Winter Wardrobe Warnings – Corporate Image

Despite the drop in temperature, there is no reason why your dress and image standards should plummet down this winter.  You should always look the part at the office, no matter what the temperature is outside. Read on for some Winter Wardrobe Warnings.

Headwear: The song may say “You can leave your hat on” but never inside the office. So.. no beanies, crochet caps, berets, baseball caps.  Fedoras, floppy wide brimmed hats and newsboy caps are really fashionable this Winter- only wear them after hours or if you work in a really creative work environment.

Scarves: Thick, bulky woolen; fleecy; fake fur type scarves must only be used for outdoor warmth. Scarves with fringed edges or tie-dyed are more casual looking. Once at the office rather choose a scarf from a silk, cotton or a sheer type fabric as an accessory to complement your outfit. An inexpensive way to update your wardrobe is by adding scarves in this season’s prints and colours. The most versatile shapes are rectangular, oblong and triangular scarves. A scarf tied with style adds elegance and warmth to your winter wardrobe. Click here for ways to tie a scarf.

Capes, ponchos, pashminas: A cape is the ultimate in ladylike refinement (and warmth); capes are shaping up to be the season’s warmest cover-up. Remember the darker, more neutral the colour the smarter the look. Even though a hot trend this season stay away from ponchos for the workplace-they belong in the Mexican desert not in the board room. A pashmina shawl is a must wardrobe staple – it can be used all seasons and always looks stylish. For great ways to wear your pashmina click here.

Jerseys/Cardigans/Sleeveless Vests: Stop wearing the oversized, large cable knitted jersey aunt Mabel knitted for you. Rather opt for a fine weave cardigan and make use of layering eg: a thermal vest, polo neck jersey and cardigan. Knitted sleeveless vests are a great fashion item this winter. Choose the vest in a neutral colour and wear it over your collared shirts (these to be in a flattering colour).

Anoraks/windbreakers/padded nylon jackets/leather jackets: Steer away from crochet and fleecy type tops. Anoraks and windbreakers are waterproof jackets with hoods and drawstrings. Designed to resist wind chill and light rain, made of synthetic material. Best to go fishing in – avoid wearing them in the office – it is too casual an item. The padded jacket – made for climbing Kilamanjaro not the corporate ladder. It comes with sleeves or without – this jacket looks bulky and unflattering – if you want to look like the Oros man – get one. Stay away from patent, bomber or patched leather jackets or fur trims. A classic, standard length tailored leather jacket is a much better investment.

Trench & Car Coats: The trench coat is a stylish option this winter – made from wool or gabardine. Ladies, we can wear a trench jacket  in the office combined with trousers. Car coats are generally made from wool or polyester and refers to a coat that will cover a dress or a standard length jacket. The length can vary between mid-thigh, to just above the knee. When buying a coat always opt for more classic styles in neutral colours e.g : black, beige, tan. These items will then remain timeless and be worth the investment.
Gloves: Wear gloves that will add style to your corporate look – stay away from the fingerless gloves in different colours.
Boots & Shoes: These boots are made for walking . . . so the song goes . . . remember they should be made for working too. Not all this season’s boots are acceptable in the work place. I believe an ankle boot looks far more stylish worn with pants than a skirt or dress. Rather opt for a 3/4 (just under the knee) classic, black leather boot. Thigh high (Pretty Woman) boots are too provocative for the workplace. Stay away from boots with tassels, faux fur, heavy buckles and studs. Rather opt for leather or suede instead of shiny patent leather or synthetic looking material. As cute as they might be stay away from Wellington boots – even if they have Ladybirds on them! Men – unless in the construction or forestry industry don’t wear shoes or boots with thick rubber soles to work. The same applies to cowboy boots. An elegant men’s ankle leather boot is a better option.

Pantyhose & leg warmers: Your choice of pantyhose can make or break your outfit. The smarter the outfit the sheerer the pantyhose should be (low decitex 15 or under) the higher the decitex the thicker, more opaque the pantyhose will be. For work – please don’t opt for anything higher than a 30 decitex. No woolen tights should be worn in a corporate environment. Winter tights come in all types of patterns and colours – keep these for evening wear or fun weekend wear. The 80’s leg warmers belong on Jane Fonda doing aerobics or for ballet classes – refrain from using them at work unless you want to lose your credibility really fast.

So take heed of the Winter Warnings and keep warm in style!

For more information on our corporate image and etiquette programmes contact us on info@profimpressions.com