There was once a time when dressing for work was easy.
A suit was considered the appropriate professional attire, where it was just a matter of picking an outfit from a wardrobe of grey, navy or black and that was that (boring, right?). Today we are faced with the opposite dilemma; corporate dress codes have become so broad that the lines are much more blurry. How are we supposed to know how to dress appropriately when we are faced with so much freedom of choice?
Here are a few tips to help you avoid the dreariness of the grey suit, and still feel dapper when it comes to dressing for the job.
The corporate environment is formal, there’s no escaping that, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Don’t be afraid to put some effort into your appearance. If you are looking for ways to up your game, start with improving how you present yourself. Arriving at the office looking flawless will turn heads, attract compliments, and give off a powerful impression.
If you want to look professional, your work wardrobe is key. But whatever you wear, it is equally important to be well groomed. It sounds like common sense, but being clean and tidy is an upmost priority. Make sure your clothes are ironed and are free from holes. Gents, make sure you are clean shaven or have your beard neatly trimmed. Head down to the best barber in town and get a trendy haircut and professional shave. Ladies, splash out and get your nails done. Treat yourself to a pamper day. Taking care of yourself will make you look and feel good.
Guys and girls, there are certain things that you should avoid wearing in the workplace. Ladies, keep it classy by avoiding low necklines, short skirts, and sheer blouses. Dressing elegantly will cause your colleagues to take you more seriously. Never wear sneakers to work; they might be comfortable, but laid back is not the look you should be going for at the office. Don’t do shorts; they look unprofessional on both ladies and gents. Hats are another no-no; they are inappropriate for an indoor office environment no matter how bad the hair day.
A neutral suit screams for a splash of colour. If you want to jazz up your outfit a bit, socks are a great item to play with. Colourful and patterned socks are trending at the moment, so flashing some vibrant checks at the ankle will definitely get you a few glances. Gents, ties and pocket squares are another great way to spice up the old suit. Silk ties are acceptable year round, but why not try a wool tie in a bold argyle for winter. Stand out from the crowd by switching your usual white pocket square with a colourful patterned one. If you really want to go the extra mile, get your socks, tie and pocket square to match.
Clothes are an important aspect of how you portray yourself, as Lady Bird Johnson says: “You don't sell for what you're worth unless you look good." Dressing right in the workplace is essential if you’re serious about your career. Don’t be smudged into the crowd of dreary suits by the formality of corporate clothing. Use your wardrobe to your advantage by expressing who you are and where you’re going.