The pride and polish of business attire is an indisputable workplace norm that has stood the test of time. As part of our As part of our BE Polished style package,Black Enterprise editors and staff showcase how they work their power game and look at the office while adding their own special flavor to show personality and professionalism. —Janell Hazelwood
(Photos by C. Varin)
Digital PR and Marketing Director
“My office style is modern and feminine, with an element of edge that’s usually in the form of an atypical embellishment or detail such as daring wedges or a bustled day dress. I like a look that keeps me feeling strong, smart and stylish, and I enjoy pushing my style envelope without being distracting or traditional. Also, if I feel great in a particular piece, I’m fond of wearing it as often as I like.”
STYLE ESSENTIALS: Statement watch; Simple stud earrings; Red or nude lip/nail color; Tailored blazer; Cigarette pant
HOT SHOPS/DESIGNERS: Club Monaco, Zara, Michael Kors, DKNY: “I own an amazing pair of 10-year-old, high-waist DKNY skinny trousers that still turn heads—and motivate me to stay in shape!”
Human Resources and Corporate Operations Manager
“Since I work in human resources, a suit is the preferred pick. And it doesn’t have to be stuffy. I keep my look young and stylish by picking those with chic details such as a belt or adding nice statement pieces such as a costume necklace or a printed pump. It still looks professional, but has a touch of me.”
STYLE ESSENTIALS: Black suit; Basic pump; Work tote; Button-down blouse; Mascara (MAC is a favorite)
HOT SHOPS/DESIGNERS: Tahari; Banana Republic; Louis Vuitton: “You have to treat yourself. This designer is my favorite for classic and chic bags that will last practically a lifetime.”
ALFRED EDMOND JR.
Senior Vice President, Editor-at-Large
“Wearing a Bulls No. 23 jersey won’t make you Michael Jordan. Spending a fortune on fashion won’t buy you style. To have style is to be passionate about standing out while fitting in; to achieve appropriateness without surrendering to conformity.”
HOT SHOPS/DESIGNERS: Kenneth Cole, Cole Haan, Jos A. Bank, Movado, Krimson by Kwame (neckwear): “While my signature style item is the hand-tied bow tie, I consider men’s fashion accessories in general—especially ties, pocket squares, cuff links, watches (both wrist and pocket), and shoes—are must-haves for my power look. It’s the accessories that bring the magic.”
“In the office, I like a very lady-like look that reflects the sophistication and grace of a woman. Wearing a dress or skirt suit to work says, ‘I’m all woman, but I can also handle my business.’ “
HOT SHOPS/DESIGNERS: Banana Republic, TopShop, Loehman’s: “You can find a little bit of everything, especially designer pieces, at Loehman’s. I love Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) dresses, especially when there’s a sale!”
“My office look mixes old school with new school. I stick to traditional pieces—a classic black/navy dress or a white collard button up and skirt — and I’ll throw something in the mix that’s going to stand out like a big-faced watch or a nice crimson nail color.”
HOT SHOPS/DESIGNERS: Ann Taylor, Cole Hann, Fendi, Aldo: I love Aldo accessories because they make a statement without being too over-the-top. They are great to add a little flair for a look that’s appropriate for the office but fashionable enough for going out with friends after work.
Senior Web Producer
“A man’s business attire is pretty simple— slacks, jacket, shirt, and tie. With my suits, I always try to add a little color with accessories, and I’m not afraid to try purples, reds, aqua blues, or even pinks. The last things I usually put on are my tie and socks, which always match. When it comes to dress shoes, I tend to go for loafers over lace-ups because they’re convenient and more comfortable for running around all day.”
HOT SHOPS/DESIGNERS: Aldo, Uniqluo, Nordstrom, Krimson by Kwame (neckwear), J. Crew: This retailer’s suits fit me almost perfectly off the rack with little-to-no tailoring needed. And I like buying my shirts from Uniqluo. They have quality, affordable shirts in hues I like.
Do you have a polished look? Send us a quality photo of you in your best office look to> firstname.lastname@example.org.
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