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LMFAO in the Office? ~ How to Wear Neon & Animal Print to Work

What is the most formal work uniform you’ve ever had to wear? Ironically, since moving to San Francisco after college, my most ‘dressed up’ work attire remains my months as a Victoria’s Secret sales associate when I was 21. We were required to wear black slacks and a black blazer every day; lowcut lace cami optional.

The Bay Area “office attire” is a style phenomenon of its own. From suits & ties in the Financial District, to boatloads of business casual, and of course start-up couture (aka hoodies and flip flops). Richard Branson recently changed his company’s office dress code after voicing his disdain for neckties. I gave a style presentation for the SF Chamber of Commerce “Ambassador’s Club” a couple weeks ago and we discussed whether it’s better to mirror some Bay Area clients in casual attire or to “dress up” which might make clients feel uncomfortable. What do you think?

Let’s tackle some of these “office style” issues, plus a few tips how to incorporate the latest trends like neon, metallics and animal print without looking like an extra in a LMFAO music video…

Nylons Not Required? ~ If you’re going with bare legs to the office, lotion up, or I created this Youtube video showing a few celebrity leg tricks. For a superfast shimmer secret like I did here (Moisturize legs & before you go out sweep a bit of shimmer directly down your shin bones and watch the sun reflect right off them) 

Metallic Mania & Animal Print~ How can you wear metallic or animal print without looking too flashy in the office? Try small details like earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and my new fave (these Aldo wedges) with a metallic strap. Animal print dresses or tops are acceptable if the print isn’t too crazy, loud, or too tight. If you’re in a more conservative office, try a leopard print scarf, flats or accessories. Statement necklaces are a “Do” as long as they go with the outfit and aren’t too overpowering.

Windy City Tip ~ Chicago isn’t the only windy city. Besides the instant lion’s mane hair, it’s a bigtime hassle walking to work in SF wearing a dress or skirt that is going to blow up at all the wrong times. AVOID a dress or skirt that is too flowy if it’s above your knees on windy days. Go with one that is more fitted or straight. A gust of wind may generate a faux baby bump, but it’s better than flashing a bus full of commuters.

When in Doubt, ADD a Blazer ~ If you’re wearing a sleeveless dress or the thermostat in your office tends to “get weird,” it’s always best to take a blazer. It’s perfect in a chilly cubicle and adds an instant “dressed up” vibe if you get called into a meeting. A black blazer is classic, but white is unexpected. 🙂 Men can wear blazers too over collared shirts or V-Necks with dark wash jeans.

A Little Neon Goes a Long Way ~ If you’re able to wear open toed shoes in your office, I highly recommend a hot pink, neon orange or any fluorescent shade on your toes. They’re bright, fun and make feet happy. 🙂

What is too Trendy for the Office? I like to call this cheetah print dress “Happy Hour in the Front” and “Business Meeting in the Back,” because the hem is about 2 inches longer in the back. While I wouldn’t recommend a hi-low dress in the office, this is subtle enough for a business casual atmosphere. Once you know your office dress code culture, then you can decide how far to push the style boundaries.
 Blazer ~ H&M Conscious Collection, Dress~W118 by Walter Baker, Watch ~ Michael Kors, wedges ~ ALDO, Bracelets & necklace (recent)~ TJ Maxx, purse~Dimoni, Nail Polish (Walgreens) ~ Sinful Colors Neon Melon, Location ~ SOMA, Photos by ~ Mr. Ryan Hu
Do you have a dress code at your work and do you prefer formal attire in the office or casual & relaxed?
Also, if you’re in the Bay Area this weekend, the 4th annual Poolside Soiree Summer Fashion Show in Santana Row is this Saturday June 2nd at Noon & 3 pm. Details HERE. Hope to see you there! 🙂

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  1. GirlieBlogger@Beauty Fashion Blog Seattle says:

    LOL. Some companies have wonderful dress codes. Wonderful as in casual.

    Great dress and jacket.

    Seattle Beauty Fashion Blog

  2. Love the video! You should do more of those!

  3. Absolutely loving this look for the office!! It’s professional, with a little something extra, without wavering so far from office wear! Lovely picks! xo, Megs


  4. B Allen @ What2Wear says:

    You are totally rocking this outfit, you tell them how to do it girl!
    Brooke @ what2wear, Monikabrooke.blogspot.com

  5. Wil Harris says:

    This is great, it shows that you can be stylish and wear trends at work. Love your Youtube video! You look fab as always!!!

  6. Coco (The Style Notebook) says:

    That outfit is absolutely stunning!


  7. Kaitlin says:

    this look is so great. you are gorgeous. and that leopard print is to die for

    xo kaitlin

  8. Love your outfit! you look gorgeous Dale, I love the print 🙂

  9. KayJay at Refined and Polished says:

    This outfit is absolutely amazing! Love how you paired everything.

  10. looks lovely!

  11. Gail and Rhoda says:

    Love your outfit! As an image consultant/makeup artist I make my own dress code. I just make sure it’s always appropriate for my clients and the occasion. -Rhoda

  12. Your toes are SUPER cute! I also make my own dress code, which varies from a bikini to suit, depending on the event 🙂

  13. Petite and Hungry says:

    your outfit is amazing! such a fun way to play with work outfits!


  14. Amy Shaughnessy says:

    I love this look! So chic! You look fabulous. The neon is the perfect touch!



  15. Love the outfit, especially the necklace. Great post!


  16. Confessions of A Confused City Girl says:

    Great tips, I always say where there’s a will there’s a way. I’ve never stuck to any “strict” dress code when it comes to office wear (partly b/c it’s not in my DNA. Just have a nice balance of professionalism and flair!

    Confessions Of A City Girl

  17. Looking great! I like your sandals and jewelry very much!


  18. Style-Delights says:

    WOw, you really made the neon and leopard print work for office! It looks so chic and muted blazer brings everything together! Awesome job! No wonder Bravo wanted you for the show!:-) How is it going? Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    PS. New post is up on my blog. Check it out whenever you have time!
    Style-Delights Blog

  19. Fantastic!! you look great!


  20. silhouette says:

    you look amazing!!great outfit!

  21. Unknown says:

    Too funny, I was actually having this debate with myself (and my closet) this morning!! I decided that my very “free people-esk” floral print dress, light knit sweater, and belted, paired with my Steve Madden “Troopa” boots, was a little too casual for an Insurance Agent. So, I tossed on a cardigan, lost the boots, and added nude pumps instead. So much less fun, but worth it to be taken seriously by potential clients.

    Thank you for the tips, wonderful as always!

    • I definitely understand your debate but I think you made a good choice 🙂 Nude pumps always work in the office, your floral print dress sounds very pretty. You just gave me an idea for a post too… hehe

  22. cheetah print dress says:

    Love the video! You should do more of those!

  23. I love your little makeshift professional title for the mullet dress! Haha – totally classing it up.

    Such great advice – but it’s so true, you need to know your office culture before you decide what’s appropriate and what’s not. That being said, I bet this is an acceptable look for most work places, and you really pull it off. The white blazer is the perfect touch to keep it professional.

    So great that you don’t have to sacrafice fun and personality for professionalism


  24. Alina Anghel says:

    love the styling! great outfit! xx


  25. Kate L. says:

    Great styling!


  26. Sharleena Bramley says:

    Adore the print on this dress and love the post!

    Great tips as always!

    Sharleena xx

  27. Such a lovely post, I love your blog¡¡
    Take a look and if you want we can follow each others: http://loscaprichosdediana.blogspot.com.es/


  28. S4SisterStyle says:

    Hi,nice blog!follow us if you like our blog and we will follow you too!

  29. animal prints are okay for office imo, but the neon green pedicure might be a tad too casual. 😉

  30. Great video Dale and I love this outfit! I think you can be a little trendy at any age and I use the blazer (when in doubt) a lot 🙂


  31. I love your look, amazing dress!!

  32. Jayme and Mendi says:

    Love this post!! We work in a very creative and causal atmosphere so we can wear just about anything…as long as it doesn’t look like we are in da club! 🙂

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  33. Berty Morales says:

    What an amazing post and thanks for sharing these tips. I love your outfit, beautiful dress..xoxox

  34. lovet neon nails !!!

    I´m fllowing you now =)


  35. Olivia McCaskill says:

    Great post! I’m the only female in my office, so I tend to be able to change it up a bit… I still have to look professional. Even on casual days when I’m wearing jeans (like today) I’ve dressed it up with a nice white shirt and some bling.

    I’m loving neon at the moment, so nails and jewellery with neon is awesome for work… and little touches of it here and there.

    x Olivia
    The Black Peony

  36. This post is fabulous – I always love reading about how other women mix up their work wardrobe to keep things interesting and stylish while working within the dress code. And your W118 by Walter Baker dress is fabulous! I just discovered that line today and I am in love with all of it 🙂

  37. Francesca Romana Capizzi says:

    I am totally in love with this outfit!! I adore that dress and the pumps!
    Don’t Call Me Fashion Blogger

  38. Marella says:

    So cute!

    I would like to kindly invite you enter my Vj Style giveaway, I would really appreciate!


  39. Diva In Me says:

    I like your dressing style. You look good in leopard print and your neon does go a long way. It does give a vibrant look to everything =)
    I don’t a dress code anymore after I started my own business. That’s 1 great thing about doing your own thing =)

  40. Fictitious Fashion says:

    I love ur dress and ur statement necklace!! 🙂

    Thank you for such a lovely comment on my previous post 🙂

    Maybe you have time to read my New Post- Green Vs Blue


  41. Naseem Delan says:

    I absolutely love those shoes!!! Just started following!


  42. Amy Fashion Blog says:

    cute dress. Have a great weekend

  43. leonie fanning says:

    wow u are so stunning, great outfit i love it all, i work in a private medical clinic and there are nuns still there so we have to dress a bit conservatively but I have to admit they love the style, bless them, great blog, have a great weekend enjoy, kisses from dublin xxx leonie

  44. Nieszka says:

    cute animal print dress! I love dressing up for work. Although I live in a boring, bureaucratic city where there is little creativity in terms of fashion, esp at the workplace. I still have fun with it though 🙂


  45. Rosa Pel says:

    u are gorgeous and so chic
    i like your outfit so much

  46. MelavonD says:

    I really love those shoes! great outfit!


  47. Carla Florendo says:

    oh what a cute cute dress!! i love leopard prints!

    xo, Carla

  48. leonie fanning says:

    hi dale thanks so much for following me. i am so delighted to be following u now hav a great week kisses from ur new Irish follower xx leo

  49. LILLIAN says:

    This is such an amazing look!
    Your beautiful and this outfit is so CHIC and TRENDY!

    Xoxo Lil

  50. Natalia Vigoritto says:

    beautiful look and style!chic!

  51. Oh, Dale! I love those wedges! This look is curated perfectly.

    Have a great day,

  52. fleurani says:

    Dale, you look so beautiful from head to toe! Great sophisticated look for work with a twist of moderness. Absolutely adore your sense of style 🙂

    <3 Ani


  53. Great tips! Our office attire is casual, but I still like our employees to look presentable. And I absolutely think leopard is office appropriate, lol! Love those shoes!

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