10 Tips On Dressing For Workplace From Scandal's Costume Designer


Dressing for the workplace isn’t as easy as it seems. You want to look stylish and professional, but the fine line between the two sometimes gets blurred. It isn’t that we aren’t aware of what is appropriate and what is not, it’s just that we get tired of wearing our same old professional attire five days a week, which is why we look forward to taking fashion risks. But, what is considered right and wrong when it comes to workplace wardrobe choices? As the costume designer for ABC’s hit series Scandal, Lyn Elizabeth Paolo is well versed in the art of professional work attire. Whether she is designing lounge wear to accompany Olivia Pope’s classic glass of red wine or pulling together White House-worthy ensembles, Lyn’s goal is to make sure the cast of Scandal appears fashionable, yet work appropriate. Ensure your 2016 is stylish and professional by checking out Lyn’s 10 tips to dress appropriately for the workplace!

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1. Go to the store with a good friend (who can be honest and remain your friend). Try on a selection of clothes and find out what really works on your body. Take pictures it really helps.

2. Find a good tailor. We tailor everything on every show I work on. We can try on twenty things before we find just the right thing for an actor and THEN we tailor. So do the same and be kind to yourself during the process.

3. DO NOT BE A SLAVE TO FASHION. Find classic pieces that work for you and for your line of work and STICK TO IT.

4. Buy a full length mirror, and check that you look great before you leave home. Everything in place... belt, tie, shoes, blouses and shirts tucked if you have that kind of job...if not well this note is not for you.

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SCANDAL – ABC’s “Scandal” stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

5. Own an iron/ironing board and USE IT...no wrinkles on you. I even own a full size professional steamer that I keep in my closet because things get smushed in there.

6. I use lint rollers on everything..shoulders should be pristine and ladies be careful putting on that blouse after applying your makeup. I use tissues around the neck of my blouses and apply after I am dressed...it's just easier.

7. Shoes....ahh shoes. So here is the thing, if you are in a pair of shoes that just absolutely torture your feet you will never be effective at work. You will just be distracted. So buy shoes that fit you properly, I see so many people walking around in shoes that look too big or too small. Also this is no place to skimp, buy a quality shoe that fits well and you will have a much happier and more efficient day.

8. I tend to wear a "uniform" to work. I have all of my looks lined up in my closet from light to dark. Everything organized, in their appropriate categories. At work I even organize the men's ties by color so I can quickly pick the correct tie for the correct ensemble. This way you get out of the house much faster, maybe leaving time for that extra cup of coffee or that extra ten minutes with the family.

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9. Be organized, as in the above note if you can get your closet really set up you will be in great shape, but also it is a great idea to pick what you want to wear the night before, or perhaps plan your whole week on a Sunday so you are ready.  How many times have you pulled out a shirt/blouse/jacket only to find that it needed to be cleaned or had a missing button?

10. Be kind to your clothes, they are kind to you. Buy quality items that are going to last and then find a dry cleaner who is professional and has a great reputation. You are taking the time and making the effort to figure out what works for you, take the same amount of time to find the right place to have your garments cleaned...so they last.

GOOD LUCK & be sure to follow Lyn on Instagram for more tips.

Article originally published on Forbes.com written by founder of Simply Inc., Sarah Boyd.