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12 Tips for Dressing Professionally at Work

Guest Author: Ashley Rosa

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Whether we like it or not, the way we look plays an integral role in our success in the workplace. Leaving a good impression is essential for landing a job. Multiple components of your persona will determine the level of success you achieve. These include non-verbal cues, i.e., the color of your clothes, their style, etc. Additionally, your accessories, posture, mannerisms, enthusiasm, confidence and seemingly insignificant things also play an important role.  Moreover, the firmness of your handshake and ability to maintain eye contact make a massive difference in how an employer perceives you.

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Your clothes are a key indicator in determining how dedicated and eager you are to perform well. The better dressed you are, the more seriously you will be taken.

On the contrary, an unprofessional and shabby outlook can potentially be misinterpreted as insulting or offensive. Appearance translates into performance. If you do not fit in, you will not feel accepted or welcomed. In the modern workplace, the trend is shifting towards casual wear. In such a scenario, it is important to understand the proper etiquettes and protocols of a professional workplace.

Following is a list of tips one must be mindful of while dressing for work.

1.  Know what is appropriate for your particular industry

Every company has a dress code. Some allow shorts to work. A few disregard everything other than a three-piece suit. You cannot wear shorts in the latter setting or wear a formal suit in the former setting. Depending on your situation, know what is acceptable in your workplace and decide on how you wish to dress up. Blending into the crowd like everyone else is important.

Know What Is Appropriate for Your Industry

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2.  A good fit

People often underestimate the importance of wearing clothes that fit properly. If your clothes are too small or too big or look shabby, you are not going to look good. This is regardless of how fancy or exquisite your outfit is. Make sure to wear everything that fits properly. This is because, at the workplace, insignificant things like the length of your tie can make or break your entire image.

A Good Bag

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3.  Dry your hair

Leaving the house with wet hair not only looks extremely unflattering but it gives the impression that you are not good at time management. If you leave your house with wet hair, your colleagues will instantly assume you were running late and hence probably rushed to the office. Time management issues are an important aspect of workplace performance so dry your hair before you leave.

4.  The right bag

Your bag is an essential accessory. Depending on the stuff you are carrying with you, pick the right bag size and style for the task. The last thing anyone wants is to see a small wallet overloaded with previous receipts. For those with minimal belongings, a small purse would do. Those who carry more things like a laptop or files, a classic leather briefcase or a leather messenger bag for women is the perfect pick.

The Right BagSource

5.  No overpowering scents

It is important you smell good when you head to work. But it is even more important that you do not go overboard with it. Wear a scent that is pleasant but not too overpowering. Your perfume should not be something that everyone around you can smell. Keep it minimal.

6.  Clean shoes

You would be amazed at the number of candidates who get rejected just because their shoes were not polished. Cleanliness is a crucial part of your outlook, and dirty shoes just show that you are irresponsible, lazy and unbothered about workplace protocols. Polish your shoes and make sure they are in good condition before you head out.

7.  A good watch

A Watch is the ultimate workplace accessory and one that is noticed by everyone. Wear the right kind of watch with your outfit. Be it a solid strap watch or a versatile bracelet watch, be sure to stick to minimal designs that blend in well with the workplace aesthetic.

8.  Wear rich colors

Your color choices are a reflection of your personality. Rich, deeper colors portray authority and thus leave a more significant impact than lighter tones. Strong colors have a certain confidence and aura to them which makes them unapologetically bold. If you are sporting colors like these in the workplace, they instantly translate into confidence, image, and aura. During presentations especially, make sure to wear colors that stand out but are not too stark that they leave everyone blind.

9.  Steer clear of flashy colors

Colors are fun, but for the workplace, they can be a bit too much. Flashy colors can be too distracting and are often translated as the visual equivalent of yelling or shouting. This is the last thing you would want to be associated with. So, keep fun to the side and keep it simple. However, if you really love colors, add fun pops of color to your look by incorporating colored accents into everyday outfits and breathe life into them.

10.  No revealing clothes

Wearing revealing clothes to the office is never considered appropriate anywhere. They are distracting, and they can leave the wrong impression so why take the risk. Avoid short hemlines, extremely high heels, sheer fabric, and plunging necklines. Women tend to get over-sexualized in the workplace and can often be discredited for looking too forward and provocative. Learn to dress modestly and professionally.

11.  Don’t over-accessorize

Accessories complete your outfit by tying the whole look together; however, it is important not to overpower it. For the workplace, all you need are minimal accessories. Keep it simple and chic. Make sure they are not dangly or noisy as that can get quite distracting. A classic pair of stud earrings, a minimal necklace and perhaps a chic bracelet is all you need to wear at work. The simpler your outlook, the more sophisticated your aura will be.

12.  Trim your beard

Facial hair must be groomed. Keep your beard or stubble tidy and polished if you are to look professional. Invest in a pair of trimmers and make sure to trim your beard every third or fourth day. Avoid goatee beards because they look unprofessional.

Maintaining a clean and polished appearance is absolutely critical for professional settings. In a situation where your appearance directly influences your professional skill set and abilities, it is important to acknowledge the impact of your outlook. If you are looking to leave a lasting impression on your employers, be sure to follow these tips. These will help you in dressing professionally for success in the office as well as outside.

Author Bio:

About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well.  She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.

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