Mondays always make me think about the times when I worked in an office 9 to 5 and had a normal week like everyone else. And of the times, when I used to dress office appropriate, which was an interesting challenge for a fashion infected mind.
A fashion-oriented rock chic like me, I always tried to incorporate rock-ish elements in my office appropriate outfits, like biker jackets, leather pants, hardware (western belt with metallic elements, statement metallic jewelry etc), high heels as well as interesting prints or one colorful item (usually pants or shoes) .
Here I need to explain my view on what is "office appropriate", which is a very wide range definition.
While, say, bank counter employees are often obliged to wear uniform, a design office gals are pretty free in choosing outfits. Still, whatever environment you work in, there's a certain dress code that has to be followed (to illustrate that, imagine someone arriving to the office wearing a beach attire. I did see a guy wearing beach shorts and a printed t-shirt in our office. He was a government employee).
I worked in IT as a software developer, which didn't demand meeting clients on everyday basis (so no overly official dress code) or participating in official meetings, or perform any other activity that would demand a strict dress code. We had rather creative, free spirit environment. We didn't have any official rules about how we should dress, so while I still felt I needed to look generally office-appropriate, I had the room to play with details and put my creativity into looking less boring, so to speak.
My rule of thumb was - dress the way you don't distract people from doing their work. Which means no exposed shoulders, no very loud items, no too short skirts etc. You would be surprised, but I saw a lot of people wearing just that in the office. I simply feel that it's not very appropriate to show the shoulder/armpit area while at your work place, unless your work place is the beach. If you choose to wear a tank top - add a blazer that you won't have to take off while at work. Because if not, just imagine leaning over someone's desk while wearing a tank top with thin straps. Omfg.
Same goes for short skirts, because it would be difficult for you to concentrate on your work while trying to sit the way no one thinks you're playing Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. As for bright colors, it's of course environment dependent, because, say, in a fashion design office bright outfits are very much in place.
I decided to show you the type of outfits I used to wear (you can see more of my office outfits by clicking on here. Distressed denim pencil skirt and a white shirt with graphic print + a little extra as black cage sandals, fun earrings and red nails. You can play with an outfit like this, replacing items depending on your work environment. For example, wear a regular denim skirt instead of distressed denim to make the outfit more formal, wear low heel cage sandals or pumps and paint your nails nude or navy for more adventurous souls.
And after all this long sheet of text, is a little self promotion with a smile allowed? :)
denim skirt (also worn here) / Zara,
graphic shirt (also worn here) / Asos,
cage sandals (also worn here) / Van Haren oldie,
earrings / H&M