Dressing for success means more than simply donning a smart suit, and the right accessories are key to completing any look that aims to impress. Even if you have your work outfits down to a fine art, accessories like an expensive watch or the latest designer handbag can put the finishing touches on things, elevating your look from a little too minimalistic to just the right dose of style and sophistication.
Even so, the golden rule when it comes to accessorising is that less is always more – go overboard, and you could ruin the entire look completely. Whether you’re attending conferences and business in person or virtually, cultivating a favourable image is important and can help you to cement your reputation in the professional world – so read on to learn about the nine essential luxury accessories all corporate women should own.
While some might think that no jewellery is the way to go for corporate wear, the zero-embellishment effect can come across as cold and impersonal, but on the other hand, timeless accessories like pearls convey both approachability and strength. A pearl strand, stud earrings, and a pearl bracelet may be worn together or individually, and all communicate elegance and savoir-faire. Plus, classic cultured pearls are in line with the principles of sustainable fashion, which of course is always a plus.
2. Leather tote
A smart carryall is another necessity for all professional women, and a tote bag holds all of your essentials, including laptop, tablet, planner, phone, and more. A leather bag is not only a fashion-forward choice, but also a timeless one, and will last you for years whilst continuing to look good as it ages. As for style, stick with neutral colours and simple lines. If your career necessitates a portfolio or briefcase instead, the same rules apply: choose classic hues and the smallest case that is sufficiently practical for your needs.
3. Diamond tennis bracelet
While busy, fussy jewellery is inadvisable for serious corporate women, an understated bracelet will add style and panache to any work wardrobe without risking overkill. It’s all about getting the balance just right, and a diamond tennis bracelet will hit the nail on the head. Beautiful, simple, and refined, it’s a great way to show off your exquisite taste whilst asserting the fact that you mean business.
4. Silk scarf
A tasteful scarf is another must-have for every businesswoman and can dress up even the most minimalistic outfits with an unquestionable air of sophistication. If you’re wearing a plain, dark or neutral outfit then let your scarf do the talking, adding some personality to your look and ensuring that you’re remembered for all the right reasons. If your outfit is colourful or features patterned elements, then keep things simple with a plain black, white or neutral. When wearing a scarf, necklaces should be avoided, and other jewels pared down to balance things out.
The feminist in you may rebel at the thought, but the plain fact is that a pair of heels will add add to your stature and a sharp look like this will show that you are serious about the work you do. A glamorous pair of Louboutins will make you feel confident, in charge, and frankly, like a million dollars, and that extra boost can get you far in the office. Black or nude stilettos are the most versatile and flattering – and, yes, you can wear black with navy. Always be sure your shoes are impeccably polished: no scuffs, no scrapes, no chips in the heel. Here’s the trick with high heels: only slip them on when you’re about to head into a meeting – and keep a flat pair of plimsolls with you at all times for when you need to cut and run.
6. Bracelet watch
A mobile phone will tell you the time, but a stylish bracelet watch speaks volumes about the wearer, namely that you value time and aren’t prepared to waste it. Another good reason to invest in a quality timepiece is that it will allow you to check the time discreetly – so you can always stay on top of your schedule, even in the most uninspiring of meetings, without appearing rude. Not only that but wearing a watch will also reduce the amount of time you spend peeking at your mobile – and fewer distractions mean more focus and ultimately, better results. As beautiful as it is practical, an elegant bracelet watch is a must-have for all corporate women.
7. Stylish hair pin
Neat, tidy hair is an essential element of any professional look and a plastic chip clip just won’t cut it at the office, or even via Zoom. Instead, a sleek and stylish U-shaped pin is the way to go, with a simplicity that will artfully convey your practical, results-orientated approach toward work and life. Suitable for both thick and thin hair, a U-pin is a requirement for any woman who wants to look polished and put together for professional pursuits.
8. Signet ring
While it is usually considered best for professional women to stick to classic, neutral accessories, it’s still acceptable to show a touch of personality via discreet accents – after all, in 2021 it’s all about pushing the boundaries, and hard and fast rules are a thing of the past. A signet ring is a unique way to impart individuality without going over the top, and is the mark of a person of status, thus denoting sophistication and grace. But if rings aren’t your thing, do what the Queen does and don a stylish brooch or lapel pin instead. They offer another opportunity to quietly communicate your unique style and personality, without risking overwhelm.
9. Quality pen
Once again, the devil is in the details, and every single accessory you wear or carry has a role to play when it comes to achieving the desired effect. Imagine pulling out a contract for important clients and only having a cheap Biro for them to use. Your pen need not be a fountain, but you do need one that conveys professionalism. A Montblanc is a classic choice, but there are plenty of other chic brands out there to choose from that will do the job just as well, including Parker, Fisher, and Cross.