You might not think it, but what you wear to the office has a significant impact on how people view you as a working professional. Tracksuit pants and an oversized T-shirt might be comfy for you, but they don’t exactly say ‘go-getter’ when it comes to your corporate image. So what should you be wearing in order to be taken seriously in your role? Let’s take a look.
If you’re a lawyer, an accountant or simply come into contact with a lot of executives throughout the day, there’s no getting around it – you’re going to have to trade your jeans in for something more formal. Think neutral shades and classic choices like tailored trousers or a knee-length skirt, court shoes and an appropriate blouse, with neat, clean hair, and subtle makeup and jewellery. Remember: no thigh and definitely no cleavage showing!
If your office environment is a professional space, but slightly more relaxed, you’ll have the chance to let your personality shine through your fashion choices in a small way. Play with discreet pops of colour and conservative prints, pair your skirts and trousers with sleeveless tops on occasion, and let your hemline rise a small centimetre or two. And if you have a work-appropriate dress, go on and wear it with #pride.
If you work in a more creative role, and don’t see clients that often, you’ll find you have a lot more latitude when it comes to office wear. Vibrantly coloured hair, tattoos and piercings are all accepted, as are jeans, T-shirts (with inoffensive slogans), leggings and more. Before you go completely casual though, remember that you’re still in a professional space, so miniskirts, tiny shorts, midriff-baring tops and flip-flops still aren’t appropriate. Sorry!
If you’re ever in any doubt as to the dress code at your office, have a look around you when starting a new job, and see what everyone else is wearing. Also remember that the adage ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ is still as fitting as ever. So even if your environment is super creative, if you want to work your way up the ladder to management and interact with clients and executives one day, making an impression through your professional attire is always a good place to start.