WORKPLACE / JUL. 26, 2013
version 3, draft 3

How to Dress For Success in the Workplace

Every employee knows that how they dress reflects how they feel. If you are dressed comfortably and in a way that reflects who you are, your confidence will shine through and you will be able to work more productively.

However, it is equally important to remember that how you dress also influences the way that others perceive you. This could both positively and negatively affect your workplace success, so it is crucial that you have a plan in place when dressing for work in the morning.

Know the company

Does your company practice a predominantly conservative corporate culture? If so, you will need to wear formal workplace attire. Review your company’s dress code policy and stick to it.

Understand your client

Will you be meeting with clients on a regular basis? What sort of clientele do you serve? Are you aware of your client meetings or do they arise on the day? If you have meetings that are scheduled within a given day then you will need to bear this in mind when dressing for work.

What sort of clients are you meeting? How will they dress when meeting with you? Never allow your clientele to feel intimidated or uncomfortable about your office attire. The client is there to learn what your company has to offer, not what your wardrobe says.

Be organized

If your alarm rings at the crack of dawn and you haven’t quite woken up yet, this is by far the worst time to decide what to wear to work. At the best of times, the mornings are never a good time to prepare an outfit, as you will be in a rush to get ready and head out the door before getting heavily caught up in rush hour traffic.

To avoid early-morning wardrobe chaos, think ahead. Plan your outfits in advance, gathering some key pieces together that will make up the foundation of your outfit, such as a smart pair of trousers, a dress and a pencil skirt. Purchase some high quality tops that can be paired with your trousers or skirt, so that you can mix and match as the week progresses. Always remember to have a few pairs of shoes that can be matched with a number of outfits.

Bring a back up

Office accidents are a common occurrence, and right before a meeting, the last thing you want is to spill coffee down your dress. To avoid embarrassment, always bring a backup to work – you never know when you might need it.  

Always practice appropriateness

Avoid dressing like a model in the workplace. This will hinder your progress and you will be perceived as the office airhead. Stay away from overly short skirts/dresses and very low cut tops. After all, you were hired based on your skills not on your physical attributes.

Focus on the details

Always be clean, tidy and well-groomed. Keep your nails cut and tidy with a professional polish. Make sure that your hair is tidy and in a comfortable style that will not get in your way whilst working. Keep a deodorant with you at your desk to freshen up after a heavy lunch. Ensure that your clothes are ironed and your shoes are cleaned. Keep make-up natural and fuss free. Oftentimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference. 

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