Stand out in the season’s strongest styles
Just like in work, when it comes to dressing, monotony is a dangerous thing. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine – and consequently, lost in a sea of suits. Don’t let your old habits hold you back. This winter, break free from the corporate mould with the season’s sharpest silhouettes. Unexpected pairings, daring plaids and warm tones are the pieces that will get you noticed.
Here’s our guide to standing out – and getting ahead – in style.
At best, corduroy calls to mind wild, '70s rockers, and at worst, dusty historians. But this winter, forget what you thought you knew about the textured textile. All the throwback qualities are intact, but instead of conjuring outdated notions, they add charm and depth to your winter look. Plus, the heavier fabric is fitting for cold days at the office. This season, look ahead of the game in a corduroy suit. Earthy hues work for creative environments, while navy versions pass in more corporate settings. Just remember, the cut should be as modern as possible. You want to tap into the retro vibe, but of course, want to avoid any association with stuffy relics.
In warmer months, it’s tempting to wear your commuter sneakers at the office. And as corporate dress codes continue to loosen their ties, it’s often perfectly acceptable. Yet, a sneaker and suiting pairing isn’t an obvious choice in the winter. It works, though. You’ll already be swapping out your boots, might as well opt for something a little more casual, if your environment is relaxed. Keep the colours neutral – darker shades work best – and the silhouette streamlined. The fit of your suit should be slim to keep the look considered.
There’s a brand of plaid for every dresser. From subtle windowpane on traditional navy, for offices that are set in their ways, to colourful houndstooth, for cultures that welcome the bold. Once you’ve decided where you fall on the spectrum, find smart basics, in subtler prints, to layer underneath. In our opinion, the bigger and bolder the better.
The easiest way to add an extra layer in the winter is a cardigan. Admittedly, first impressions aren’t always the best, and when it comes to cardigans, there’s a tendency to air on the fusty side. Yet, the classic layer can transform your look – not to mention its ability to keep you snug when the office is frigid. Over a traditional button-down and slacks, it’s a layer that can make your go-to workwear combo a little more relaxed. When paired with jeans in a more casual setting it has the opposite effect, polishing your stress-free style.
Shades of blues are something we’re all comfortable with, but why not up the ante with something that will keep the office engaged? Burgundies and jewel tones are always office-appropriate, yet rarely tapped in to. Pair with more traditional shades on top, like camel or grey, to keep the look in check. Remember, when you’re opting for a moody hue, make sure to pick something that immediately catches your eye.
Sasha Johnson is a writer and content creator based in Toronto. Previously, she was the Manager of Digital Content at Holt Renfrew, where she led the luxury retailer’s integrated editorial and social media strategy. Her fashion, beauty, culture and lifestyle writing has appeared in Holt Renfrew’s print and digital publications, Elle Canada Magazine, and Coveteur, among other titles.