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50 Work Outfits Challenge

Dressing for work has become somewhat of a hobby. My bright blazers rarely go unnoticed by my colleagues and I’ve been asked more than once if I wear a different outfit every day. The truth is: I do! Or at least, I try to wear all my different clothes instead of defaulting to whatever is in the fresh laundry pile.

This post is pretty vain—I know and I don’t really care! And before you accuse me of being wasteful for having lots of clothes, please listen to my defense (and then feel free to judge!).

I indulge in fast fashion occasionally, but the nature of my work requires me to look presentable at all times, so I have to keep my work wear collection somewhat up to date. I also move to different climates and cultures every couple of years and naturally the styles changes accordingly. Also, I try to shop on resell websites and trade clothes with others whenever I can.

For the past three months I’ve pictured the outfits I wore to work. I added a couple of outfits to the “pass on” pile immediately after reviewing the respective selfie (and after consulting fashionable friends). Ultimately, I landed on these 48 combinations I stand by, for the most part. I know that everything would have looked more fabulous with higher heels, makeup, better posing, and better lighting—and not photographed in a rush because someone could come in at any minute (I’m being caught in the act in one photo—see if you can spot it).

Red. I don’t wear red often but I like wearing bright red, particularly on special days. I’ve been called “bold” by a colleague for wearing the red suit, even though it was Valentine’s Day!

Pink. Pink is one of my favorite colors yet I don’t wear it often because it looks… girly. I find bright fuchsia looks best on me. I get lots of compliments on the pink suit so I enjoy wearing it, though I’ve also been called “Barbie.”

Blue. Blue is the most professional color, I’ve heard, and usually I wear it exactly for that reason—because I want to look professional and not stand out. I actually have way more dark blue clothes than I pictured but in India I just don’t wear it because it’s a little plain (on me).

Shorts and skirts. Short skirts, and particularly shorts, are highly uncommon in the consulate in most countries I’ve worked. Showing off your legs runs counter to cultural norms in most places. But sometimes I wear it anyway because I love it!

Black and white—a classic combination that never gets old. India really isn’t a place for black clothes so I try to amp up the white.

Vests. When you live in a place where it’s never below 75 degrees, you might as well not have sleeves on your blazer, right?

Green—my default color for clothes and all accessories nowadays. Choosing one color is super helpful when it comes to pairing things. I prefer army green but really all greens are great, just like nature.

Purple. It’s a little challenging to find nice things in purple but I like that it’s both eccentric and understated at the same time.

Blazers—my go-to outfits definitely involve a blazer. There’s an infinite number of options so it doesn’t have to be boring, and I think it always looks professional enough for work. Velvet, seersucker, plaid, double breasted, cropped—I love it all.

Orange— it’s not just for Halloween or Dutch national day! Although I do find it festive and typically wear it when I’m in a light mood.

Suits. I’ve had many plain versions of these things in my life, but unless I’m giving a formal presentation I try to keep it interesting.

Dresses. There’s nothing easier than putting on a dress in the morning, though finding a comfortable dress that fits well is actually a real challenge sometimes.

Ton-sur-ton. This is a more recent development for me; combining similar colors that match. Even when the color or fabric is slightly different I like the effect.

India style. These are some of the things I’ve bought in Mumbai that I’m not sure I’d wear in other countries, but I’m having fun stretching my fashion limits here because I can and Indian clothes are beautiful and inspiring.

Ruffles. I never look for ruffles when I’m shopping, but when I wear them I actually find it surprisingly flattering.



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