The Expat Woman

How to Accessorize for Work

Starting a new job in a new country can be intimidating. There are a host of questions that arise when gearing up to work in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar faces, whether it’s the first day or first month including wardrobe questions – What do I wear? What types of accessories are appropriate? These questions often infiltrate a career woman’s mind, even when she is starting a new job in her home country, let alone in a brand-new country with different cultural nuances and notions of what is acceptable for workwear and what is not.

For that reason, some women may struggle with balancing their style with the fear of being too showy or accepted by fellow colleagues. In the United States, fashion is generally celebrated and thus is accepted in most workplaces in a variety of forms for women.  In the first few days or weeks, you may get a sense of what the office environment is like – trendy, conservative or somewhere in the middle. But in the meanwhile, to help your transition become a little easier, here are a few tips for accessorizing in the workplace. 

Wear Dainty Jewelry
Like WhoWhatWear noted, “Less is more when it comes to accessorizing at the office.” Avoid seeming too overdressed by choosing simple necklace-and-earring combos. Wearing jewelry to the workplace is a definite “yes,” but it’s best to stick to something simple, such as neutral-toned studs rather than dangly earrings. You’ll make a better impression with tasteful, non-distracting additions.

Find Structure With Your Bag
Many work outfits feature skirts or dresses, so the key to offsetting the feminine flair is to find a bag with hard angles. A sturdy, leather tote works wonders, but if you ride your bicycle to work or have a hands-on commute, Lyst’s selection of designer backpacks shows that even these items can be poised and polished for the office.

Watch Your Wrists
If your job is in an office environment, stay away from clanking bangles and large cuffs. These types of bracelets are awesome for bringing life to your outfit after work but during work? They hinder your arm movement and distract others around you. Instead, use fashion functionally, and adorn your wrist with a beautiful watch. A wristwatch is a classic and stylish way to add bling along with sophistication.

Bring A Belt Onboard
When it feels like your outfit is lacking, but you just don’t know what it is, try playing with shapes. A sleek, minimalistic way to alter the silhouette of an otherwise frumpy frock or plain skirt is to add a solid belt to the mix. By cinching your waist and adding a new, simple accessory to your ensemble, you’re creating a new line of eyesight without being ostentatious. Belts inspire professionalism, too!

Getting dressed for work should be the least of your problems when starting a new job. With these simple tips for accessorizing your office garb, picking an outfit every morning will be a breeze. It’ll let you focus your energy on real issues, like finding your new favorite restaurant!




Nyna is the Founder and CEO of The Expat Woman, a global platform focused on connecting, supporting and empowering women who have moved abroad or plan to relocate. She is also a LinkedIn coach, consultant, trainer and speaker. LinkedIn played a huge role in my professional journey abroad, helping me build a network of powerful expat women and allies.

Pin It on Pinterest

Get your Free Ticket

Online from Nov. 7th to Nov.9th