Research suggests that the threads you choose to wear on a daily basis can actually influence your professional life – who’d have thought it? Follow these simple tips for instant office sophistication.

Colour is key

Black is often regarded as being classy, timeless and sophisticated, and is a favourite of professionals everywhere. However, have you noticed that it’s also dated, predictable and, well, everywhere? Before you slip into yet another little black dress or trouser suit, please consider colour. Bold reds, greens and blues can accentuate your natural features, breed confidence and ensure you stand out from the crowd, while pastels and nudes will give any outfit a little class.

Comfort is confidence

Feeling comfortable is the greatest form of confidence you can have. It’s a little hard to exude professionalism if your feet are dying, after all. Aim for clothes that fit you properly, suit your body type and colouring, and allow you to move freely and easily. If you’re likely to be sitting at a desk all day, choose clothes that won’t cling every time you bend, and definitely pack flats if you’ll be standing for long periods of time. Show them who’s boss!

Keep it simple

Turning yourself into a human Christmas tree, or simply not knowing when to stop spritzing the scent are two big faux pas when it comes to office fashion; you want your work to be what you’re remembered for. Wear minimal makeup and jewellery, definitely don’t go overboard on the perfume, and pack everything in a business-ready satchel or bag rather than a glitzy handbag.

What not to wear

There is more than one way to show off your sexy side. When it comes to business, keep the “girls” covered up, ensure your skirts are tailored and of a professional length, and remember that you’re trying to let your work speak for you, not your clothes. Your clothes should merely accentuate your personality and achievements, so don’t let them dictate anything. Remember, this is no longer a man’s world.

Inspiration from the world of work

One of the best ways to plan your wardrobe is to take inspiration from the strong, independent businesswomen that you see around you, as well those who present themselves in the media. What looks good on other women? What doesn’t work? Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, for example, is always exceptionally dressed, while Michelle Obama oozes sophistication in her carefully chosen and managed wardrobe, and Angela Merkel presents a professional appearance on every occasion. These women use their image to accentuate their professionalism, and to be remembered. Doctor, innovator, entrepreneur and speaker Dr. Marie Charles, who is associated with her leadership skills and work with Global Medic Force, is one such businesswoman. Her sophisticated, feminine figure is always impeccably dressed in tailored suits and dresses, while her confidence enables her to stand out from her male counterparts effortlessly.

Whether you’re hoping to make an impact in the office, are on the lookout for a promotion, or simply want to impress on your first day, taking a little more time on your outfit, and the accessories you choose as accompaniment, can affect the way that you’re viewed in a professional capacity.

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