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Dressing for Success in Your New Job

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 6:07am | by Guest Contributor

Understanding how to dress is essential for the success of any career woman, and if you have recently started a new job, you may need a refresher course. Certain work attire never goes out of style, while some fashion trends come and go. Understanding the trends can be confusing and intimidating, but you may feel better when you consider that, as is the case with men’s professional fashion, the majority of dressing choices are timeless.

Suit skirts. A classic look that conveys your professional attitude. Darker colors are best: think black, navy, charcoal, or a dark brown. Don’t attempt to “sex it up” by wearing low-cut blouses; purchase these in soft or light colors. Make sure to match your accessories to your outfit, particularly if you are thinking about wearing scarves. Check with your employer’s dress code before making any new purchases.

Hemline. It can be difficult to convey a serious attitude with sexism still running rampant in the workplace. You can help yourself out by not wearing miniskirts, which will assure that you are not to be taken seriously. Make sure that your hemlines are knee length or longer. Avoid deep slits up the sides or back. You should also never consider colored tights. Stick to flesh toned pantyhose.

Accessories. Keep any accessories at a minimum, especially loud or large earrings or bracelets. You want your boss to notice your work, not your lime green earrings that are roughly the size of your head; don’t allow them to dangle! When it comes to looking professional, this is the time to be conservative. Don’t show up in a motorcycle helmet or attempt to model the variety of motorcycle jackets in your wardrobe. And facial piercings are a no-no: remove them unless you find out that they are work appropriate.

Makeup. As with any other accessories or fashion choices, your makeup should be as natural and as conservative as possible. Avoid garishly colored eye shadow. In fact, don’t exaggerate your eyes at all or use too much mascara. Also avoid too much lipstick or bright shades, especially red, which will attract unwanted attention in your direction. Don’t use nail polish, and keep your fingernails neat and trimmed. You also should not wear cologne or perfume, as your fellow employees – or maybe even your boss! – may be allergic.

Hygiene. Make sure to be as clean and as presentable as possible, especially on the first day. Brush your teeth, floss, and use mouthwash. If you are ever in doubt, carry a breath mint on you … just in case. Make sure your fingernails are clean. Wear deodorant. These may sound like common sense tips, but you will want to practice them to make a good impression.

Be as confident as possible, and choose clothes that will help you project the image that you are the best woman for this job. Dressing professionally ensures a professional attitude, and allows people to take you seriously. This allows them (and you!) to focus on your work, which is really the point of the job, isn’t it?

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