In the corporate world, first impressions are last impressions and this holds especially true for women. Most of us walk on pretty thin ice when it comes to our career. In a man’s world, we are expected to act, dress, and behave like one while still retaining our feminine charm. Hmmm… sounds like a tall order to do but not something that is completely undoable either. Let me give you 8 tips on looking professional at work.
1. The Pant Suit
A pant suit is, by far, the easiest and most obvious choice for a working woman. But take care to choose something that isn’t fitted too tightly or even too loosely, for that matter. Pick a style that compliments your body shape. Your pants should stop just above your shoes and the jacket at the waist. Stick to solid colors and do not dress in excessively bright or gaudy colors.
2. The Skirt
If you prefer wearing skirts, go in for the basic pencil straight shape. A kick pleat or small slits at the front or the side can be an interesting, yet appropriate deviation from the usual style. Choose skirts that have a lining or wear a slip that does not show from the slits. Skirts worn at the office should at least fall at the knee when you stand up so you can look professional at work.
3. The Blouse
Whether you wear a blouse with or without a jacket, choose fabrics that are not sheer. If you do not like long sleeves, keep them short, but never go sleeveless. Avoid plunging necklines or fabric that clings to your skin.
4. The Shoes
To look professional at work, go in for shoes that are comfortable to wear throughout the day and always keep them clean and polished. Stay away from open-toe shoes and stick with flats or pumps instead. You may be fond of stilettos but they are not suitable for wearing to work.
Chunky, heavy, attention-grabbing jewelry are definite no-nos at the work place. Keep your selection of jewelry subtle and sophisticated. And, try not to wear too many accessories at the same time. If you are wearing a watch, avoid wearing a bracelet, even on the other wrist. If you are wearing ear-rings, avoid wearing a necklace, unless it is a really simple one since it clutters up the area around your face. Skip long, dangling ear-pieces and stick to small studs or hoops. Do not wear arm-bands or anklets.
6. The Hair
Style your hair conservatively in a manner that is not too flamboyant or distracting. Long hair should be pulled back into a bun or secured into a pony tail while short hair should be kept from falling onto your face untidily. Avoid using bling hair accessories as these will most definitely keep you from looking professional at work.
7. The Hand & Nails
Do not overcrowd your hands with too many rings and avoid painting your nails with bright or gaudy colors. While it’s advisable to keep your nails short or medium length, if you like long nails, paint them in dark colors to make them appear shorter.
8. The Handbag
Even your handbag is part of your professional attire and has a lot to say about you. Buy a good, solid looking leather bag and choose a classic design with minimal embellishments. If you are more the purse kind of person, go for ones that are smaller and have a long strap.
There you have it – tips to help you look professional at work without turning you into the ugly duckling of your office space. Keeping all these suggestions in mind, what changes are you proposing to make to your wardrobe ASAP?
Top image source: indierealm.com