The workplace of today is quickly changing. Offices are now observing casual Fridays all week long in some startups, and the old rules are slowly being discarded.
Although the workplace is loosening up some things, currently remain constant in workplace fashion. It is important that while attempting to stay in step with a time that many unspoken workplace fashion faux pas are not committed.
Compiled is a list that will benefit all readers, male or female, and a tip or two to trade with the recent college graduate or teenage cousin in your life to help them also succeed at work and in a dress.
Always remember that although how you dress is only a small part of who you are it is the only part that people who do not know you see when you walk by or enter a room. Make the best of what they see and both you and all around you will greatly benefit.
Remember that while some rules still serve as constants in workplace fashion today, the ever changing work landscape may call for a set of new rules in another decade.
Use your discernment and always remain flexible as the times change.
1) First and foremost, understand what will work at your job or industry. A laid back social media start-up may have different norms than an accounting firm. From here you can make wardrobe choices that will have you winning in the workplace. If you have a casual workplace where jeans are a go, then a suit and tie may be awkward while conducting business. On the other hand, if a suit and tie are the norms in your industry, loud and trendy clothing will certainly give the wrong impression.
2) Nothing is more difficult to bear than awkward or strong smells coming off of a co-worker. Ditch the heavy cologne or perfume and make sure you are properly deodorized before entering the elevator. In fact, if you can smell yourself then you most certainly have on too much product. Also, always keep a small set of toiletries on hand in either your purse or desk. If you ever need to freshen up then, you will have your deodorant and mouthwash near you.
3) Avoid neons and flashy clothes. Although some companies are becoming more liberal, bringing more attention to yourself than to your work will always be of ill-rapport with management. Do not let your wardrobe make statements about you that you don’t intend for them to and take away all your authority.
4) It’s understandable that you want to be attractive at all times but not too sexy while on the job. Remember, the workplace is intended to accomplish business goals and objectives. The most modest dress shirt and work skirt can be ultra-feminine. You can always be attractive on the job without showing all of your cleavages. Save the fun stuff for after work hours and win everyone over with your job ethic and the way you wear those plaid pants and black pumps!
5) Pantyhose can make any look appear finished. Polish your look with an attractive nude pair and your legs will thank you as you walk by the water cooler and stop morning cooler confessionals.
6) Less is still always best when it comes to makeup, accessories, and jewelry. Subtle nudes, earthy tones and slate gray eyeshadows help accent the workplace makeup. Try some tinted lip gloss or a pale pink lipstick. If you look at yourself in the mirror and feel like you might have on too much jewelry you probably do. Play it safe and take off one piece so that you can have the peace of mind that you look fantastic while presenting your PowerPoint to the board of directors.
7) No wet hair ever! Coming to work with wet hair can appear unprofessional. Plan to wash your hair on evenings before bed or wake up an hour earlier to make sure you have sufficient time to blow dry your hair into a style. Meeting with clients while your hair is wet will appear very casual and may even serve as a mental distraction for others. With dry and naturally styled hair you will probably even feel better as you conduct business with confidence.
8) Manicures and pedicures are an excellent add on to any professional workplace appearance. Invest in these and keep them up regularly and not only will your blood circulation improve in your hands and feet, but you'll also enjoy typing up your briefs all that much more as you stare down at your elegantly polished fingers.
9) And last but not least, if you are wearing a skirt always be aware of the length. Piggybacking off tip #4, this advice can take you a long way. Make sure the hem is no shorter than two inches above the knee. Although short skirts look great on a sunny day while biking the boardwalk with the love of your life, they do not have a place in the office. Some of the greatest workplace skirts are the simplest shades, pencil skirts that reach their end right below the knee.
No workplace is the same and in today’s environment, the old rules may not even survive.
Play it safe when starting a new job or having an interview and slowly figure out what will work best in the environment you may become a part of. Perhaps some of the rules written may survive certain industries trends and others will not.
Always be aware of the work you are going to conduct, how you can do a better job looking your best, and what will make all who encounter you feel good about you.
The unwritten rule is to know who you are, what looks good on you, and what psychologically works best for you when getting ready to face the projects you have coming up. At work, the last thing you should have to worry extensively about is how you look.
Equipped with this awareness and a few tips you will do a great job dressing fashionably and without a mistake for the workplace.