on (it will be our secret).

Check out my virtual workday Pinterest board for style inspiration.

What do you wear to a work event?

Choosing what to wear to a professional event can be stressful. To help you alleviate this stress and ensure you look your best, here are few tips to have you ready for your next event:

  • The first thing to consider before deciding what to wear to a conference or networking event is your company’s dress code. You are a representative of your company, so following their guidelines is your best bet for a successful outfit choice.
  • Consider the following questions: what, where and when. What kind of event are you attending? Where will the event take place? When will the event take place? By asking yourself these questions, you can narrow down your outfit options.
  • Pick your outfit the night before. It’s never fun running around your room like a chicken with its head cut off trying to scramble and find an appropriate outfit to wear right before you leave. Choosing your outfit the night before gives you time back and alleviates stress for your mornings.
  • Ask a coworker. I always find myself asking my coworkers, especially my managers, what they are wearing to a work event because they have been down this road before. Having a guide to what others are wearing will help you dress for success.

Looking for outfits to wear for your next work event? Check out my Pinterest board.

What do you wear for professional headshots?

Headshots can feel daunting, but this does not have to be the case! You’ll be worry-free and ready for your next work headshot by following these steps:

  • Stick with the classics. Your photo may be on the company website for a few years, so choose an outfit that will stay relevant! Keep everything minimal, and don’t let anything take away from the simplicity of the headshot.
  • Understand the color theory. The color theory is the collection of rules and guidelines designers use to communicate with viewers through appealing color schemes in visual interfaces. When you’re choosing your headshot outfit, finding colors that are complementary will leave you with a picture-perfect headshot.
  • Patterns matter. As tempting as it might be to wear your favorite striped sweater, consider if there are bold patterns in your office that may be the background. Asking your photographer the location of the headshot can be helpful, but when in doubt solids are always your best bet.
  • Be you! The most important tip is to wear something you feel good in. Your headshot is one of the first things someone will see. Wear something that represents who you are. Talk with your photographer about opportunities to incorporate your favorite color or another element that makes you feel like you, while still adhering to best practices.

Looking for outfits to wear for your next headshot? Check out my Pinterest board.

How do you shop for a professional wardrobe on a budget?

Especially in today’s economy, shopping for work clothes isn’t always budget friendly. As a proclaimed “savings” queen, I am here to help you shop for your professional wardrobe on a budget. Here are a few tips for your next thrifting trip when you’re looking for work pieces:

  • Brand names are enticing, and they can make you want to buy the piece immediately, especially if it’s a great deal. No matter the price, the most important thing to do is check for damage. You don’t want to wear a ripped or stained tie to your next business meeting – quality is key.
  • Keep your eye out for blazers. Not only are blazers back for 2023 fashion, but they are also classic pieces. You would be surprised at the amount of vintage and pristine blazers resale shops have for a great price.

Are you new to the thrifting world and wondering how to get started? My thrifted finds are too great to keep to myself, so I wanted to share some of my favorite places to find bargained items for work:

At Franco, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a variety of nonprofit clients who have thrift stores that support their programs and services. From The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center and Volunteers of America Michigan, working behind the scenes has taught me that thrifting is about more than just finding good deals and cute clothes; it’s also about helping those in need.

Find more secondhand store hacks on my Pinterest board.

To stay up to date with the Franco team and to see what we’re  wearing in and out of the office, check out our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn channels.

Galina Roehl is an Integrated Communications Coordinator at Franco. Connect with her on LinkedIn.