By Jame Jackson While many editorial office dress codes have become more casual over recent years, we unfortunately still can’t go in to work wearing flip flops and shorts. But this is a creative industry, and you’re likely looking for a way to express yourself through your wardrobe. You’re in luck, whippersnappers: These five easy tricks will help you quickly upgrade your outfit (on a budget, no less).
1. Find your color.
One thing any major influencer will tell you is that they are known for some tangible marker that stands out from their competition. Whether it’s a red lip, a yellow brooch, or a green trench coat, there’s something that you always associate with that person. The same can go for you, especially in office scenarios where you may not be able to do much else. Find a statement color and incorporate it into your wardrobe a few times a week. It doesn’t even have to be a full-blown outfit—just a pop that adds a bit of pizzazz to your look. Have no idea where to start? Ask your closest friends what colors look amazing on you. From there, play around with different shades and styles until you find your sartorial glass slipper.
2. Find cool, one-of-a-kind pieces.
Head to your local vintage shops, checking the racks for anything that sticks out to you. (Keep in mind: items with cool prints are great for making a statement when you don’t know what else to wear.) Thrifting can help you stick to a budget—and even better, it’s unlikely that anyone in your office will have the exact same item.
3. Rock a statement piece.
Nothing takes you from average to superstar glam faster than an amazing accessory. Find an accent (possibly in your chosen color) that makes you feel powerful and self-assured. For example, maybe you’ve got got a bracelet that sparkles just so against your skin or dangling earrings that makes you feel ultra chic. You don’t have to wear the same piece every day, but adding some kind of statement-maker to each outfit will help boost your confidence, leaving you feeling able to conquer any assignment an editor throws your way.
4. Strut your stuff.
Heels add instant elegance, even if you’re wearing a sweater and jeans. And the best part is there are heels for everyone: wedges, semi-flats, pointed, color-blocked, strappy—the list goes on and on. However, make sure you’re picking a shoe that you know you’ll be comfortable in and always keep flats on hand, just in case. Helpful tip: Always keep a pair of heels and a black blazer at your desk. You never know when you’ll get pulled into a meeting or have to meet someone important!
5. Go monochromatic.
When you’re wearing just one color, the key is playing up textures and cuts. Go for a ruffle skirt paired with a linen blazer or some tailored pants with an oversized top. Fashion is meant to be fun and you’d be surprised how cool an outfit that uses just one color can be. Sometimes you can even find patterned monochromatic looks—mixing prints is just another way to explore trends without plunging in head first. And if you’re ever in need of style inspo, women like Solange Knowles or R&B duo Chloe x Halle love to sport mono looks. Slay, every time!
Jamé Jackson is a freelance fashion and beauty columnist and writer based in NYC. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheBlondeMisfit.com, a site geared for women of color in the fashion and beauty industry. To keep up with her love for color, blonde obsessions, and random beauty antidotes, check her out online at Theblondemisfit.com and follow her on Instagram at TheBlondemisfit.