Professional Attire

March 27, 2015

Congratulations, you landed a job! Now that the hard part is over, it’s time to focus on one of the many fun parts of professional life: dressing the part. Regardless of your career path, your gender, or your position within a company, it is always important to present yourself in a positive and professional way. Check out our tips for dressing well in the workplace!

First things first, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. For your first days on the job, it’s okay to go a little above and beyond. For women, pull out a clean suit or neutral dress. Pair it with a basic pair of mid-height heels and minimal basic jewelry. For men, go ahead and wear a well-fitting suit and tie.

After those first few days, observation is key! Check out what your co-workers are wearing. Depending on the company culture, the dress code could range anywhere from jeans to khakis to ball gowns. Regardless of the dress code, there are several basic rules for dressing professionally.

DON’T make assumptions. Before assuming a certain style or outfit is appropriate, check it out with the higher ups. If you’re not sure if your new company participates in Casual Friday, ask your boss first! This could also pertain to smaller things, like whether or not you have to hide your tattoos.

DON’T wear ripped, frayed, or “distressed” clothing. The new generation of job seekers came from a childhood where it was okay to wear holes in jeans. Regardless of what you find appropriate on your time off, even the most casual of outfits should still be fully intact and free of distracting rips.

DON’T show too much skin. On hot summer days (or spring or fall days in Texas!) it can be tempting to forgo the blazer and stick with a skirt and sleeveless top. But it’s always better to cover up, or at least prepare to cover up once inside your office. Even if you’re walking to work in the heat, throw a sweater or jacket in your bag for once you hit the air-conditioned office.

DO dress for the job. “Professional” means different things in different settings. If you’re working in a creative design studio, your typical workday attire would look different from that of an intern in a law firm. This goes back to observation. To feel extra comfortable, don’t be afraid to bring up the dress code in an interview.

DO let your personality shine through. “Professional” doesn’t have to mean “boring.” Let your tie do the talking! Experiment with colorful ties, fun shoes, or statement jewelry.

DO dress seasonally. Just because you shouldn’t show excessive skin doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge the changing weather outside. When it’s warm and sunny, wear your brightest jewelry or a pastel button-up under your blazer. Guys, don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and unbutton your collar.

Overall, it’s important to have fun and be yourself at a new job. In order to be taken seriously and respected, in a new environment, though, it’s important to follow a few rules. But don’t be intimidated! Professional wear is an excellent way to express yourself in the workplace. For more tips on how to take the next step, visit our website. So take a deep breath, shine those scuffs off your best pumps, and enjoy!


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