Sunday, December 8, 2013

Workwear: How to dress up a black suit

Though I work in a casual office, I know there are those of you out there who have to bring out the business attire five days a week. One of my friends specifically has to wear a black blazer with black pants or a skirt every day to work. That can get boring very quickly, so I wanted to come up with some ways to add style and interesting visual elements to an otherwise monotonous look. A black suit can be a great blank canvas to bring out your own personal style with little touches.
Here are some of the things I came up with.

1. Add a statement necklace. This can be paired with a solid collared shirt or with a solid white tee. I like how the crystal-like necklace pops on the white tee in the photo below.

2. Bright accessories, like the hot pink belt below, can be used to add color and visual interest. It's a fun way to show off your style and give a youthful touch to the outfit.

3. Adding a fun printed top is always a great way to make a black suit interesting, but have you ever added a dress underneath? Below is the dress I used for this look. I paired it under a skit, but since this dress has thin material, it can also be tucked into pants without a lot of bulk. This is a fun way to re-purpose those dresses you wish you could wear to work instead of a suit.

*The dress I used

*Without the blazer (great for after work)
I also added a thick black belt for another statement piece and to tie the look together.
A neutral necklace would also look nice with this outfit (like the crystal necklace in the first photo)

*With the blazer
4. Adding a pair of tights not only adds warmth in the colder months, but is also a way to customize your look. Below I'm wearing a teal color that is appropriate for the season and not too loud (to keep it business appropriate). You could also choose a dark pair with a subtle print for another variation.

Below are more ways you can get creative.

Black Suit 101

  • Shoes are always a great visual statement. If you will be on your feet all day, look for flats with an interesting visual element, like embellishments or a little glitter (fun for a holiday party).
  • Accessorizing doesn't have to stay within the suit. You can also add visual interest with red lips.
  • Your hair can also be a point of interest. A feminine hair pin can make a statement whether your hair is up or down. 
  • A blouse with a neck tie is a great way to add visual interest and there is no need for a necklace with this look.
  • Add a fun, printed scarf to your bag or briefcase.

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