First impressions are everything. While this old adage may seem overused, it still rings true in the workplace to this day.
While your career may not require a suit and tie, how you present yourself through clothing when conducting business is still very impactful on your success.
Let’s show the world that you mean business! Here are 5 simple tips to elevate your work attire:
1.Dress for the job
Every industry has a unique dress code. While business attire may make sense for a banker, a hairdresser wearing heels and a pencil skirt does not. Being overdressed can have just as much of a negative effect as being underdressed.
This may also mean going for a certain style. For example, if you’re in an artistic profession it may make sense to play with bold patterns and unique accessories to show clients or customers what kind of personality you present in your work.
The best way to determine the dress code is to look at your coworkers. Are you the only one in the office wearing jeans? It might be time to get some dress pants.
2.Style your clothing to fit your body
Fit is everything. Most clothes won’t fit all body types so finding your fit can be tricky unless you shop in specialty stores or go to a tailor which can be expensive.
Adjust your clothing to fit your body. Rolling up your sleeves or the hems of your pants is a simple way to make sure you wear the clothes and the clothes don’t wear you. Tucking in your top or adding a belt to a loosely fitted dress can also create the appearance of better-fitted clothes.
Also, be smart about pairing pieces. If you wear a baggier piece on top, go for a fitted bottom. This can completely change how a piece of clothing fits your body.
3.Iron your clothing
It shows that you care. If it looks like you don’t put time and care into your clothing, how is someone supposed to assume that you put time and care into your work?
If you hate bringing out the ironing board, do the work after washing your clothes to avoid wrinkles in the first place. Hang them to dry. Don’t let them sit crumpled in a laundry basket.
A great hack for those clothes that easily wrinkle: Hang them up in your bathroom while you take a shower. The steam will relax the wrinkles. Just be careful how you hang it to avoid awkward creases.
4.Keep it clean
First off, don’t re-wear clothes if they smell bad. You don’t want to be that person making everyone’s nose wrinkle during the business meeting. Covering up the smell with cologne is not the answer either. Some people can be sensitive to smells and you don’t want to be the cause for an allergic reaction.
Also, avoid stains. Okay, so you’re a parent and your kid spilled something on your way out the door or you spilled something during your lunch break. There are ways to combat these problems. Keep extra pieces of clothing that are versatile at your work or in the car or get an on-the-go cleaning stick.
Know what your workday is going to look like and dress for it. If you know you will be walking all day, don’t wear heels. If your office is cold, bring a blazer. If you’re going to be doing a lot of work with your hands, don’t wear long sleeves that could get in your way and get dirty.
This kind of ties back to dressing for the job. In short, you don’t want your clothing to impair you while you’re trying to do your job.
This also means you don’t need to bring you’re A-game all the time. Only celebrities have a big enough closet for that. Instead, wear your best outfits on the days when you need a confidence boost – when closing a new business deal, or when you have an important client meeting.
Putting your best foot forward at work is not about high fashion. It’s about professionalism, confidence, and showing that you care. Ensuring that what you wear portrays these messages will give you an advantage in the workplace.