As a woman trying to make it in the cutthroat competitive working environment that is the corporate world, you have your work cut out for you. While your skills and professionalism can open doors for you, a great first impression can oil the hinges so to speak. Our appearance can reveal more about our work ethic than we realize after all.
Here are some fashion tips that can make you feel confident and powerful and show your colleagues and/or boss that you mean business:
- Look the Part
Whether your workplace is corporate or casual, coming to work looking like you just rolled out of bed can create a bad impression. If you have to look professional, get up early enough to dress the part. A smart dress suit will do for a corporate setting while well-fitting blouse and pants can make you look casual and professional at the same time. Look to your boss and see how she/he dresses to determine your own look.
- Go For the Polished Look
While you may prefer to look cute and trendy some days, that doesn’t mean that you should make it a staple part of your work wardrobe. Go for classic outfits such as button up blouses and pant suits. You can add a bit of color by wearing colorful shirts and change them up as you see fit. The aim is to look prim and proper, irrespective of your outfit choice. A new, chic hairstyle can also go a long way in bringing an outfit together.
- Avoid Elaborate Jewelry
Jewelry that knocks together as you walk is a workplace hazard – professionally speaking of course. Flashy bangles, necklaces, and rings are great for a night out, but they are unacceptable in an office setting. These can be quite distracting for the people you work with, especially your boss. Tasteful pieces such as slim bracelets and diamond stud earrings can make you look chic without making you look unprofessional.
- Wear Fitted Clothes
Ill-fitting clothes can feel heavenly when you are lounging at home and watching Netflix, but they have no place in the office. Your boss and co-workers are likely to judge you, even if they don’t say anything to your face.
A disheveled look will make you seem uncaring, which will project onto your work no matter how good you are at your job. A well-fitting outfit lets others know you take your personal appearance and how people (such as clients) see you seriously.
- Keep a Clean Bag
Even if you take a briefcase to work, you will need a purse to keep personal items in such as makeup accessories and sanitary items. Make sure that the one you get can fit all of the essentials so that they don’t spill out and which you can search through quickly to get the items you need.
Remember, you want your co-workers and boss to take you seriously and give you tasks that can help you increase your work experience. A backpack may make you look too young, even if you are just an intern fresh out of college. Choose a small purse instead.
- Tone Down the ‘Sexy’
While you should wear clothes that fit well in the workplace, that doesn’t mean you should wear that figure hugging top that leaves little to the imagination. Inappropriate clothing can be distracting and give off an inaccurate impression of your work ethic. Hemlines that are too short, stiletto heels, plunging necklines etc can fit in at a bar, but may detract from your contributions in the workplace. Do you really want to be remembered for what you wear or what you say?
- Remain Well Groomed
Nails that are chipped or broken and uncombed hair can give off a bad impression at first sight. This includes wrinkly and stained outfits that seem as if they have never seen an iron or a washing machine. While anyone can have an off day and run out of time in the morning to clean themselves up before heading off to work, an off week or month will make you look irresponsible.
The same goes for your toes. If you plan on wearing open toed shoes, make sure that you get a pedicure beforehand. Plus, always keep a mirror at your desk so that you can check yourself before heading into a meeting. Shop online to get the outfit you need. View more here.
- Don’t Go Overboard With the Makeup
Moderation is the key when it comes to work attire and the same goes for the makeup. If you like to go for a bold lip, keep it but tone down everything else. A simple base, light eye makeup and a super soft blush can bring out your natural beauty. If you are good enough, you can achieve that dewy soft look that makes you look as if you don’t have any makeup on at all.
Keep dramatic looks for a night out. Smoky eye shadow and fake lashes have no place in the boardroom. Imagine one of those floating off in front of a client! The key is to use makeup to enhance your natural looks, not make yourself look like someone else!
The best way to determine the work look you should go for is by familiarizing yourself with the work environment. Different offices have different wardrobe requirements. If your office is casual, you can make do with jeans and a dress shirt on most days but a corporate workplace requires a corporate look such as a pencil skirt and blouse.
The clothes you wear in the workplace have more of an impact than you realize. Besides making you look serious about your job, the outfits you choose can motivate you to be more or less productive. That does not mean you should always opt for a dress shirt and no-nonsense skirt – even a casual look can make you look and feel confident.