Updated: Apr 2
Dressing for success is a simple thing many overlook. Today's casual work environment lends itself to an anything-goes attitude by many workers, both male and female. To me, it's so important to put your best foot forward every day in your personal and professional life. This includes taking the time and effort to pull a polished look together before you head off to work.
Polished outfits don't have to be hard or expensive - they simply need to be pulled together mindfully and ideally be current with today's fashions while being professional. I love fashion, so for me, it is one of the things I like best about working in the office. I look forward to getting up a little early to pick out my clothes or to do this the night before. I think of my choices in clothes as an extension of my personality, a fun way to show another side of me. Here are some easy tips for improving your casual work style;
Tip #1 - Leave the tennis shoes at home. They are called tennis shoes for a reason; they are not called occasional or everyday office shoes. Oh, and NEVER EVER wear flip-flops to work. Affordable, comfortable, stylish shoes can be found at any department store or online at Zappos, and if you pick out basic colors with a wedged heel or a nice flat they will go with almost everything.
Tip #2 - Don't come to the office in a faded, stretched out, or wrinkled concert T-shirt - have some pride, and if you're going to want to wear a casual t-shirt - make sure it's clean and does not have any offensive messaging on it, and it is wrinkle-free.
Tip #3 - Look to buy staples for your wardrobe. You do not have to have a ton of clothes to look stylish. You need to shop smart, pick basic pieces, and stick with classic styles and colors that lend themselves easily to mixing and matching outfits. I recommend having 4 to 5 shirts and 1-2 pairs of pants, and one or two sweaters in black, white, and khaki. If you want to add additional colors, you can add them with scarves, purses, or accessories.
Tip #4 - Pay Attention to Fit: Fit is key in professional dressing. Your clothes should fit well, be comfortable, and flatter your body type. Clothes that are too tight or too loose can give off the wrong impression and detract from your professional image. Wear clothes that fit—enough said!
Tip #5 Keep it Simple: Generally, it's best to keep your outfit simple and streamlined. This means avoiding too many accessories or clothing items that are too trendy. Simple, classic pieces are often the most appropriate and versatile for professional settings.
Tip #6 Incorporate Personal Style: While it's important to dress appropriately, you can still incorporate your personal style into your outfit. This can be done through accessories, such as a statement necklace or a unique pair of earrings. Adding a pop of color or pattern to an otherwise neutral outfit can also show off your personal style.
Tip #7 Avoid Distractions: Avoid clothing that is overly flashy, revealing, or distracting. This can include loud patterns, overly high heels, or clothing that is too tight or revealing. Your clothing should enhance your professional image, not detract from it.
Overall, dressing for success in your career requires attention to detail, awareness of your audience, and a focus on quality and simplicity. By following these tips, you can enhance your professional image and achieve success in your career.
Following these simple tips can really help you have additional confidence at the office. It tells your co-workers you care about yourself and honestly that you care and respect your company too - because, after all, from 8-5, your job is to represent your company to the best of your ability.
Go shopping and have fun!