Today's post highlights a different angle on what I discussed with you last week regarding attire. It is easy to forget that your office style is just as important as your street style. The way you present yourself at work can make or break your career. Studies show that roughly 80% of employers consider your daily work attire when making decisions about whether you will be hired or promoted. Let's admit that the "dress to impress" mantra has fallen by the wayside and casual dress has become the norm. When employers notice your ultra casual attire, it brings into question your professionalism, how serious you are about your career, your desire to be with the company along with your level of ambition.
The three keywords for office wear are modest, neat & professional. You don't have to wear a suit to be taken seriously, it is all in how you compose your look. What is deemed proper can vary by industry for reasons not related to professionalism. For example, the blue-collar industry's wardrobe is tailored around safety and usually requires a uniform which, takes the guess work out of what to wear. Therefore, its casual nature is practical. On the other hand, I have enclosed two basic looks that work well in any professional environment.
The ensemble below, is the bare minimum of how you should present yourself in the office. A variation of the traditional denim shirt, this wash should be tucked into the pencil skirt for a more sophisticated outfit. It is one way of taking items that are on opposite ends of the dress code to create a balanced look.
This look can be rather over dressed for some work environments, but is the perfect combination of stylish yet polished. The body suit complements the silhouette of the jacket and the cut of the trouser by eliminating fabric bulge or puckering. Jewelry should be understated and limited to the basic pieces; earrings, necklace and ring.
COLOR ME PROMOTED
Color can be tricky, but always remember it is better to stick with the basics. You can never go wrong with black, navy or grey. Bold colors like red or purple work better for creative industries. However, a muted shade of these brighter colors can work in other settings. Here is a color palette that is "office" approved.
DO'S & DON'TS OF OFFICE WEAR
- Jeans on Fridays Only (Wear with a blazer to avoid looking too casual)
- Stick to classic colors (Black, Navy Blue, Grey)
- Keep accessories to a minimum
- Jewelry should be understated
- Be careful with fragrance
- Flip-flops/ sneakers
- Hemlines that are too short
- Tight clothing
- Wrinkled clothing
- Heels That Are Too High ( Anything Over 4 Inches)
Regardless of what has become permissible, remember, it is always better to be overdressed, especially in a professional setting. It can mean the difference between being stuck in your current position or getting that promotion.
What do you think about work attire?
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