If your company has a casual dress code, getting dressed for work can be confusing.
How do you want to be perceived in the workplace? Chances are, whatever your job situation, you want to be perceived as a competent professional. Here are some do’s and don’ts for projecting a professional image on the job.
- Recognizer that every organization has a dress code, even if it’s not written down. If you aren’t sure about your company’s dress code, look at the people above you. How does your manager dress? How do the VPs, or owners of the company dress? If you want to be promoted, dress the way they do.
- Choose clothes that are flattering to your figure, and complement your coloring. Have clothes tailored to fit you -business casual clothes as well. You’ll be surprised at how polished you look.
- Put some thought into your business casual wardrobe. Many people spend time coordinating their business suits, but consider their business casual wardrobe to be an afterthought. Wrong. You should spend as much time, or more, on your business casual wardrobe, so you look put-together and professional.
- Build a basic business casual wardrobe, starting with a few pairs of pants/skirts in dark colors that go with everything. Then it’s easy to add color and pattern to personalize your look
- Don’t believe that permanent press clothes do not need to be ironed. They still need to be pressed lightly.
- Don’t wear rubber-soled shoes or athletic shoes to the office. This is sports wear, not business casual wear. Wear leather shoes, and make sure they are in good condition.
- Don’t (women) consider a scrunchie to be an appropriate hair accessory for work.
- Don’t (men) wear white or athletic socks with dress pants. Wear dress socks that match your pants.
- Don’t forget to maintain hair coloring. Letting your hair grow to reveal dark or grey roots of one inch or more makes you look like you don’t care about your looks. Head to the hairdresser when your roots start to show.
- Don’t arrive at work on business casual days without a way to upgrade your look. The simplest way is to have a jacket handy to put over a casual outfit. For men, keep an extra tie available. For women, a necklace or slightly higher heeled shoe can add polish and panache.
- Don’t dress to match your colleagues. Put your outfit together based on what your managers wear.