The business world for many years seemed like an overwhelming boys club. As times have changed, so have positions for women at work. With the rise of intelligent, powerful women in the workplace, there has been a higher demand for looking fabulous on the job. Professional attire can sometimes be tricky to master, especially in the multitude of jobs you may be working. Business casual means something totally different than business professional, not to mention the introduction of casual Friday. Then there is the desire to personalize your wardrobe; it is a reflection of your unique personality, after all. When planning your work attire, be sure to keep it professional first and foremost while also choosing something that makes you feel confident and ready to conquer any task sent your way.
Professional Plus Personality
While we may not want to admit it, how people dress affects our opinions of them. In career fields where first impressions are crucial, your appearance can make of break the remainder of a meeting. Staying professional in how you dress has to be your priority. Even as you learn the different culture of your specific office, always err on the side of overdressing without actually doing so. Putting your best foot forward shows your boss how much you care about your job and your commitment to the company. It has been proven that your appearance can help you get a promotion or a raise.
Within this professional structure, you can still find the room for your personality to shine; however, be sure you’re never dressing in a way that is distracting. For example, if you love animals, rather than wearing that funny cat sweater your grandmother knit for you, opt for some simple jewelry in the shape of a dog. Professionalism comes first, then7 sprinkle in your personality. And just as a general rule, if you think it may be inappropriate, it probably is.
Confidence and Comfortability are Key
While looking professional may get you into the door, you have to be able to prove your ability. Be sure you wear something that makes you comfortable and confident. Studies have shown that there is truth behind “dressing for success.” Walking into a room knowing you look good gives you power over your decisions and how you interact with your peers. Wanting to be seen in what you’re wearing leads to better relationships and more trust built between you and your coworkers or you and your clients. Sometimes your wardrobe can trick you into feeling more confident and driven. Keep this in mind as you fill your closet with attire for the workplace. Find what makes you feel like you could take on the world, it is likely to help you rise to the top at work.
Plan for Changing Temperature
There is one aspect to dressing for work that many women overlook—the changing temperatures within your office. The trick to adjusting to various office temperatures is to layer your clothing. Summer is usually a happy time of sunshine and warm weather, but if you work in a professional office with strong air conditioning, you may be experiencing what feels like a frozen tundra indoors. Layers are your friends, ladies. Make sure your wardrobe is stocked with cardigans, chambrays, and jackets. You may even consider leaving a jacket at your desk, or a scarf/shawl for emergencies.
On the other hand, if you’re ever feeling the heat in your office, go for breathable fabrics and short dresses that give your legs air to breathe. Open-toed shoes are also an option that allow heat to leave your body through your feet. Once you’ve spent each season at work, you’ll start to understand what you need to feel comfortable.