Creating a Business Uniform

Creating a Business Uniform with your Indianapolis Personal Stylist

Hello Indianapolis Fashionistas!

Before I ever worked as a stylist, I liked to think I was cutting edge, colorful, and skilled at putting together outfits and looks for me and my husband. I always liked to add color whenever I could. Of course, I still like color–especially bright jewel tone dresses (Boden has the best!); red purses and shoes; touches of color in my jewelry; interesting ties and pocket scarves, and even socks for men. These are all good things.

But I have learned–they are not always the end all. Mixing neutrals can be a beautiful, subtle look, especially for events when you want to look chic and especially when you want to look business-like.

Case in point: yesterday I worked with a business owner who wanted me to shop with three young men and help them find a business uniform. One was a sales manager and the other two personal assistants in the office. This is a new business, a start up, so they are developing their reputation and expertise from the ground up. Their professional look and image is important and could possibly help or hinder their success.

Keeping this in mind, as I shopped for and with these men, I kept the goal forefront in my mind. Business first, personal taste second.

First we found suits for each person. Sleek, well fitted suits in charcoal grey and bright navy. Believe it or not, these colors were first recommended in the age-old book, Dress for Success. I think the book’s timeless advice still works for serious business dress–maybe not every day. I know wardrobes have changed, but I think every person should have some serious career wear to use when needed. These colors are good for women, too, as is cream, black skirts, burgundy. I do not recommend black or brown suits for everyone. Black is okay for interviews but can be intimidating in a business meeting, especially in a sales situation. Blue and grey are much more approachable.

Anyway, as I built this look for the men, I added some neutral shirts: white (always needed); light blue; and blue stripe. With the white shirt and grey suit, I added a tiny polka dot grey and black tie, complete with black oxfords. It was a nice, neutral look. With the other man, we picked another grey suit, slight lighter grey along with a white shirt and a purple tie, since this gentleman really liked color. I thought the tie was the place to add some. Brown oxfords efforts completed the look.The third man picked a medium blue suit, white shirt and a dark navy pinpoint polka dot tie–all very subtle.

Beyond the conservative work uniforms, we added some colors such as a pink stripe shirt with a dark navy and fuchsia print tie; a navy blazer and grey or beige dress slacks. The other gentleman whose taste was a bit more eclectic, we added a black button down shirt, a teal/black floral print tie and a navy and black plaid with black slacks. This person also picked a bright aqua blue shirt that looked great with the tie. These pieces would also look good with his dark rinse jeans.

The third gentleman also selected a bright floral shirt with an orange tie and some beige khaki pants for some in-office wear on more casual days.

Anyway, the shopping was fun and seemed to meet everyone’s personal tastes and business needs! (Suits were from Michael Kors, Ryan Seacrest, Bar III and Lauren at Macy’s.)

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, Indianapolis Personal Stylist