It is often lost on us that our fashion sense and style have an effect on the way people perceive us. This is especially true at work. Even if your company does not have a set ‘dress code’ you should still dress to impress. Here are ten tips to help guide you in our wardrobe choices for the office.
1. Cleavage (and Too Much Skin)
When it comes to cleavage, err on the side of caution and avoid cleavage-baring tops and short skirts at the office. But don’t dress like a grandma either: Chic sheath dresses, pencil skirts, and flirty blouses paired with a blazer are great ways to look feminine at work while still being appropriate.
2. Ripped Jeans and Graphic Tees
Every day is not casual Friday on the job. Ripped jeans and graphic tees are better left for the weekend. Even if you find that you can get away with dressing very casually in your workplace, it doesn’t mean that you should. The way you dress can have an impact on promotions, pay raises, and even come into subconscious play when your supervisor is giving you your yearly review.
3. ‘Working Girl’ Looks
Look in the mirror. Have you updated your office look since Melanie Griffith brought power suits into vogue in the movie “Working Girl?” That movie came out in 1988, and things have changed in fashion since then. Avoid wearing suit jackets with shoulder pads, long four button jackets, and loose trousers. Wearing outdated clothes will leave you looking out of touch.
4. Tattoos and Piercings
Personal feelings about tattoos and piercing aside, most companies consider them the definition of unprofessionalism. Consider taking out your piercings when you are on the job, and covering up your tattoos with concealer. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge with a piercing or a tattoo, do consider how it will affect your future job prospects.
5. Unkempt and Disheveled Hair and Attire
Think twice before walking into work with unkempt hair, wrinkled clothing, and a mismatched outfit. It will leave your colleagues and bosses thinking this disorganization stems into your work performance. It’s important to be neat when dressing for the office—first impressions count for a lot.
6. Designer Label Overload
Keep your labels on the inside when dressing for the office. It’s a big no-no to broadcast to your office exactly how much money you are spending on your wardrobe.
7. Not Dressing Workplace Specific
Assess where you work and dress accordingly. One easy trick is to look to the men in your office for some style guidance. If your male colleagues are wearing suits and ties, it’s important to dress on the formal side. If they are wearing khakis, business casual may be the way to go. Dressing in line with the rest of your office shows your employer that you are working in the right place.
8. Bright Colors
Standing out in the office in bright colors like fuchsia and tangerine is a big no-no. Stay away from neon jackets, red pants, and using too many colors to complete your office look—you’ll be notable in the office for the wrong reasons. Still, infusing a little bit of color into your office look is a definite must: a bright top under a pantsuit can give your work outfit just the right amount of pop.
9. Caked-On Makeup
Caked-on makeup is never a good thing, but it’s especially bad in an office setting. Save dramatic eye makeup and trendy red lipstick for after work and instead keep your makeup simple—concealer and sheer foundation, mascara and just a touch of lip gloss is really all you need.
10. Piled On Accessories
Coco Chanel famously said, “Before you leave the house, take one thing off.” Well, when it comes to wearing jewelry at work you should probably take two things off. Minimalism wins the day. You want your work to stand out in the boardroom, not your jewelry.
These helpful tips come from Alicia Williams, founder of J. Taylor Couture, a brand that was created for the modern woman who is all things beautiful, confident, intelligent, and understands the importance of first impressions. Her brand can be found at www.jtaylorcouture.com
Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net