Why I’ve Ditched Button Downs From My Work Wardrobe

When I started shopping for work clothes in my late teens I did what I thought I was supposed to do: I bought button down shirts. They’re a key part of an office wardrobe, right? They were for a while but as my style has evolved, I’ve more or less worked them out of my wardrobe. These days I opt for peplum blouses, cardigans over simple tops, light sweaters or anything else I can make look work appropriate, including tees. The latter are usually either black or printed three-quarter or long-sleeves.

Black tulle skirt 2
Long or 3/4 sleeved tees can be worked into an office wardrobe as a casual alternative to button downs.

There are a few reasons behind this switch, especially in the last two years or so. Prior to that, my job involved lots of encounters with business people, CEOs, accountants and the like so even though I wanted to show off my personal style, I also had to fit in. My current role means I mostly interact with my office colleagues, and I need to be a bit more creative so I try new things a little more now.

Simple tops c
Simple tops in bright colours can be also be worn.

The other thing is that the most readily available button downs in Barbados bore me. They’re usually plain or striped and  that makes me feel limited. Plus everybody will be wearing them because that’s what you’re supposed to wear to work right? I tend to like the chiffon ones though and I do keep a leopard print and a polka dot one in rotation because I can have fun with them.

black peplum top
Peplum is one of my favourite details.

At the end of the day, that’s what getting dressed each morning is about for me. I always say it would kill my spirit if I had to wear a uniform. I can’t deal with looking like everybody else and I can’t stand not loving what I’m wearing.

multicoloured peplum top
Yup, more peplum.

Obviously profession and workplace rules and culture play a role in what we feel comfortable wearing but I feel like too often we feel work wear must devoid of style when nothing could be further from the truth. Follow the rules, but do you.

red top and polka dot skirt
I do like these tops from H&M which have just a few button at the top.

Do you get creative with your work attire? If so, what are your favourite tricks? If you don’t, what’s stopping you?

Post Author: Natasha Beckles

Natasha Beckles is a freelance copyeditor, writer and content creator. She has over a decade's experience in both traditional and online media. In addition to blogging about fashion and travel, she uses the written word to help brands and individuals tell their unique stories.

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