The kind of stress that comes from your first day of work at a new company can be overwhelming. On top of it, you have to figure out just what it is you should be wearing. Fortunately, someone out there decided to publish a list of tips for those of us that aren’t so great at fashion, though they focused on just the men this time around.
Maybe it’s because most people just assume that women have it all together when it comes to dressing themselves, or maybe it’s because Kelsey Mulvey, writer of this CheatSheet article, has more knowledge in this area. Whatever the case, these are some pretty great tips. If you take out the gender completely, either sex could really benefit from these ideas on how to dress for work. I pulled a few of my favorite tips from her list and added some of my own thoughts as well!
1. Do your research
This can’t be stressed enough. Each company will have their own set of rules when it comes to what you wear. Some like it business casual, others require formal attire. Before you stress yourself out with a call into HR about their rules and conduct, take a second to think about what you saw the first time you walked into the office. Was everyone else dressed up or did you see some khakis or even jeans floating around? Another great tip:
Use your boss as your style role model for the first day of work, but as a general rule of thumb, your outfit should be a smidge more formal than his or hers.
3. When in doubt, stick with neutrals
Of all the tips, this is the one that I will go down screaming at the top of my lungs until I’m blue in the face. I’m no fashionista, but I have had several friends come banging on my door, begging for advice on how to look more professional or put together. The easiest way to start down that path is to make sure you have a good base of neutrals to work with. That means having some blazers and slacks in beige, black, brown, etc. Once you have that base, you can change out shirt and shoe colors as you see fit. Anything will go with a neutral! Love your neutrals! Nurture and support them!
4. Add some pizzazz with your accessories
Pizzazz isn’t in everyone’s wheelhouse but it can definitely help you add a bit of your personality to attire you’re not used to wearing. Do you like funky ties? Go for it. Maybe colorful socks, some spiffy new shades, whatever extra you want to add on that doesn’t step on the toes of your color scheme is free game. By stepping on your color scheme, I mean don’t go pulling on a pair of purple socks with your beige suit and black dress shirt with that cute penguin tie.
5. Find the perfect fit
There is really nothing more disappointing than seeing someone pull out all the stops with their wardrobe only to look like they’re either busting out of or drowning in their new attire. I’ll let the writer speak for this tip as she completely nails it:
To make matters worse, sloppy hand-me-downs can easily translate to unprofessional. On the opposite end of the spectrum, incorporating a tailored jacket or fitted shirt will show that you care about your appearance, and will leave onlookers convinced that you mean business.
Don’t be discouraged if you head to the store and nothing fits just right. If that were the case, we’d all have the same body type. But don’t settle for awkward fitting clothes. Take them to a tailor or seamstress, it’s well worth the extra bucks!