We’ve all heard the adage, “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.” For expert tips on the subject, we turned to a fashion industry CEO who knows a thing or two about putting together a winning office outfit.
Meet Tina Craig, the self-made career woman who turned her love for handbags into a six-figure business with the launch of her blog, Bag Snob, which has since evolved into the lifestyle website Snob Essentials and its own successful bag line. One of the top tips she shared with us involves knowing your workplace and adjusting your outfits accordingly.
“In my industry, I’m allowed a lot of creativity when it comes to what I wear, but that doesn’t mean I dress like a street clown for meetings—I save those looks for fashion week,” the entrepreneur jokes. “Appearing professional is key to being (and being seen as) professional.”
Keep reading to get Craig’s essential power dressing tips, and shop her accessory of choice, the TAG Heuer watch, below.
Catalog Your Best Looks
Just as Cher Horowitz has her virtual wardrobe on her computer, Craig keeps a photo album on her phone of her top work looks. “When I’m getting dressed and I’m pressed for time, I look through the folder and I can pick out something in seconds without thinking about it,” Craig says. “It also allows you to see what your outfit looks like on camera, as opposed to just looking in the mirror, which is important in my line of work!” So go ahead and take those #OOTD photos, even if you’re not a professional blogger. (We do it too.)
Plan for Big Meetings
The night before a big meeting, lay out your complete look before dozing off. Craig swears by this time-saving tip: “That way I don’t wind up frantically searching for that exact blouse that goes under that certain blazer and potentially having a morning meltdown,” Craig says. It also frees up the mental space to rehearse your presentation a few more times.
Go for Color (Not Print)
While we’re fans of all kinds of prints, as evidenced by our Who What Wear collection, for more professional office settings, Craig feels that prints can be distracting: “You want to be seen for who you are and what you have to say, not for your flashy leopard-print dress.” Instead, Craig opts for jewel tones to make her feel confident and powerful, as well as neutrals like black and navy (yes, worn together!).
Avoid Wearing Too Many Bracelets
Do you want your accessories to irritate your co-workers? Craig thinks not. “You don’t want to be that person in the board meeting clinging and clanging her bracelets around, distracting everyone,” Craig advises. “I prefer a singular statement jewel and an elegant TAG Heuer timepiece.” Craig’s accessory of choice also allows you to stay on schedule without checking your phone and entering that all-too-familiar Instagram black hole.
Have Fun With Handbags
Unsurprisingly, Craig is a huge proponent of playing around with different handbags for work. “Bags are the realm where you can have some fun with your office-ready outfits,” Craig explains. “A sharply tailored black suit punched up with a bright red bag equals stylish power dressing.” Plus, a bold bag looks amazing paired next to a sleek, elevated watch.