Dress For Success - The Dos and Don'ts of Office Attire
Article brought to you by: Phillip Donaldson
When it comes to the workplace, one's appearance and what they choose to wear may make a significant difference in his or her success. Even before getting the job it is important for an individual to dress in a way that portrays his or herself to be professional and career-minded. What a person wears is often viewed as a preview of certain traits. A person who doesn't bother to dress in professional attire may be seen as a person who will not conduct themselves in a professional manner on the job, or who may not be as concerned about important details as someone who comes to the interview in professional dress. Unfortunately, some people do not take their clothing into consideration either before an interview or after obtaining the job. As a result they may be looked over for the position or for any future promotions. People who want to succeed in business will want to know how to dress for success and choose the right business attire.
When preparing for an interview a person will want to dress for success. To do this, the individual will need to choose smart and professional attire that will shows they are the ideal candidate for the job. It is important to keep in mind that an employer will make a decision regarding a candidate's suitability within the first few seconds. This means that first impressions mean everything during an interview. Men will want to wear a suit, preferably navy, black, or gray, as well as a white or pastel, long-sleeve shirt beneath and a tie that is not overly flamboyant or attention-grabbing. His belt should be plain and either black or brown. It is also important not to forgo socks on an interview or at any other time. Socks should be dark and complement the color of the suit. For women who are going on an interview, professional dress includes a pant or a skirt suit in a conservative color. When wearing a skirt it should not stop above the knees. The blouse should be a sold color that coordinates with the suit. Pantyhose are a must, but they should also be in a neutral color. Dress shoes or pumps should have a heel that is no more than two inches high.
Once employed a person will generally work in an office that has a business professional, informal business professional, or business casual dress code. The business professional mode of dress is very similar to the way a person would dress for an interview. Office attire that falls under the informal business professional category typically includes a greater range of colors and styles. This dress method may include prints and more tailored clothing options. The appropriate work attire will reflect the type of work that is being done. If a man works as an attorney for example, he will dress in a business professional manner with a suit, tie, and well-polished shoes. In a more relaxed office atmosphere, appropriate office attire may or may not include a tie or require a sports coat or suit jacket. For both men and women, casual business attire will incorporate appropriate casual elements into your professional dress but still remain professional.
Knowing what to avoid is just as important as knowing what to wear. Certain things should never be seen as appropriate work attire. For example, a woman should avoid wearing tops that reveal too much cleavage. While showing some décolletage is acceptable, revealing too much in a business environment is inappropriate and can prove distracting. During an interview, one's (business dress) should be even more conservative and keep the cleavage to a minimum. In addition, over-exposure may diminish how co-workers and employers view one's skills and ability to professionally do the job. When it comes to sleeveless attire, it is often acceptable for women to wear sleeveless tops, however, men should avoid it at all times as it comes across as too casual for office attire. Additionally, shorts are not professional attire and should never be worn by men. Occasionally, women may wear shorts that have a skirt appearance, but they should never be the type of shorts that are worn on a casual basis and they should not reveal the mid-thigh. In most instances, jeans are not appropriate for work and never for an interview; however, more casual work environments and certain industries may allow jeans. Jeans that are ripped, have holes and that are dirty are not suitable as business attire.
Your business dress is an important part of your success in business. In addition to choosing the appropriate office attire, a person will also want to ensure that their clothing choice is clean, fresh smelling, and wrinkle-free. Dressing appropriately for interviews or on the job isn't complicated and does not require a high sense of fashion. What it does require, however, is the ability to distinguish between what is appropriate and what is not.