With warm weather on its way, so I’ve heard, many women will want to start wearing more color, even to work. As we slough off the cold winter, like dead skin, cheery brights, fun color combinations and colorful prints seem so appealing, doesn’t it? Yet, when it comes to work, there is a bit difference in what is colorfully acceptable versus what most women can get away with on the weekends, especially if they work in a corporate environment. In today’s wear-to-work post I am touching on professional printed skirts to show how the average working gal can embrace these printed styles.
Professional Printed Skirts and How to Wear Them
There are a few things to keep in when wearing printed skirts to the office. Depending on how conservative it is where you work, some or all may apply to you.
- Keep the silhouette of the skirt the same as you would for solid work skirts. Prints can sometimes come across as too casual for the office. However, when a printed skirt is in a silhouette that is an acceptable work shape, like a pencil, sharp a-line or fit-and-flare, it comes off as more professional than a drapey maxi skirt or unstructured swishy style does.
- Pair the skirts with more professional pieces. In order to keep a printed skirt outfit looking professional, be sure to wear more tailored or structured pieces with these styles. This is not to say that you can’t wear a relaxed cardigan with your printed skirts, however, just be sure that they are not too unstructured or weekend looking. Also make sure that what you wear with your cardigans and softer layering pieces look crisp.
- Choose professional colors. You can choose more outrageous prints for the office as long as there is some sort of base neutral found in the print that you can use to tie in more conservative colors into your outfit. For example, look for skirts that have a navy ground, or bits of black in them and then use these neutrals to tone down what you wear with them.
- Accessorize professionally. Don’t forget your accessories, and make sure they are appropriate for work. The great thing about printed skirts is that they can also be worn on the weekends when styled that way. However, for work, avoid very casual sandals, overly ornate jewelry or inappropriate accessories that should not be seen in your conservative workplace.
Below are three different outfits using printed skirts for work. Check them out to see the above points illustrated while also getting some additional advice on how to professionally work with all the colors found in each style.
I really love the print in this skirt from J. Crew. What I like most about it is, depending on how it is styled, it can easily go from work to weekend. While on the weekends, a pair of gold sandals and an easy knit top or tank in white, navy or aqua would be gorgeous, for the office that is probably a little too relaxed.
Instead, I made this skirt office appropriate by adding this more structured and professional navy collared top from French Connection. To work with the beautiful color combination found in the skirt, I added this aqua colored belt from Nordstrom and burgundy earrings from Max & Chloe. Finishing the look, I styled this skirt for work using these tan suede pumps from Calvin Klein. Now the outfit has punches of color but remains appropriate.
When I saw this printed pencil skirt from Boden I knew I had to feature it. The print is so lively and fun but remains appropriate for work because of the pencil shape. In addition, the print contains lots of colors that are very office friendly. Wanting to play on the colors, while still keeping it professional, I added a blue button down shirt from J. Crew, added these red suede pumps from Macy’s, and, to pop the yellow and navy found in the skirt, added this Modcloth necklace and blue wrap bracelet from Tory Burch.
This last skirt from Reiss is in a print that is so deep that it’s perfect for the office, and the look is feminine looking with this ivory cap sleeve blouse. However, I didn’t want to not take advantage of the splashes of color found in the print either. To do this in a work manner, I added these burgundy flats from Nordstrom, a yellow basic cardigan from Tory Burch and blue and yellow earrings from Kate Spade. With the richness of the skirt, combined with professional accessories that pick up the shades of the print, the outfit is fun, yet still appropriate.
Shop for printed skirts for work
Keep the above tips in mind as you check out these other printed skirts below.
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Bridgette, what amazing selection of printed skirts.
I particularly like the last skirt. Being a heavy pear, I look way too sexy when wearing pencil skirts to work.
But I would wear this gorgeous Boden skirt on the weekend or on a night out.
Thanks! Prints are so fun because most of us have a visceral reaction to them and, for that reason, they can be enjoyable to wear. I really like the Boden skirt too. I just thought the print was so pretty.
Hi Bridgette, do you think patterned skirts work well for pear-shapes? Sometimes I feel that it draws attention to the area I want to diminish! 🙂
I think that depends a lot on the shape of the skirt. No matter what the print is, make sure the silhouette is flattering. Next, make sure that you are bringing the focus up towards the face. Printed skirts can bring the eye down, which is why you may feel bottom heavy. Adding some color, accessories or tops with stronger shoulder lines or wider necklines can help create balance. I hope that helps!
Thanks, Bridgette, yes, this is very helpful advice!