History in the Making

Being Bright at Work, Style File Friday

Charlotte and I had a side discussion on my Casual Friday post last week- is it okay to wear bright and loud colours in the workplace? This can be quite a difficult question depending on your office environment, and some industries the choice may be out of your hands entirely. However, I do believe that large majority of offices provide the perfect opportunity to bust out those brights, as long as it’s done properly! (As always with my work wear posts, I recommend that you pay close attention to what everyone else is wearing and check any dress code you may have.)

Spring is coming! Or if you live further south or on a coast, spring is already here. It’s time to ditch the dark neutrals and embrace colour again! I’m not a fan of including a whole ton of colours into one outfit where professional clothing is concerned, but that does not mean that we are limited to boring blacks and grey. If bright colours are really out of your wheelhouse, I recommend trying out the more casual version on a few weekends to get comfortable with it.
1. Go bright on the bottom or the top, not both.
Head to toe loud colours are overwhelming on anyone, and quite frankly, distracting. You never want a client, coworker, or manager being so distracted with your clothing that they cannot take in what you are saying or trust what you are saying. It’s also just difficult to make happen- it’s harder to match two bright pieces unless they’ve been carefully picked or bought from the same collection, and if they are from the same collection, they very well might end up too matchy-matchy.
2. Keep it structured
If you are going with a bright piece, I would recommend sticking with a structured one! Wearing a structured blazer, dress pants, or skirt will maintain the professional element and keep your outfit from becoming overly casual or young. Most retailers do offer brightly coloured blazers, and I think that’s a perfect place to start when dipping your toes into the world of colour!
3. Know what colours suit you
As a pale person, also known as a pseudo-vampire according to friends, who has pink undertones, yellows and golds are absolutely terrible on me. Pink, also not great. Orange looks atrocious on me. However, blue toned reds, kelly green, and royal blue suit my colouring well! Don’t buy something simply because it’s on sale or cheap when it doesn’t actually work with your skin tones. If you aren’t sure, pants are an easier way to test the colour- full length pants typically don’t have a lot of bare skin directly next to them, so anything that is a little “off” won’t be in your face.
4. Don’t be afraid to mix in a neutral pattern
The flip side of two many distracting colours at once is sticking to sombre black or boring tan to balance it out. I love this Kate Spade boatneck tee- black and white stripes add a little bit of texture without taking away from the colour! The bow neckline is a nice detail that also jazzes up the outfit without being in your face. A neutral gingham or plaid would also serve you well.
These lipstick red Modern Stretch Leggings from RW & Co are my favourite pair of pants- they are incredibly comfortable, they are striking, and they work year round! It’s a cooler red that works with the large majority of my wardrobe, and they serve well to liven up my career wear.
Have you experimented with your work wardrobe? What do you think of wearing bright colours to the office? 
Until tomorrow,
The Historian!
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