Knowing how to dress for your body type is one thing, but knowing how to dress professionally is a completely different matter. You don’t just have to think about what flatters you and what you feel most comfortable wearing, you also have to consider how your outfit projects your job and the dress codes your office has in place. That’s a lot to think about for just one outfit! But don’t fret, just read on and learn how to dress professionally for a whole range of shapes and sizes.
Learn How To Dress Professionally, Whatever Your Shape
Honestly, it took some time for me to learn how to dress professionally—this is one of those things where experience is a must! You need to know your body, personality, and your job very well. When I was working in media and production I stuck to comfy jeans, dressy blouses, and layered looks because I was on-the-go 24/7 and studios are always really cold! Then, when I switched to a more client-facing job my wardrobe shifted to tapered pants, sharp tops, and stylish jumpsuits aplenty for a fashion-forward corporate look.
But knowing how to dress professionally is also about finding the most flattering silhouettes and pieces for your body type. You want to present the best version of yourself at work, and your clothes are the first step towards achieving that! Whether you’re plus-sized, hourglass, or athletic, here are common body shapes and how to dress professionally for each one.
Also called banana-shaped, rectangle bodies are more or less straight. If your shoulders are just as wide as your hips, your clothes should give an illusion of a waist or a fuller bust. How do you dress professionally with this challenge? Tapered pants, mini skirts, and more fitted pieces should be your workwear staples. If mini skirts are too short for you, layer them over stockings! Tops with ties or waistbands can also draw attention to your waist.
2. Inverted Triangle
Do you have broad shoulders and slim legs? Or, are you curvy around your upper body? If so, you’re an inverted triangle. Circle skirts and other similar-shaped bottoms are your best bet—they’ll emphasize your waist and flare to balance out your slim legs. If you want to look more balanced, try shift dresses, swing coats, and flowy tops. Save the tight silhouettes for your pants!
On the other hand, if your hips are wide or your legs muscular and heavier, your body is a triangle or pear. Keep your tops light colored and slightly cropped, stopping just above the hips. Empire waist cuts, ruffles, and puffed sleeves will also draw attention to your upper body. They’re also work-appropriate!
If you’re on the athletic side and have toned arms or you’re heavier because of muscle weight, fitted dresses are work-ready! Whether you’re rocking fit and flare dresses or body con dresses, these will create the illusion of feminine curves while still showing off your #fitspiration-worthy body! This outfit would be perfect paired with a cropped blazer, don’t you think?
For hourglass figures, emphasize your waist and curves. This is the ultimate “if you’ve got it, flaunt it!” chance for you. If you’re wondering how to dress professionally and still show off your curves, go for wrap dresses, belted blazers, and cropped tops paired with high-waist skirts.
Watch this video for more tips on how to dress professionally:
I hope these tricks help you figure out how to dress professionally for your body type! The key is to accentuate what you have while still looking polished and work-ready. If it seems like a tricky balance to strike, bookmark this page and come back when you need inspiration! How do you dress for your body type? Share your OOTDs with me in the comments section below!
Palazzo pants are the perfect combination of professional and comfy. These denim ones from Mason&Ivy are perfect for casual Fridays!
Want more tips on how to dress professionally? This is the only guide you’ll ever need!