One of the most common colors for work uniforms is black, at least that is what I've noticed. This will obviously be different for those of you who work for a corporation or organization that has their own colors, symbols, or logos. But in todays Wednesdays Working Women post, I want to focus on a universal uniform color, which as I previously stated is most commonly black.
While black and white are classic colors and allows for so many options in pairing, it can be challenging in doing so in a work environment. Many things must be considered in pairing various colors, textures, and patterns, one of which may be dress codes. If your work place allows for you to accessorize, then by all means...have fun with it, while of course remaining appropriate. So, without further ado, lets get into adding some interest to your basic black uniform!
1. Don't be afraid of NEON!
I know that neon can be a bit intimidating because it's extremely vibrant and bold, but it does look great on almost everyone, regardless of skin or hair color! The important rule of thumb is not to overdo it. While combining neons can really make an otherwise boring outfit truly pop, for work it'll be a bit much. So for the office, I would suggest wearing a piece of neon jewelry. Notice how I said a piece! I would suggest a neon necklace because I think the most flattering part of most women, is their necks and upper chest area, where the collar bone is. This way you're creating some interest against your black top, while drawing attention to the most flattering part of your body and AWAY from the not so flattering! Another great idea would be to wear a thin neon belt. This would create contrast in between your upper and lower body, which would otherwise look a bit too conformed.
Loving this " Jewelry Fashions Bead & Crystal Collar Necklace" from Nordstrom for $48! I wouldn't wear any earrings with this piece because the neon color and rhinestones are enough on its own. I think that the combination of the cut (shape) and rhinestones on the necklace make it very elegant, yet fun at the same time!
This BCBGeneration "Gold-Tone Neon Yellow Cord Chain Link Bracelet" is also a nice piece to consider, for only $25 at Macy's! There are so many things to love about this bracelet. I for one, love the combination of gold and neon yellow, I think they compliment each-other well. This is a nice option for those of you that may feel that a neon necklace may be a bit much, or those who wear a memorable necklace (those that are NEVER taken off) and feel it would clash with the bold neon necklace piece.
2. Wrap it up!
Scarves have been extremely trendy for quite sometime now and I think it's due in part to its versatility. You can use or wear a scarf in so many ways, which is why I think it would be a perfect way to accessorize your black uniform. You can wear it as a headband, tied around your neck, thrown around your neck and shoulders, or around the handles of your purse. For a black uniform, you have the option of choosing an array of styles, textures, and sizes...so have fun!
I absolutely adore this "Monogram Shawl" by Louis Vuitton in the color Cassis. I think that this color would compliment any and every skin tone and it's perfect for fall/winter. The quality of the fabric is wonderful and not only will you look stylish wearing it, you'll also be warm...great combination if you ask me!
This "Mini Rose Print Silk Foular" scarf is absolutely beautiful and elegant by Dolce & Gabbana. Although the base color of the scar is black, the white flowers and gold chained trim really add that something special. I would pair this scarf with gold jewelry to enhance the gold trim around the edges of the scarf.
3. Play with your makeup
Playing with makeup may be the only option for expressing yourself in some job settings. I understand that there are some jobs that have dress codes that do not permit the use of colors or accessories, so your next best bet would be makeup! Red and pinks are the perfect colors for adding that pop of color to your look, although lipstick is not necessarily an accessory, it can still enhance or add some sort of interest to your complete look.
Photo courtesy of: fashionwithaconscience.org
* Keep in mind when choosing the perfect shade of red, you MUST base it off of your skin tone...not all red lipsticks fit all! If you're a "warm" skin tone, then you'll want to choose a lipstick that has an orange undertone, this will compliment you best! For those of you who are "cool" toned, red lipsticks with bluish undertones will work best for you!
* When choosing the perfect pink lipstick, you also need to consider your skin tone, to ensure that the color you choose actually looks good on you! Those of you who have "warm" undertones, pink lipsticks with deep berry hues or electric vibrant pinks look best against the skin, and those of you with "cool" undertones, would look best with more softer pinks, generally speaking, although those of you with darker skin can get away with bright pink lips as well.
4. Nail art
This last idea is for those of you who are not really into wearing or playing around with makeup, as well as those who may not be permitted to wear bright makeup in the work place. There are so many options out there for different colors and now there are nail polish strips with different patterns, which I personally love to play with. Again, although this is not a method that will work right up against a black uniform, nail polish has now gained the reputation of being an informal accessory.
I love this nail polish strip design, Sweet Tart-An, by Sally Hansen. It has color and pattern that will definitely have people questioning you, "how did you do that?"
This pretty color is by Milani, a brand sold in CVS drugstores, and it's called Blue Flash. I would paint this on my ring finger nail and paint the other nails a shade of one of the many blue tones found in the glitter, so that the ring finger would stand out...a statement finger!!!!
I hope these ideas helped those of you who work in an environment that only permits for the use of black clothing. Not only will these pieces or accessories make you feel better about wearing one color, or a uniform for that matter, they're all great conversational pieces! So, if you work in a place where you're constantly associating with customers, it's a good way for them to start a conversation with you and a way for you to stand out and be memorable ;)
Until next time....