Dressing Up For Your Career

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Style is a personal choice.  You don’t have to please anyone with your preferences and as long as you are comfortable, that really should be the end of any discussion.  Unfortunately, going from dorm life to real life requires changes to the wardrobe.  Remember these basics as your style guide to what is deemed professional and what is not.

For Guys:

  1. Always wear an undershirt. Guys have nipples too and guess what, headlights turn on for everyone when it’s cold!
  2. Dress shoes must be worn with socks. Generally, the socks should match either the pant or shoe color but if you are in a rush, it is OK to wear what’s available.
  3. Ties should be wrinkle free – launder and press for a crisp look.
  4. If you tend to sweat a lot, carry a deodorant stick with you. You can apply once in the middle of the day or right before meetings to help.
  5. Brush your hair (but styling is a personal choice).
  6. Flip flops are not permitted even on Fridays (in most professional workplaces). Unless there is a special exclusion at your work limit yourself to sandals, walking shoes, sneakers or dress shoes.
  7. Watches/belts are always welcome! They can spruce up your look and really take you to the next level of professional savvy.

For Girls:

  1. If you want to do one striking piece of jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bangles), keep the rest to a minimum.
  2. If you style your hair, let it flow freely when you are working by yourself but during meetings, pull your hair back so your team can clearly see your face.
  3. If the blouse or dress has a back opening, steer clear of unnecessary embarrassment and get someone (preferably at home or a co-worker early on in the day) to pin up your back opening (along with the zip/buttons on the dress).
  4. Try to keep the sound distraction to a minimum. Excessive accessories, the crazy tight pants which rub between your thighs, flip flops which announce your arrival way before you actually arrive are annoying.
  5. Perfume is beautiful! But be aware that some scents can be very strong and some people can be sensitive (i.e. they can get headaches or eyes tearing).
  6. If it’s cold, the top is thin or you are going in front of an audience or just in general you know you’ll have a nipple problem please wear appropriate padding with your bra! They are not only embarrassing to you but also to your audience!
  7. Finally, makeup is not necessary. Many women actually go to work looking clean, fresh and completely natural on a routine basis.  Be proud of what you have and showcase it!

Clothing can be a fun way to add color to another wise boring routine but be tasteful and cognizant of the fact that in a professional environment, there are rules which dictate what is appropriate.  If in doubt, you can check with a team member, ask for the company’s dress policy (most companies at least have a paragraph on what is acceptable) or if you are totally unsure take the conservative approach.

Vijaya Kuppa | News Cult