Styling a creative professional can be quite different than styling a client that works in a more conservative field. Creative professionals definitely have a bit more flexibility, but this doesn’t mean it’s easier to get dressed. In fact, often it can be a lot more pressure because what a creative professional wears can act like a calling card that expresses just how creative and innovative they are at their job. Creative professionals walk a fine line of needing to look capable, accomplished and professional while also not looking gimmicky, weird or too trendy. They still need to be taken seriously.
There are also creative professionals out there who wear different hats and who may have to interface with a variety of clients. On one day they may have a meeting with a conservative accounting firm and the next a meeting with a young tech firm. I understand this. This week, I am speaking at an ultra conservative hospital where stockings are required of their administrative employees and in February and in March I am heading to Las Vegas to speak at two large fashion conventions. I can assure you, how I will dress to speak for the hospital event and what I will wear to the two fashion related events will be very different.
In cases where a woman needs to change gears from more conservative looks to creative ones, a woman needs to be able to shift her wardrobe to be able to do change things up. Not always easy. In this post I am going to share some stylish outfits for creative professionals while also pointing out how a woman can also tweak them to be more conservative.
Stylish Outfits for Creative Professionals
A dress like this from Vince may not be appropriate for a more conservative workplace, it all depends on just how conservative the environment may be. For more creative offices, a dress like this could be the less subtle alternative to a classic camel sheath. Over it, I added a Hobbs shrug that is definitely workable in more conservative atmospheres. However, when it was styled here, the more creative elements make it look less serious.
Next, it’s about the accessories. This is where creative professionals can lean in more strongly and can take a look that is serious and amp it up. I added a bunch of different bangles, a bangle from Topshop, one from Lele Saoughi and one from Sole Society, drop earrings from Karine Sultan and leopard platform sandals from Chinese Laundry. I finished the look with a cognac bag. I would never put a pair of leopard platform sandals on a conservative professional.
An outfit doesn’t have to be creatively styled to the hilt to look creative. Often, all it takes is one piece to make it so. For example, this outfit can be the creative professional’s equivalent of a suit. Instead of a pair of basic pants, I added these belted wide leg crop pants from Cos. Over it, I added a shaped red blazer from Smythe over a white long sleeve boat neck t-shirt from Reiss and finished the look with a taupe pair of peep toe booties, a silver collar necklace and silver metallic handbag from Rebecca Minkoff.
If I were to style this outfit for a conservative workplace, I would keep the jacket and switch out the navy pants for a more basic pair, would get rid oft the peep toe booties and metallic tote for more conservative styles.
In this last look, I didn’t didn’t push the creative boundaries as strongly to show that there are ways to add creative elements without going overboard. I used a very basic pair of navy BOSS Hugo Boss pants and added an eggplant blouse that has a creative cut. The next thing I did was play with color, another way to add some creativity to a look without having to purchase an entirely new wardrobe. I used these yellow basic pumps from Charles by Charles David and finished the outfit with a soft purple tote from L.K. Bennett and a multi strand necklace from Ellie Vail.
Quite often it is how a look is accessorized that can make an outfit look more creative. If you wear glasses, try a funkier pair. Opt for interesting shoes or shoes in unique colors. Seek out jewelry that looks creative or one-of-a-kind, even if it isn’t. Next, have a few key pieces that you can wear with your basic wardrobe items to give the basics a more creative spin.
If you are a creative professional, I hope these tips help.