Dressing the Part

As mentioned previously, I often contemplate different aspects of the working world. As a young professional just starting out, you want to stand out and prove yourself. This means everything, from big things like completing assignments on time to little things, like how you dress. Whether you like it or not, your image at work absolutely matters.

Dressing professionally is a skill, one that takes time to develop. I am, by no means, a fashion expert. But, in these few short months, I’ve picked up a couple of tips on how to dress the part.

1. Outfit: Absolutely embrace your own style and be comfortable. But comfortable doesn’t translate into sloppy. Make sure you are wrinkle and lint free and without rips or stains. Make sure you match; black and navy blue aren’t the same. Ladies, skirt length is important, watch anything too far above the knee. My biggest secret: the power of the blazer; it instantly dresses up any outfit.

2. Accessories: I love accessorizing my outfits. I try to match my shoes and purse but it isn’t necessarily a must. Shoes shouldn’t be too worn and bags should be able to close, especially if you are a commuter. For jewelry, bold, colorful pieces are fun but keep it balanced. If you have on a big necklace, don’t wear giant earrings. Anything you’d wear (or have worn) to a club is probably out.

3. Hair: My hair has a mind of its own so this is probably the hardest aspect of my image. Keep it simple and tamed, as much as possible. Of course, sometimes the weather gets in the way. For more advice on how to weather-proof your outfit, check out Levo League’s tips. Gentlemen, your facial hair needs to be cleaned up regularly. A modest beard is fine but looking like Wolverine isn’t.

4. Make-up: Again, stay true to your own style but don’t take it too far. You can wear colorful eye shadow but be careful on how much you apply. Check your face before meetings for smudges. If make-up isn’t your thing, that’s fine but face moisturizer is a good idea for men and women alike.

These are just a few tips I found helpful when dressing for the workplace. Before I leave the house each day, I ask myself: Would I want to talk to this person solely based on their appearance. I know that sounds a bit shallow, but how you dress for work does matter. People who don’t know you based their initial judgement off of your appearance. Additionally, dressing well makes you feel empowered and gives you an extra boost in confidence. Your image becomes a part of your personal brand.

Do you agree with my tips above? Is there anything you’d add? Share your thoughts!


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