In the latest Fashion Files, Laura Stead-Churchill discusses how to best approach your office dress code…

Corporate doesn’t have to be boring. We spend the vast majority of our week at work so my thinking is why shouldn’t you put as much care and thought in to your working wardrobe as any other occasion?

Office dress code

How you dress for work needs largely to be driven by your office dress code (which might be spelled out or vaguely implied), your role and your need for functionality. Corporate workplaces dictate suiting.

Again, this doesn’t mean you can’t inject elements of your personality. For men, this might mean incorporating more vibrant colour, although sometimes classic colours – a navy or charcoal suit with coordinating shirt and tie, can speak just as loudly for your style prowess.

Consider your body shape

Dress to flatter your body shape. A lot of women wear a crisp shirt tucked in to pants and belted, and this ‘uniform’ rarely flatters. A well-cut dress that flatters your curves can look just as professional and will again stand you above the rest. More relaxed or creative workplaces have flexibility as to expectations around dress.

This isn’t an invitation to drop your standards. The saying ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ is never truer in a creative work environment where the staff who opts for tailored pieces and understated accessories (think sophisticated, not dull), will be taken more seriously than the girl in the dress that should be reserved for Friday night.

Take pride in your appearance

Studies show how you dress directly affects the way you think, feel and act. So let your individuality come across through your workwear choices, take pride in your appearance and reap the benefits.

Triwa

Accessorise wisely. One quality piece is worth an entire wardrobe of throw-away items and will instantly lift your game. Triwa pieces are spot on.

Tilkah

In the list of style goals for workwear wardrobes, effortlessness is often right at the top. The chic sophistication oozed by the Parisian can be conquered with minimal pieces such as a stylish black leather tote. Tilkah’s Adele tote ($299, pictured with the Lola necklace, $69) is one of the best.

Manning Cartell

Creative workplaces (PR, media, design and hospitality) call for individuality. Find your look and work to its strengths. This Manning Cartell skirt ($399) is investment dressing defined, but has just as much versatility as basic black and a lot more punch.

Dinosaur Designs

Dinosaur Designs’ new Seed Pod collection takes the label in a decidedly fashion direction. Leather and resin combine with their signature resin to create handmade pieces inspired by nature. A guaranteed head turner at work.

Dear Laura

Q: What should I wear to a job interview?

A: First impressions play a huge role in job interview success, so dress the part. Skip florals and pastels unless you’re confident in your ability to style a flawless look. Instead, navy, charcoal, red and blue are all strong colours that denote confidence and authority.

If in doubt, always wear a jacket. It instantly elevates your look to professional, whether it’s required of your potential workplace or not.

Write to Laura at fashion@bmag.com.au