Dress to impress because it truly matters.
Your professional wardrobe is a big part of your first impression, especially for those who are about to enter the working world. Just because you work in a professional setting, doesn’t mean you have to look stuffy. Here are a few guidelines for looking good but not “too” good.
1. Dress according to your job tasks. If your work is in the back room or your job involves getting dirty, you may have more leeway in how you dress. If you will be interacting with customers in a professional context, you will need to dress sharply to make a good first impression. Notice how your colleagues dress and use it as your standard.
Try to dress at the same level as your co-workers or just a little nicer. If your job includes a mixture of customer interaction and something that better suits a casual style, keep a change of clothes around or accessories to add to your outfit. Add a blazer or sport coat and for men a necktie to a basic shirt to dress it up.
2. Wear clothes that fit you. You don’t have to be a size four to look good but you do need to wear clothes that fit you properly.
Don’t wear anything too small. If your pants bunch around your thighs and waist, they’re too small. If you can’t cross your arms in front of you without your sleeves exposing your wrists, your shirt is too small. Also, if your buttons gape at the front, your shirt is once again too small. Don’t wear anything too large, either. Choose clothing that fits you without being baggy or floppy. Shorten hems on trousers and sleeves if necessary. It’s worth spending a little more money to have clothes fit correctly.
3. Keep your hair and makeup simple. Try to keep your morning routine for hair and makeup less than 30 minutes; any longer is a waste of time. Avoid looking overdone. Have you ever seen people wearing so much hairspray that their hair looked like it might break if they touched it? Find a balance between good grooming and endless primping. For ideas, visit www.womenshealthmag.com
4. Accentuate the positive. If you have great legs, wear skirts. Just make sure they’re an appropriate length — no shorter than two inches above the knee. Great figure? Well-fitting slacks with a sharp crease work as well.
5. Keep it modest. A v-neck sweater or blouse is fine, but don’t wear skirts that are too short, necklines that are too low, or anything that is see-through or overly tight. You’re going to work, not to a nightclub.
6. Shine your shoes. It may seem old-fashioned, but a regular application of paste wax will keep them looking good longer. It will help repel water and cover up scuffs, too.