Classy Coats and Trendy Bags: How to Dress Well for the Workplace

For more features on work, be sure to attend the launch of our latest issue, and get your copy of "The Work Issue." The Launch Party is this Saturday, December 7th, at 7 p.m. at the Study Hall Lounge on South U! Dressing to impress in the workplace is something employers from every field take very seriously. Whether it be a basic skirt complimented by your favorite pair of heels, or even a dress with an adventurous print, dressing well in a way that is  tailored to your personality is important for the workplace. However, most people tend to forget the importance of the way they dress and accessorize while they make their trek to and from work. What you choose to keep your body warm in the winter, or even to cover up during a windy spring day, should be as appropriate and classy as the clothing you have on underneath. And the same applies for accessories like bags and briefcases; professionalism is always a must. Luckily, it is simple to keep your outerwear fashionable and trendy while still being appropriate.

One of the most traditional forms of outerwear is the trench coat. This style of coat is perfect over any outfit and can come in many different colors. The light layer of cotton makes it wearable in the spring and the fall. They can also come with a heavier material insert to help transition you to the beginning of the winter months. With its simple, yet classic look the trench coat is a must have for any fashionista in the workplace.

Another classic is the peacoat. This style of outerwear will help keep you cozy and warm during the winter months, while still looking fashionably put together and ready for a day in the office. The thick material is long-lasting and comes in a variety of colors and forms. Try a babydoll flare style, such as the Alice By Temperly design shown above, to add a girly flare to your workplace look. Or for something a little more masculine-chic, try a coat with broader shoulders and oversized lapels, such as the Marc Jacobs look shown below. In any style, the peacoat is a look that will allow you to travel in confidence on your way to work.

If you are looking for a less traditional way to stay warm on your way to work, try an oversized wool moto-jacket. This jacket is a great way to add an industrial flair to your daily fashion. The tiny bit of leather and stark gold zippers help revolutionize the classic peacoat look in order to create a coat that is professional, but also trendy.

In addition to coats and jackets, it is easy to forget about bags and briefcases when creating your workplace wardrobe. Sometimes we can get lost in the drone of busy work days and demanding schedules, causing us to toss our fashion expertise to the side. At the same time, what we choose to carry can easily lose its fashionable touch when we need bags for utilitarian purposes. However, it isn't difficult to choose bags that will be both fashionable and useful in the workplace.

When looking for bags, simplicity is key. Bags or totes with neutral tones are able to be paired with a wide array of outerwear looks. The simple colors are classy and confident, such as the Marc Jacobs tote pictured above. This tote is large enough to make a statement and also hold all of your work essentials.

But of course it isn’t completely taboo to add a little fun to your workplace bag. The trick is to keep it reserved and understated. To do this, look for bags with a pop of color or ones that have a swatch of colorful fabric. Bags that overlay a unique pattern on top of a classic look, such as this leather shopper from ASOS, are also perfect for rejuvenating a traditional style. This bag allows you the benefits of a large tote, while still looking fashion forward.

And to add some excitement to your daily work routine, find a bag that is a solid bold color, such as this design by Emilio Pucci. Solid colors are the best way to keep things simple while embedding your own unique taste into your work look. Choose your favorite color, or a color that compliments some of your favorite pieces; whatever will lend to the utmost self-expression.

Dressing professional for the workplace, although it is a necessity, doesn’t have to be a challenge. Finding looks that are both classy and unique start with an understanding of what fits your personality. Once you recognize the pieces and looks that embody who you are, dressing for work becomes natural. And finding pieces to wear and accessorize in and out of the office is a perfect way to express your style throughout the year.