Dressing Right for the Job

Knowing what to wear to work can be tricky. It’s important to know the proper attire for work. Whether you like it or not, what you wear to work has a hand in the success you have in the workplace.

The first thing to understand: know what is appropriate. Sometimes the appropriate dress is business professional, sometimes it is business casual. Here are some tips for both from the book “Life after School. Explained.”

(A picture is worth a thousand words - also see www.pinterest.com/careerbadger for visual examples of what to wear at work.)

    Business Professional for Men

Business Suits -- “Buy wool. Wool suits last longer, breathe better, and wrinkle less than any other type of suit.”

Have two suits. -- “If you have to wear suits, buy at least two and keep them basic. You may think you look good in the olive green, but after a few weeks you’ll be known as ‘Olive Green Suit Boy’.”

Shirts – “Expect to pay [x amount of money] for each shirt to be dry-cleaned. You can resort to the ol’ washer and dryer to save yourself a few bucks, but prepare to become an ironing expert.”

    Business Professional for Women

The Classic Look -- “Go with clothes that have a classic look, are well made, and can be worn the majority of the year.”

Blazers -- “A good first investment is a navy, gray, or black blazer and skirt/slacks. Stay away from floral designs and other prints. (The same rule holds true for men.)

“Rule of 13” -- “Wear a maximum of 13 accessories. Accessories include glasses, earrings, necklaces, watches, bracelets, rings (one on each hand, but never in the nose), a belt, scarf, ornate buttons, and buckles. If you wear more than 13, you’re over-accessorized.”

Business Casual for Men & Women

“Every company has a different definition of business casual. Some require suits while others permit flip-flops. There are no hard and fast rules for business casual but [here] are some things to remember.”

Always overdress for the first day. -- “Look at your colleagues on the first day and decide how casual you can be for Day Two.

Wardrobe after your first day. -- “Wait to see what the cool cats around the office are wearing these days. Then you’ll own work clothes that you actually want to wear to work.”

“Even the phrase ‘business casual’ still has the word ‘business’ in it. This means you should stay dressy…looking like a slob is unacceptable at work.”

Rolling out of bed, you might be tempted to throw on the styles that are “cool” around your friends, but stick to what is appropriate for your work setting. Once you know what is appropriate to wear, make sure to throw aside the “cool” clothes and hop into something that is suitable and benefits you for higher achievement in the workplace.