To Be or Not To Be Corporate Chic

I have always wondered if certain fashion trends would be acceptable in Corporate America. My personal style has certain staple trends like floral prints, bright colors, and pattern mixing.  Unfortunately, the company I work for calls for a bit more modest and subdued attire.  After discussing this subject with a couple of friends and colleagues, we came up some points to consider in regards to my Corporate Chic conundrum.

Creative Corporate Vs. Structured Corporate

In order to determine whether or not your fashion forward suit by Elie Saab or avant garde printed ensemble by Giorgio Armani  is work appropriate, you’ve got to scope out the popular uniform.  As much as I DREAD, looking like everyone else, it is definitely the safest way to gauge how far you can push your work fashion envelope.  According to “Cracking the Business Casual Dress Code,” an article on MonsterJobs.com, “If your company’s idea of casual isn’t quite jeans and sweaters; pantsuits are the answer.” Pantsuit recommended: dark or a neutral shade like black, navy, brown or gray and with a bootleg cut.

A former Disney employee explained the differences of their Corporate departments.  He said sectors of Disney like Animation or Production were more on the loose side with dress codes.  He would stroll through Feature Animation and sometimes catch someone with green hair or shorts with flip-flops. In contrast, if you were to walk into Disney Corporate Legal or Business Affairs Departments, the employees would be suited and booted.  So, basically if you are in a creative department, you have freedom to be individually expressive with your attire. But, what if you are interested in moving up in the company, and it calls for you to be a little more structured? Would the hiring manager, who has seen you  around with green hair and flip flops even consider you?  This brings me to another point: your appearance makes a statement about you, before you even open your mouth.

What You Wear Tells All

It’s a frustrating thought to ponder, but it is definitely a vital point to consider. I mean, there’s a book titled “You Are What You Wear.”  In this thought-provoking book, it states “The clothing you put on your back is an incredibly accurate indicator of what you think of yourself and your life.” Hmmmm, what do your clothes say about you?  I have come to the conclusion that my clothes say, “I love fashion.”  Every day I come into work someone mentions how fashionable I am, or GET THIS, I have even been told,” You don’t belong here, you belong in some loft downtown in the fashion district.”  Now, those comments are in no way offensive to me, because that’s where I’d like to be.  But, on occasion I am confronted by management that my attire is not work appropriate. So, now you see why I chose to write on this topic.  Through trial and error, I myself have discovered it is better to leave my giant floral bow-tie and fishnet floral leggings for my non-work days.

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