How can you tell what is appropriate and inappropriate office attire when starting a new job?
Once you have made a first impression, it sticks. We all have an individual style we express through our clothing and overall image. What you wear can also have a big impact on how you feel at work. Wearing clothes you love and that flatter you can give your confidence a big boost.
Most importantly, ask yourself what image you want to project at work and how you want to feel. I asked one of my clients, Ashley, to answer this question. She said, “the image that I want to project through my style is professional but not too conservative. I interface with lots of people and want to be seen as approachable and friendly. At work, I want to feel confident, stylish, comfortable and beautiful.” The answers to these questions helped Ashley to tweak her work wardrobe. She started with her pant suits and traded her collared shirts for softer necklines. Then she added style with accessories in this season’s most popular colors.
When starting a new job, use the official policy as a starting point. It can be tempting to throw on your favorite pair of jeans on Thursday, even if jeans are only permitted on casual Fridays. Start conservative and take a week or so to look around and see what the majority of other people are wearing. This will help you assess what you can get away with!
Lastly, take into consideration the workplace culture. You may be able to get away with wearing the chunky African-inspired jewelery if you work at a creative advertising agency. If you work in a conservative investment firm, you may not feel so comfortable wearing the same accessories.
With her new look, Ashley felt much more confident and stylish at work. Here are some questions to help you get the same results.
When deciding which outfits are work worthy ask yourself:
1. Does this outfit project the image that I want?
2. Do I feel fabulous, confident and beautiful when I wear this to work?
3. Is it in good condition?
4. Does it fit well?
Taking some time to pull together a work wardrobe that fits your unique style will free up your time and energy to focus on making the contribution that you want to make at work without worrying about how you look.
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