I used to be just lately promoted at an inventive nonprofit. Though folks in senior positions costume a bit extra formally, I’ve slid into leggings and an oversize shirt/costume/tunic as my typical wardrobe primarily based nearly solely on consolation. Now that I’ve a senior place and a much bigger wage, I would like an up to date look, however I don’t need to come throughout as inauthentic. How do I do that with out seeming as if I’ve gotten too large for my britches?
— Patricia, Williamstown, Mass.
Congratulations in your promotion! The excellent news is you aren’t alone in having to determine learn how to talk the brand new you upon a return to the workplace. Thanks to a 12 months of distant work, many people are in the identical boat. Your scenario simply occurs to be extra official than most.
The very first thing to contemplate is what you need to convey in your new place; what unconscious levers you are attempting to push. Generally, if the thought is to speak authority and confidence in addition to creativity (qualities that make your staff really feel safe in your management), the one most vital message in any merchandise of costume, whether or not it’s leggings or a trouser go well with, is mindfulness. That means no wrinkles, dangly threads, moth holes or stains, and no garments that require fixed fiddling and adjustment.
But that doesn’t imply garments with no character.
The different excellent news is that any previous allegiance to the concept that a extra senior job essentially means dressing in a extra “serious” or besuited means has more and more misplaced its cred. Women like Marissa Mayer and Mellody Hobson, with their clear love of trend and femininity and their whip-smart minds, have just about put an finish to that shibboleth. And after a 12 months in sweatpants, nearly something qualifies as dressing up, which suggests your choices are vast open.
To that finish, quite than “dress for the job you want,” you must “dress like the person you admire.” And on the subject of trailblazers in your discipline, you might assume, for instance, of Thelma Golden, the director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, who has a singular and putting private type. Though she nearly completely wears items by her husband, the designer Duro Olowu, and his work could be out of attain for a lot of, you’ll be able to take a cue from the way in which his designs combine prints and colours all inside easy, simple silhouettes.
Then, quite than take into consideration a wholesale wardrobe reinvention, take into consideration a number of key items you’ll be able to incorporate into your current wardrobe. Add a patterned wrap costume, like this one from & Other Stories or a shirtdress like this one from Cos, both of which you would put on by itself or layer atop leggings or pants. Choose a graphic jacket like this D’Iyanu quantity, which might present a putting accent, or play with clashing stripes, as on this shirt from Alex Mill. And think about the jumpsuit, which mixes tailoring and luxury for days when you find yourself doing a little precise heavy lifting.
After all, there’s quite a bit that may be executed inside a really fundamental canvas.