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How to dress successfully in a work environment?

By: S. Spells

Making a good first impression is essential to getting a job. Your interviewer(s) will assess your level of success based on a variety of non-verbal cues, including the style, fit, color, and cleanliness of your clothing; the accessories you choose; the firmness of your handshake; your posture; the way you carry yourself; and the extent of your eye contact, enthusiasm, and confidence. Even though most people think that you should not be evaluated based upon how you dress, it is a factor in getting a job. Since you are required to properly dress in a successful workplace here is what you should know!

Here are the basics but it can be different for males and females.

  • Dress in formal and conservative attire. Choose clothing that has received positive reviews from individuals who are familiar with the industry norm or a specific company policy.

  • Make sure your attire is spotless, pressed, and well-fitting.

  • Put on clean, polished, conservative (dark) shoes.

  • Choose accessories that enhance rather than detract from your attire.

  • Remove body and facial piercings.

  • To avoid distraction, cover any obvious tattoos.

  • Minimize your use of jewelry.

  • Less can be more. Maintain your appearance refined and understated until you get used to the surroundings and understand the dress code of the organization.

For women:

  • A suit (skirt or slacks) or a dress with conservative tailoring are acceptable forms of attire.

  • Skirts are supposed to be knee-length traditionally. A little bit longer or shorter is also acceptable.

  • Avoid wearing transparent, form-fitting, low-necked, exposing, or featuring elements that draw attention away from your face. Arms are typically covered at least up to the biceps and frequently up to the wrist.

  • To interviews, it's always safe to use a neutral color. You might decide to wear hose that match your skirt in certain professions. Bring an additional pair with you just in case.

  • Never use a strong scent in perfume. An interviewer may become offended or experience an adverse reaction to a smell. If in doubt, avoid using perfume.

  • Use transparent nail polish and makeup that looks natural. This maintains attention on the interview.

  • Never carry a briefcase and a purse. Pick between the two.

  • Put on low, flat-heeled shoes or pumps in hues that won't draw attention to your feet. Make sure your shoes are shiny and clean. Shoes that slow you down should be avoided. It undermines trustworthiness. Avoid wearing open-toed shoes since they are frequently connected to social agendas.

For males:

  • Choose a gray, navy, or black (solid or pinstripe) suit that matches or go for a navy blazer and gray dress pants.

  • Choose a dress shirt in white or light blue that contrasts with the jacket and/or tie. Arms should often be covered up to the wrist. Rolling up your sleeves is seen as less formal and less strong than exposing your arms.

  • Ties should be made of silk or a material that resembles silk. The tie should contrast with the color of your shirt while still matching your jacket and slacks. A half-Windsor knot works well for almost any situation or shirt design.

  • Socks should reach the calf or extend past it. Choose hues like deep blue, black, or gray.

  • Choose dress shoes with laces rather than slip-ons. Dark or complementary to your pants should be the color choice.

  • Choose a leather belt that visually complements or mixes with your shoes.

  • Jewelry should be kept to a minimum. Skip the necklace. Wear a dress watch and no more than one ring on each hand.

  • You can cover up your suit with a full-length coat but stay away from casual coats.

  • Never use strong cologne. An allergic reaction to a smell or offence to the interviewer (s). If in doubt, avoid donning cologne.

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