A few days ago, a friend approached me with a work-related problem. She was frustrated, and told me that her boss said she was not allowed to wear prints (not even polka dots) to work. She works at a semi-professional store that requires their employees to wear only black and white, business casual. They are also required to dress “trendy and fashion forward.” My dear friend told me that prints were in fact trendy and fashionable, but that she didn’t want to get in trouble for questioning her boss. I told her that while she probably couldn’t change the rules, print has actually become extremely versatile, and could be used in many different settings including the professional business world.
Prints are making a huge come back. When they used to be only for your grandmother’s couches, now they are everywhere (with the exception of Kim Kardashian’s dress at the Met Gala, that should have remained in her grandma’s living room). Prints really are versatile and can play up any look to be fresh and fun. I think that in my friend’s case, prints would actually elevate her dress code to something more trendy and fashion forward than what her boss was used to.
Business casual has changed dramatically in the last ten years. With the help of icons like Michelle Obama and Ivanka Trump, business women have started to celebrate their femininity with fashion. Business casual used to be characterized as dark colored, plain, and close to men’s basic color scheme. Now, with prints, women can add some pop to the daily grind.
With all of these options, it surprised me that my friend ran into so much trouble at work. An outfit that works with print correctly would take basic and boring attire to something “fashion forward” yet still professional. Although print is predominately a stunning summer trend, it can be used in many different settings: the office, a night out, or even an interview. Women shouldn’t have to dress plainly to fit into the business world.