If you’re looking to brighten up your office outfits, consider adding bold prints. Even if your business-casual wardrobe is filled with neutral colors and understated designs, you can still integrate vibrant colors and motifs into the mix. Here are six pieces that make it easy to work prints into your workday looks:
Skirts are a work wardrobe staple that you can wear with many blouses. They’re also a great way to work bold prints into your look—especially when keeping the rest of your outfit neutral. For example, you could wear a black-and-white print midi skirt with a women’s white blouse. Black tights and shoes keep the look modest and subtle; you can even add a black blazer over your blouse for more coverage and warmth.
When choosing a print midi skirt, consider a cotton/modal blend with spandex. This fabric is lightweight and smooth, with plenty of movement. Although it’s suitable for the office, you can dress it down for weekend wear with causal pieces like jean jackets and tees.
A pencil skirt in a plaid print is another office-appropriate option. Pair it with a cashmere turtleneck and blazer in a matching color for an upscale workday look. A jacquard knit adds a dressy touch to this print skirt, which you’ll find in a cotton/spandex blend that’s machine-washable. There are plenty of ways to wear printed skirts. In general, if you wear a printed skirt to the office, keep your top, shoes, and accessories neutral.
Another way to add prints to your look is with a bold top. Wear a paisley tunic with slacks or a skirt for a business-casual style. Women’s dress shirts in a collared button-down style can also be found with prints that range from stripes to florals. A leopard-print top is another stylish option that you can wear to the office with a black skirt or slacks.
As with skirts, when you wear a printed top, keep the rest of your outfit neutral. For example, if you’re wearing a black-and-white animal print, wear black dress pants and a black blazer. A paisley print in rich burgundy and navy tones can be worn with a navy skirt or pants with a navy handbag and shoes.
A print top can be layered under a cardigan sweater to tone down the look. There are cashmere cardigans and those made from high-performance Supima cotton and modal. They come in buttoned styles and long open styles, so you can find one that complements the rest of your outfit.
If subtle is your style, limit bold prints to accessories. Fashion scarves are an excellent way to integrate prints into your wardrobe. Wear one tied around your neck with a turtleneck and blazer for a fashionable finishing touch, or tie one in your hair as a headband or ponytail holder.
Scarves come in a variety of materials and prints. There are acrylic scarves that look and feel like cashmere, along with scarves woven from satiny polyester. You’ll also find fleece scarves for added warmth in the winter. Some of the most versatile prints for scarves include plaid and paisley.
You can also impart a bold touch to your look with printed shoes. A pair of animal-print flats can be worn with black slacks or a skirt for an eye-catching touch. There are even plaid-print shoes, which work well in almost every season when paired with a dress, skirt, or pants in a coordinating color. Shoes for the office can be stylish and comfortable. Look for flats and heels with comfort features, such as cushioned soles and breathable materials. From ballet flats to strappy heels, many styles are suitable for work. Even a pair of suede loafers can be worn to the office with business-casual apparel.
A handbag with a colorful print can be all you need to add character to an outfit. In the summer, carry a striped canvas tote bag to work for beach-inspired style. In fall and winter, you can’t go wrong with subtle plaid prints. Animal-print bags also make an on-trend accent to any outfit. If you choose to carry a bag with a bold print, follow the basic fashion guideline of keeping the rest of your look subtle. The phrase “a little goes a long way” definitely applies when it comes to wearing bold prints to an office environment.
If your office dress code leans towards conservative, you can still wear bold prints in the form of a skinny belt. A black-and-white animal-print belt can be worn with black dress pants for a stylish touch. Or you can wear a plaid-print belt with a khaki skirt or pants for a neutral-toned preppy look.
Try on different looks to find which prints work best with the office apparel you already have. With a few simple touches, you can refresh your wardrobe and feel your most confident and professional.