14 September 2012

How to Add Colour to Your Work Wardrobe

Corporate black - for many of us, the workplace dress code always meant black, black, and more black. Basic black is fine, but it does get boring pretty quickly. Today, though, it doesn't have to be that way. Here are some simple, inexpensive ways to add a touch of colour to your work wardrobe.

Solid Tops

Colorful knit tops or a jewel-tone silk blouse can add a splash of colour to a blazer or suit. It's considered a good idea to go with solid colours here; jazzy patterns may not work too well.

Say It with Shoes

I love shoes, and I could very easily be in shoe heaven with the beautiful colours and styles for the coming summer.  There are so many options for colourful shoes these days, and when you're talking colour, the cheap ones are not necessarily more or less colourful than the expensive ones. Go for a pair of colourful pumps or jazzy flats, or even dress sandals (wear colourful toenail polish!). Unlike boots, pumps, flats, and sandals can be colourful without being distracting.

Necklaces and Jewelry

Put some sparkling colour around your neck with necklaces. There are so many possibilities here, from polished glass beads to rhinestones on colourful cords. Stay away from tacky or heavy necklaces, but choosing something with a nice pop of colour can dress up even a drab outfit.  Bracelets and earrings can be worn for the same reasons, adding a splash of colour to business attire.


Next to shoes, handbags are my vice. I was brought up to always have matching shoes and handbag, and of course they had to co-ordinate with each outfit. Handbags are where you can bring a bit of whimsy and jazz into the workplace without catching a lot of flak. Patterns and colours can spice up a plain suit and show a bit of your personality. If you like, start small - carry a little handbag with pretty colours. Then, depending on your workplace atmosphere, maybe you can work up to a large, patterned handbag.


Scarves were a workplace stand-by not too long ago, but you can bring them back in all kinds of ways. Folded scarves can work as a headband for your hair, or you can find various ways to tie them around your neck. You can also use them as a creative alternative to a belt. Solid colours might be a good place to start, or choose subtle patterns that match your work outfit.


Tucked-in shirts and elaborate belt buckles were popular in the 80s, but you can still dress up an outfit with a solid band of colour around your waist. Belts can add colour to pants or skirt outfits, and you can add a matching handbag for colour coordination.

Coloured Suits

If you want to really go for it, wear a solid-coloured suit. To create the least controversy (if you have that kind of workplace), choose one where the style is fairly conservative and traditional, just colourful.

Adding a little colour to your work wardrobe is easy when you know how, and it's a really frugal way to revamp a tired wardrobe. Have a look in your wardrobe and see what you have that will give your workday clothes a little pizazz.

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