“My co-worker thinks my skirts are too short. How short is too short for work?”
- Rework my Wardrobe
Work attire is probably the most limiting for fashionistas since there are so many more rules to what looks both professional and matches the image the company wants to portray. In order to keep things appropriate many women feel they have to wear attire that is drab and boring. The annoying thing is that working women spend a majority of their day in these clothes. Luckily, workwear has come far from the plain boring suits that used to be the only option avalible for everyday officewear so you dont have to wear short skirts in an attempt to be stylish.There are a variety of styles of workwear that look CHIC and flattering while still keeping it office appropriate.
Rules of the Work Skirt
When trying to decide if your skirt meets office expectations keep a few of these things in mind.
If it rivals the material or look of something you would wear to a bar/club or at the beach it probably is not considered work appropriate- these skirts are often tight, short and made of stretchy knit, jean or ribbed material. You could probably pick up one at Forever 21 and they probably cost less than 10 bucks. While they are easy to throw on for a cute outfit on the go, these skirts should be worn for what they are intended for (casual outings, vacation and nightlife) and should not be a part of your work wardrobe.
If your skirt is not longer than your fingertips its definetly not office style- Remember in middle school when your teacher made you put your hands by your side to check if your skirt is at least fingertip length? While your boss may not point it out and make you drop your hands by your sides this rule still applies in the office. Generally, a pencil or a line skirt slightly above the knee is the best office appropriate skirt length.
If most your skirts are shorter than your female bosses then you may want to consider investing in a few new pieces for workwear. This rule may not always nessesarily be true (especially if your boss is significantly older than you) but it is a good general rule of thumb. Your boss has probably spent more time working for the company and may have a better fimiliarity with the image that they want to portray to the rest of the world. Every job is different depending on what field you are in, but the boss wants to portray the company in the best way possible so they often will strive to look professional and polished.
Keep the image professional. Remember this is your career and how you dress is a display of both power and confidence. You want to give yourself an image that gives an impression that you are a polished and professional individual with an exceptional work ethic. Wearing clothes that portray a different image is not something you want for your career, especially if you are hoping for advancement down the road.
CHIC Work Skirt Styles
Pencil skirt: This is probably the best go to skirt style for the office. Since these skirts fit closely to the body you want to make sure they are long enough. Keep it about one hand above the knee, just above the knee or at the knee for the most professional look. Depending on your field you may be able to choose a unique top or pencil skirt style in order to keep the look CHIC. Pencil skirts are now avalible in fun prints, with ruffles or in peplum styles. Or a ruffled silk blouse, a cardigan sweater and cami combo, a button up shirt or a peplum top are a few shirt style options to try to add your own personal style into your work attire. Experiment with different colored tops and and prints to add variety to your wardrobe. If your job requires a suit jacket and skirt combo, try a fun fabric like a simple tweed or pinstripe if allowed to add more interest to your workwear.
A-line skirt: This is another great option for a go-to skirt for the office. The shape is very flattering on the body and looks nice with a skinny belt to help define the waist. It also works well with many of the same tops as the pencil skirt would which allows for mixing and matching if you choose to invest in both styles. Since this skirt has a flare, try it with tighter tops (be sure to tuck them in!) to help balance out the volume on the bottom.
Tulip skirt: This is a newer style of skirt that is very flattering and fun. The drapes of the fabric on the skirt form a tulip like pattern. These skirts are super flirty, come in a variety of colors and are available in an office appropriate length if you choose to try this style for work if your companies dress code doesn’t require a suit.
Flowy skirt: Another flirty and feminine skirt style that is avalible in a longer length, the flowy skirt works well as a stylish alternative to your everyday basic pencil skirts. There are plenty of style varitities for this type of skirt, including accordian pleats, longer lengths and fun prints. Pair this top with a more basic top to keep a balanced look.
If longer skirts aren’t your style there are a few other office appropriate options for bottoms.
Wide Leg Trousers: always simple and easy these pants look flattering on just about anyone. Try a low or high waisted style to see what works best for your look, wardrobe and body type. They come in a variety of fun prints, fabrics and colors. Accessorize them with a statement necklace and a pair of heels or flats and you have a super cute yet professional look.
Ankle Pants: A new shape for your trouser pants these are also easy to throw on for a professional look. Pair some with a blouse and some ankle boots to dress them up a bit.
Skinny pants: Not appropriate for every office, but if allowed and done right these can make for a very professional look. Try a mid to high waisted style with a blouse, button up or blazer and pair it with some cute heels or flats for a fun, stylish office look.
While most offices don’t approve of mini skirts, there are plenty of styles that look professional and just as stylish. Try a pencil, a-line, flowy or tulip skirt for your next day at work. Or if you refuse any skirt style but the mini, try a pair of stylish pants instead to keep your look office appropriate while staying true to your look.