So recently, I started working in a structured organisation that’s not owned by me. This is the first time I’m working for someone else as I have always started my own thing. Whether I will start up something sooner or later remains to be seen as I am enjoying this experience. Oh, its wonderful! I don’t worry about salaries, responsibilities, rent, overheads, budgets, and everything that CEOs worry about and I swear, I sleep better at night. On the flip side, I have to put up with my boss’ stance on how she wants things done, orders, deadlines, the much ‘dreaded’ performance appraisals, strategic competencies (Believe me, when I say I hear this everyday), and quite truthfully a lot of the worries I had as a CEO though on a much smaller scale.
A big thing that I have had to deal with is the workplace dress code. A lot people who know me know I don’t like being ordered about (I’m coping nicely, thank you very much) and I have a particular way I dress. I like short gowns, tight jeans, colourful blouses and jackets, bright coloured high heels and beautiful suede ballerina flats and moccasins. Some of these do not quite cut it in the corporate world as I have to have meetings with managers and at least, mid-level staff of other organisations. Wahala don burst! I don’t own a suit and I do not look forward to wearing one. There’s just something about it that does not agree with me. I like crazy. Crazy is normal for me so conservative suits are weird for me. Infact I just don’t like suits, conservative or not sef.
The good thing is that you actually don’t have to wear suits in my office (Somebody say alleluia)!!! But of course, you have to look decent and classy! Now, you’re talking! And as long as I didn’t wear clothes that showed my tattoo to meetings with other organisations, we were cool. As soon as I heard those rules, fium! I quickly constructed my basics. Basics are the framework with which you consolidate your attire, or in my case, wardrobe around. I came up with some ideas which have been pretty helpful thus far. These basics have helped me create a classy, stylish, less conservative look that is still totally me. Y’all know I don’t do the conservative thing.
I don’t like black bags. No way! If I have to carry a black bag, there has to be other bright colours as well and this may not work in the workplace (no pun intended). I have had to update my wardrobe with browns (this I love) and other dark colours but definitely not black. To be honest, I don’t own a black bag and I’m not looking to buy.
Oh, I love dresses. The shorter the dress, the deeper the love. Now, I might not be able to wear crazy short dresses to the office but I can wear, classy short dresses to the office. Biko, note the difference. Those ones that end just above the knee are the classy ones *wink*. Anything shorter, hmmm, you are on your own. I have learnt to invest in good dresses, I swear, they make you look like a billion bucks even with minimal accessories.
This is one basic that can be used in a zillion different ways. It’s a no-brainer. I love, love white dresses because they are so versatile and can be paired with anything and accessorized like crazy. On Fridays, I’m allowed to wear jeans (Infact I had to beg for this policy as my vast collection of jeans were just sitting there doing nothing and wasting my money) and paired with a white shirt and colorful shoes makes you feel like a member of the royal house.
I can’t count the number of times I have had to thank the person that came up with this idea. Because its black, it goes with everything. With skirts, trousers, dresses, name it! And the amazing part is, it could be cheap and still look like it cost a fortune. The black blazer is the miracle worker in the wardrobe.
Seeing as my behind ain’t on the jagbajantic side, I usually don’t wear skirts but I when I started work, I discovered this fabulous length that makes me look pretty good. I will keep preaching about that length that stops right above the knee, give me a pulpit abeg. When I wear skirts and pair them with beautiful shoes, I look and feel like the sun. Its amazing how what you put on affects how you feel, that’s what I keep saying and I wish people would listen.
From belts, to scarves, brooches, necklaces, bracelets, statement rings and unusual earrings, accessories are the icing on top of a red velvet cake (my foodist attitude must show itself). I play a lot with fashion but its very important I look good else I’m not leaving my house and accessories save the day I tell you. Quirky but fun accessories usually upgrade what you’re wearing from normal to explosive. I usually get accessories everywhere I go as I find things that appeal to my fashion sense even when I’m not looking, some are expensive and some are ridiculously cheap.
Anyway, those are my basics. I’ve built my office wardrobe around them and it has been pretty amazing. I daresay I look like a boss. A lot has to do with your confidence though. This does it for me but something else may appeal to you. Care to share? Please do.