If you’re one of the 1-in-5 workers who wear a uniform to work on a regular basis, you may sometimes feel like you can’t be you when you’re at work. While many jobs require a uniform to help identify workers in a crowd or keep your own clothes clean, you can still express your style.
Some workers wear uniforms to protect them from harm, like workers wearing neon and reflective vests. Other workers, like postal carriers, wear uniforms so that people know how to identify someone who otherwise might look like an intruder.
The variety of jobs that require uniforms are all fulfilled by unique people with individual personalities. Because you’re one of these people, you should follow one of these 10 creative tips to express your style while you’re at work.
1. Flaunt Your Hairstyle
If you work at a restaurant or cafe, you may be required to wear a hairnet or a head covering. If you’re at a retail job, you can probably do lots of different things with your hair that still fit within company policies.
As long as you always look clean and well groomed, your employer will be lenient with how you do your hair. Check out online tutorials or style magazines if you’re looking for new ideas.
Before you try something really wild, ask your boss or coworkers what they think. With most cute cuts and subtle dyeing, you should be within the boundaries. Some workplaces require short or tied back hair for safety around machinery.
2. Check Your Neck
If you have to wear a suit or dress shirt to work, you can get a lot of style mileage out of ties. You can express your individuality or your hobbies through a cool tie or make your outfit pop with a great bowtie.
Scarves are also great ways to express yourself. There are so many patterns to choose from that you could express something different every day of the week.
If you wear a lanyard at work, check out what’s available at Lanyards USA for ideas on how you can spruce yours up.
3. Flash Your Wrist
Depending on the kind of work you do, you could express a lot with a great watch or bracelets.
Of course, if you work in food service or get your hands dirty on a regular basis, you might not want to wear something expensive. But wrist wear is probably the most subtle way to express who you are.
If you’re into social activism or awareness around a particular issue, you can wear one of those rubber bracelets to let people know who you support.
4. Desk Decor
While not something that you wear, the things on your desk can be great for expressing your style. If you’re a big sci-fi fan, you can put decorate your desk with a few action figures or a cool mug to hold pens.
Think about clever and colorful things that will inspire you during those slower moments at work. You’ll also earn some compliments and make new friends from someone who says “Hey, I didn’t know you loved that great dog movie? I do too!”
5. Socks Say a Lot
Whether you’re at an office or a restaurant, you probably won’t have any limitations to the kinds of socks you can wear. Express yourself in the same way you would with a tie.
Try something striped, colorful, Argyle, or fun. If you’re an animal lover, you can likely find something with your favorite animals on it. Every cool movie and TV show has some kind of corresponding socks with characters on them.
Try out something fun and you’ll see compliments start piling up at your desk.
6. Earrings and Necklaces
If you love to wear earrings and necklaces, you’ll find they’re a great way to express who you are. During the holidays, you can wear something fun and festive. If you want to be bold, hoops or bright gems and say a lot.
Statement necklaces are becoming one of the most common ways to express style against a monochrome top. If you’re dressed in all black, an angular, geometric necklace will say a lot about who you are.
7. Stockings and Shoes
Great stockings can boost a simple skirt and top in a big way. Subtle patterns or polka dots will make heads turn and get people telling you what cool style you have. Combined with some colorful flats, you’ll be letting people know you’re fashionable and professional.
While there are probably limitations to the kinds of shoes you can wear, combining cool boots, flashy sneakers or heels can take your uniform to the next level.
8. Patterned Scrubs
If you’re in the health and wellness industry, there are certain uniform standards for health and safety. You need things that are durable and washable while also cut to the expectations of your supervisors.
Within those limitations, there are lots of possible prints and patterns. Look for specialty companies that offer cool scrub tops. It can be reassuring for patients to work with a medical professional who has an approachable style.
9. Backpacks and Bags
If you’re dealing with the limitations of an academic uniform, your backpack or bag is where you can be who you are. Look for cool patterns, interesting materials, and clever designs.
Add buttons and pins to your bag to customize it. One or two great little pins can make a solid colored bag look cool and modern.
10. Notebooks and Pens
If you can’t seem to find a way to express yourself within the limits of your dress code, you can always express yourself through your notetaking materials. There are so many cool notebooks and pens.
Get something colorful and wild if you want to express something fun. If you are looking for something more professional, a great refillable pen and leather bound notebook can express your style in a cool and subtle way.
Express Your Style Your Own Way
If this is your first time dealing with a uniform, it can feel restricting at first. You’ll want to be able to be yourself while not causing any problems with your new work or school environment. Ask around and you’ll get an idea of what the parameters are and ease into anything new.
You might be surprised what you can pull off.
If you’re ready to find an exciting way to express your style, check out our article on vintage watches for a cool classic addition to your uniform.