Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Unraveling Professionalism Workplace Fashion: UIS’s Office of Engaged Learning

Unraveling+Professionalism+Workplace+Fashion%3A+UIS%E2%80%99s+Office+of+Engaged+Learning

Putting together outfits can be difficult when it comes to working in the office. Between dress codes and opting for professionalism, there isn’t always the freedom we wish to have. At the Office of Engaged Learning, it is their mission to ensure students are informed of their study away opportunities and their internship paths. Made up of eight employees, the staff constantly influences and motivates each other. From projects to office culture to clothing, there has never been a lack of creativity.

Neutral tones are an obvious clear staple in the workplace, but for graduate assistant Dishea Strickland, there are no strict rules in her book. Dishea opts for neon pinks and colored sets, especially on “business professional Wednesdays’. According to Strickland “I pick my outfits for the office depending on my mood. Every day has a different vibe. I wore that pink sweater because I was in a great mood that morning. Something bright & vibrant was what I was going for. I also think even when I am feeling gloomy, I still must look my best because I don’t want to look like what I am going through.”

Office fashion is constantly evolving, and that is why faculty and staff is so impactful. Office attire has many dimensions to it but is largely shaped by the influential trends set by our colleagues. OEL director Jessica Flynn is no stranger to strong leadership. For Flynn, the sense of style she has in the workplace is what helps her assertiveness as a boss and as a mother. Flynn states “I’m always running around to different meetings, so looking professional while being comfortable is really what I go for, and always making sure that I add in some jewelry to spice it up” when asked how she picks her office attire.

Sweaters are the “it” piece for OEL. It’s a great way to combine professional business wear and comfort in the office. For internship advisor Rob Weis, this is what he usually goes for, always making sure to add a fun festive sweater or socks to ensure his outfit isn’t too bland. He needs comfort because he’s always in meetings both in and out of the office. “Our office in general, isn’t strict about professional attire, which gives me more leniency to show my sense of fashion in the office,” says Weis. It’s great to see how even people in the professional world of work strive to make fashion work with them instead of against them.

Story continues below advertisement
More to Discover