After landing an important job interview (or the job itself), it’s critical to dress the part. Doing so can even determine your future success with the company. There are different professional requirements for women and men, so let’s focus on the ladies in this first installment. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll go far.
Think quality, not quantity: With the advent of fast fashion stores such as Forever 21 and H&M, it’s easy to fill your wardrobe with cheap, trendy items that won’t last very long. While these items are good for building up your casual wardrobe, consider investing a little more in pieces that will last longer and be more durable. Consider the cost-per-wear equation, or how many times you will wear the item versus the retail value of the item.
Consider the office environment:The only issue with professional dress is that there is no “one office fits all” rule. There are many types of office environments that should be considered when shopping for a workplace wardrobe. There is professional dress, business casual or casual offices. The best advice for dressing professionally is to take a cue from how your supervisors dress.
Be appropriate:This one is particularly difficult in the summer when temperatures rise. While pencil skirts can be form-fitting and flattering, the hemline should never sit above your knees. Use your best judgement on this one and try not to wear the same clothes to work as you would wear for a night on the town. Also avoid wearing tank tops without a cardigan or blazer on top to cover your shoulders.
Watch the heel height:Consider your heel height when getting dressed for the office. Not only do you want to dress professionally, you want to be comfortable. Also, consider adding trousers or slacks to your wardrobe — instead of just skirts — to expand your wardrobe options.
Show your personality: While you should dress appropriately, don’t forget to show your style. Add a scarf or jewelry to let your personality shine through. As long as the rest of your outfit is workplace appropriate, adding an accessory or two is not an issue.
While dressing for the office should be professional, it should also be fun. Your outfit should be an extension of yourself. These tips can apply to both on and off campus jobs. Stay tuned for an article on male professional dress next week.
For more articles on professional etiquette, visit asi.csupomona.edu/campuscrop.