7 Styling Tips for Making Casual Outfits Look Professional

By | February 18, 2020
Making Casual Outfits Look Professional

A wardrobe that’s mostly made up of casual pieces that worked exceptionally well for college can be a tad difficult to work with once you get a job in the corporate realm. But, this does not mean that you need to totally revamp your wardrobe just to look professional.

Professional stylists share below seven of the easiest styling tips and tricks to transform your favorite casual items into work-ready attire.

1. Pair your favorite casual or even graphic tee with a form-fitting pencil skirt

A pencil skirt that fits you really well, be it made of jersey, other stretchy material, leather, or some beautifully woven fabric, can automatically make you look sleek. And, if you pair it with a casual or graphic T-shirt and drape a blue denim jacket over your shoulders, you’ll not only look chic for work but a little edgy as well.

But perhaps the best thing about this ensemble is, it’s comfortable and wearable all year round. Complete the look with stilettos and a trench coat for a thoroughly stylish work outfit.

2. Wear a shirt and tutu skirt ensemble with a structured blazer

A shirt and tutu skirt ensemble is a fashion trend these days, which a lot of young women love. It’s feminine and playful, but you can easily upgrade this attire into a corporate one by wearing a structured blazer — preferably with gold buttons.

To make this getup even more professional-looking, take a leaf out of Alexa Chung’s fashion portfolio and don a classic timepiece, stick pins or brooches to the blazer or jacket, and layer on some minimalist jewelry. For footwear, you cannot go wrong with high heels or stylish mules.

3. Turn your mini-dress into a top

Tips for Making Casual Outfits Look Professional

If you have a babydoll dress or other types of mini dresses, you can easily turn them into a top for skirts, trousers, or even billowy long spaghetti strap dresses. You can tuck the dress into the bottom or cinch it around the waist for a faux peplum top.

This is a styling trick that can work for all mini dresses, but more so, for those pieces that are figure-hugging because the bottom part of the dress will not bunch up so much whatever bottom you choose to wear.

4. Pair a pullover with a long, pleated skirt

What girl does not have a non-athletic pullover and pleated skirt? These items are present in all fast-fashion, high-end, and second-hand stores. A pullover is commonly worn with jeans and shorts, but you can wear it to work, too, especially if it’s in a plain and solid color. Pairing the pullover with a pleated skirt (ideally a midi one) can turn the piece into an office-appropriate item of clothing.

Also, take things up a notch with a string of pearls (these don’t need to be real ones) or a silk scarf, dainty earrings, and a brooch. As for shoes, you can go for loafers, ballet flats, stilettos, or boots with high heels.

5. Go solid on color

There’s something automatically formal and sophisticated about attires in a single color. It’s effortlessly stylish, especially if you opt for neutrals such as beige, black, white, and grey.

A black shirt with black trousers and shoes always looks just right for a day at the office. If you wish to spice things up a little bit, how about throwing on a beret as well. You can break out of the color block for the beret and choose a printed one. For a touch of elegance, you can also try wearing a scarf.

6. Pair fitted shirts with high-waisted, straight-leg pants

This combo is perfect for the office, even if you opt to wear a pair of training footwear or canvas tennis shoes. It’s super comfortable yet classy enough. Plus, there are numerous ways to upgrade this look.

One thing you can do is throw on a leather jacket for extra structure. Another is to wear a silk scarf around your neck. As for shoes, you basically can wear whatever is acceptable in your office. This stylish combo works on all body types and can create the illusion of a longer and more slender body.

7. Wear a turtleneck under loose sundresses

Sundresses are among the favorite items in a young woman’s wardrobe because they’re easy and breezy. However, they can be a little sexy for the workplace. But, that’s easy enough to remedy as long as you have a knitted and fitted turtleneck.

And to further diminish the resort appeal of a sundress, wear a skinny belt to define the waist, and consider throwing on a blazer, especially if the air conditioner is always on full blast in your workplace.

See, there’s no need to fully overhaul your wardrobe. All you have to do is add a few polished pieces and alter the fit of your casual pieces to make them more fashionable yet work-appropriate.

Feiruza Mudessir
Author: Feiruza Mudessir

Ethiopian-born and Dubai-based fashion designer Feiruza Mudessir discovered her curiosity to mix the traditional with contemporary at a young age, and this has become the trademark of her designs for Finchitua today. With her unique style standpoint, she served the VIP Color Forecast Panel 2017 for Al Jazeera Paints Company and VIP Color Forecast Panel 2019 for Asian Paints Berger. Ms. Mudessir is a shortlisted nominee for the prestigious Fashion Scout London 2018.