How to pick the right office attire

26 Jun 2019

workChoosing your attire for the workplace can be daunting, especially with the wide variety of career paths offered today. What was once considered acceptable across most working environments, no longer is. In fact, plenty of new job openings and office environments do not require formal wear, so understanding what is acceptable and what isn’t can be tricky.

-    Observe your surroundings
The first and most important rule of all is understanding your workplace. Your attire relies heavily on your current job and the image you are trying to portray.

"The more you deal with a client's money, the more traditional and conservative you should be dressed," Sylvie di Giusto, founder of Executive Image Consulting, told Business Insider. Therefore, anyone working in finance, law and similar roles should wear business attire; that includes neutral wear, blazers, tailored pants, closed-toe shoes, tights and hair that is often worn slicked back. On the other hand, working in a creative industry generally allows more room for experimentation and clothes that are truer to the wearer’s personality. Other roles, of course, require bits of a uniform for hygiene or safety purposes. The key to choosing your clothing depends entirely on what role you do.

-    Consider the message you want to convey
Clothing is one of the first things people will judge you by, and in the workplace, first impressions matter. If you are sitting at a desk for most of your time, your attire should primarily be comfortable in order to achieve work of the highest standard - but if you consistently meet new people and deal with clients, a put-together look exuding confidence is what matters.

For this reason, including a clothing piece you love and feel most confident in is a great idea. Clothing will subconsciously allow its wearer to behave more assertively if the wearer enjoys their attire. In general terms, clothing that exudes the most power includes suits, shoulder pads and heels.

-    Pay attention to detail
Elements of your outfit that are seemingly minor are usually detrimental to pulling off a professional ensemble. For instance, the buttons on your shirt’s sleeves can easily make or break your outfit, and footwear, although often overlooked, can throw off a whole look. Remember, it’s all in the details!