What’s the Right Thing to Wear to Work?
Have you ever felt confused about fashion choices in the workplace? You can usually point to something that isn’t appropriate while still having a hard time figuring out what the new standards are. The bottom line is that we all want to be respected and to show respect to others. By following a few simple dos and don’ts, you could quickly be demonstrating professional courtesy in the workplace.
1. Consider carefully what is or isn’t age appropriate for your work attire. Looking either too old or too young can be detrimental to your professional image. It’s safest to start with a larger dose of clothes in neutral colors in natural fibers with few extra details like ruffles, bows, buttons, or fringe. Be cautious however, as too much of a classic look can make you look old and stodgy. Current trends with more color and detail may have a place in your work attire but being dressed in daring, exaggerated styles can make you look too young. The ratio of modern design elements to classic ones is critical. Get a professional opinion if you’re in doubt.
2. On the weekend you can throw on a shirt and a pant and go to your kid’s soccer or football game and blend in with the other parents. At work, it’s important to stand out as a professional. “Finishing” an outfit or looking “polished” is key. This means there’s more to do once you’ve picked out your shirt or blouse and pant or skirt. You need to add accessories (not noisy ones), wear shoes that aren’t scuffed, and be sure your nails and hair are groomed. Your work outfit isn’t put together until you’ve attended to these extra details.
3. Check the mirror once or twice before you leave the house in the morning. Is part of your hemline falling down? Are there stains on your jacket? Is your backside coated in cat hair from sitting in Fluffy’s favorite chair? You don’t need to send clothes to the laundry every time you wear them but checking yourself from every angle before you go out the door is a good idea. Consider installing good lighting in your closet and putting up some full-length mirrors.
4. Wear enough makeup to have a polished look. Having a too-made-up face makes you look like you’re thinking more about what’s happening after five o’clock than during normal work hours. You can make adjustments for after hour get-togethers when work hours are over. Wearing no makeup is not professional either. Is it confusing? It can be hard to be objective on this one. Consider a minimum of powder foundation, a lip color and some eye definition with mascara, neutral eye shadows or brow pencils. Get a professional opinion if this isn’t your strong suit.
5. Appropriate coverage is insurance that no one gets the wrong message or a mixed message at work. Commit to clothes that don’t show cleavage, don’t gap between buttons and aren’t too tight. You shouldn’t be tugging or pulling at your clothes to make them more comfortable or more modest. There are too many things to think about while at work. Your clothes shouldn’t be one of them.
1. Your work outfits should generally not be the place where you express your strong creative side. But this doesn’t mean you need to look boring! Again, getting the right mix is most important. A little bit of creativity can go a long way especially in more traditional workplaces that center on finances, business, or education. Indulge your more creative side on the weekends with more color print mixes, fun accessories, bold shoes and boots.
2. While some people “get away with” dressing in clothes that might be deemed too casual for the workplace, do you really want to take the chance that you’re looking way too informal? Think about your appearance. Do you look like you’re an asset to your company? Looking pulled together and well groomed sends positive messages. You may be ready to add a few pieces to your wardrobe that help you look like a leader.
3. Don’t wear accessories that can be distracting to your workmates. Keep the noisy jewelry at home. Avoid stacking lots of bangles, which can clank against each other with every keystroke you make on your computer. Having fewer but distinctive accessory focal points is a great idea. They can really add to your professional image.
4. Shabby chic works as a furniture style but it’s not a good look in clothing. Oversized, rumpled clothes will take away your credibility. The antidote to this look is well-fitting clothes in fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily. Examine the fit of your clothes. Are you in need of a good tailor? A fashion consultant can help assess what’s worth tailoring and what isn’t. She’ll also have trusted professional resources to share.
5. Be sensitive to people who are allergic to fragrances. Allergies are becoming more prevalent. Strong cologne, perfume, deodorant or skin creams can throw people into coughing fits or worse. Go to work unscented.
Wouldn’t it be nice to completely stop thinking about what to wear to work? It would be great to know you’re looking your best while you’re doing your best, right? I’d be happy to help you put your work wardrobe together so you’re seen for the asset you are. And until November 30, 2014 I have a great special package of 3 half day style consultations for $2497. Contact me today to book your package!