Q&A Sunday: Dressing like a professional & feeling your age

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Are you as excited as I am about this new series? Here’s my first question to answer:

Question from Linz: How can I dress professionally without looking too much older than I am?

Answer: While Linz and I are not brand new to the professional world I think we are still learning to cultivate our style in this realm. I am starting to see how ones sense of style tends to take a major transformation throughout their 20’s. You may go to school, then get one of those grown up jobs (or back and forth for some of us), you become more discerning about trends to try and you can want to look grown up or younger just depending on the situation. The last one is tricky in a work setting. In your 20’s your professional career is just starting out and the desire to be respected and taken seriously is very high. I can see how easy it is to loose touch with your own style. Yet I think in any setting it is important to always have a pulse on who you are and make sure you are offering that.

While I’m still figuring out my professional “look” here are a few things I let guide me in looking like a professional woman in her late 20’s.

Add Whimsy: I think this is a key in attempting to feel youthful with a professional look. Adding fun details that you enjoy is a simple way to feel like you are holding on to your style. Add a pop of your favorite color on a belt or wear a blouse that has some lace details. I have a top from H&M that has a bunny rabbit print on it that I love to wear to work. It is very small in design and blends well with a pencil skirt and sweater. It is fun, but not too loud.

Try a Trend You Like: Of course trying trends in an attempt to look younger always backfires terribly. But if you see a trend you like, the work space might be just the place to try it. I purposely picked the peter pan sequined top because it displays two different hot items of the moment in one. While I am head over heels for peter pan collars, I am not that into adding sequins to everything (nor am I saying it is work appropriate). My point being, the addition of a trend to your outfit, say the peplum skirt, can be just what you need to feel like your age. I always want to say here that I say feel your age because I think if you show up and your older co-worker is also looking good in a peplum skirt, it is a moment for high-fives not to feel that either of you have missed the age mark.

Wear Clothes That Fit Well: By this I do not mean tight, tight and super tight. I think we all know that a dress that is two sizes too big does not look good on anyone. Ill fitted clothes make everyone at any age look older, it is just the way it goes.

Show a Touch of Skin: I bet this one seems controversial. I do not mean it to be. I just mean that if you are wanting to look youthful, wearing a skirt that is knee length verse always wearing a floor length skirt might help. I am not suggesting to show off your cleavage at work nor to wear a mini skirt. I guess I am saying that it is okay to wear outfits that do not make you feel like every inch of your skin is covered up.

Above All, Wear What You Love: This one is self explanatory and may negate all of the rules above, but it is the golden one. If you love floor length dresses, rock it. If when peter pan collars go out of style you are stilling wearing them, let me know, because I will be too. I have decided it takes time to find your style and it will always be evolving, but if you lean in the direction of what you aesthetically love, you will find your way.


Jess to Linz:  With work on my mind, are jean skirts and dresses acceptable to wear? I’ve also seen a lot of cute outfits with skirts and the chambray shirt, what do you think about that in a business casual setting?





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