You know the old saying: Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the one you want.
If your goal is to be the big boss someday, you’ll want to heed this advice. So, how do you dress like a girlboss?
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula on how to do this, there are definitely some fashion commonalities among some of the most amazing boss women.
We’ve taken the tips we’ve gathered from them, and created this list just for you on how to nail a look that exudes competence, confidence, know-how, and authority.
1. Stick To A Color Palette
Select 3-4 colors that go well together and stick to that palette when buying your work wardrobe. Ivory, navy, black, and white are great choices as they look good on anyone, convey authority, and can be worn in every season.
Neutral colors make your clothing more versatile when you want to accessorize with pops of color. Adhering to the color palette you choose will also help you spend less—an important aspect of dressing the part even if you aren’t making the salary yet.
And if everything in your closet is just one of four colors, you may be surprised with how many different ways you can combine all the pieces to make unique outfits. Pieces you’ll want to focus on adding to your closet include pencil skirts, a blazer, a few feminine classic blouses, a button-up shirt, dress pants, and a dress or two.
Buy all of these in only the color palette you have chosen, and it will quickly become your work “uniform.” You can mix and match everything to change up your daily outfit, and your consistent style will exude professionalism and be one that coworkers are bound to admire.
2. Remember That Details Matter
You may not think so, but people notice all the small ways you put effort into presenting yourself. Caring about how you look at work shows people that you are detail-oriented and take your job seriously.
- Make sure your clothes are always clean and pressed, and that they fit well.
- Aim for clothes that are not too tight or revealing but also not too loose or sloppy looking.
Clothes you feel good in are a great confidence-boost, and that will come through in how you interact with colleagues.
- Make sure that you don’t skim over details like your shoes and handbag.
- Invest in a good handbag and make sure its appearance is always impeccable.
- Shoes need to be scuff-free and polished.
- Keep fingernails trimmed and stick with neutral-colored polish if you like to get manicures.
You can do this at home, but a weekly nail salon visit is worth the splurge if you have the budget.
3. Get A Killer Pair of Kicks
Shoes are another item you’ll want to invest in. As a boss, you’ll be on your feet a lot of your day, often for more than the standard 8-hour work day. That means you’re going to need a balance of style and comfort.
For many women, heels are a must. They give you some height which can make you feel more powerful. Being eye level with your taller coworkers is definitely satisfying, and heels add an extra level of sophistication and elegance.
If heels are your thing, just be sure to find a pair your feet can live in all day, and keep a pair of comfy “desk shoes” (slippers or flats) for when you aren’t meeting with people. But don’t worry, heels are definitely not your only option.
Embrace flats! Women’s pointed toe flats are a great alternative and are as equally stylish as heels. Depending on your job, boots, ballet flats, Mary Janes, and even tennis shoes can all be worn to work, eliminating the need for extra desk shoes.
4. Don’t Leave Hair And Make-up To The Last Minute
The best hairstyles for work will of course vary according to your workplace and how formal it is. But as long as you keep your hair clean and neat, most styles will work. Long and sleek, short and curly, worn down or pulled back—it’s a matter of personal style.
One tip we’ll add is for the long-haired lady bosses. If you’re the type that plays with your hair when you’re nervous or bored (traits you definitely don’t want to convey as a boss), eliminate the temptation and pull it back during work hours.
Make-up should be kept simple and professional, and if you need a few pointers you can always make an appointment at your local Sephora for a lesson. Investing in quality make-up will not only help you look flawless as you slay your work goals, but it will also save you time on endlessly trying new products that never do what they promise.
You already have the smarts to be a stellar girlboss, so build a wardrobe that matches what’s on the inside!