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Dress For Success Workshop

What to wear to work.

Deanna Mabe

on 23 February 2016

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Transcript of Dress For Success Workshop

You can express
fashion's whims
in your off-the-job
What you wear
creates important impressions
and will affect
whether an employer
will take you seriously.
Basic professional attire
does not change with
the whims of fashion
What does your wardrobe say about you?
Deanna K. Mabe
Adult Career Coach

First Impressions ...
What you wear speaks loudly!
What do you want it to say?
You will
get your dream job by looking like this at your interview!
Are You Dressing For Success?
If your attire does not say that you are a professional, DO
Wear it to Work!
You should consider...what is appropriate attire for OUR
That's right, it is
OUR Company
and we should all dress professionally.
What your clothes
say about you:
Your attire affects your conduct and
your interpersonal skills...
confidence shows!
Appropriate attire supports
your image as a person who
takes their job seriously
Your attire should be
noticed as being
appropriate and well-fitting,
but it should not take
center stage
If you are primarily
remembered for your
this is probably
because you made an
error in judgment!
is a compliment
to the people you
If in doubt, err on the side of
dressing to a
higher standard
Changes in fashion:
Things change,
like the width
of lapels & the
cut of pants
The colors of
blouses, shirts
and ties
A good suit should last 5 to 10
years, depending on:
(1) its quality
(2) how well you care for it
(3) if it continues to fit you well
Are these outfits appropriate for an office?
The image presented to
the customer is critical and
your attire will be
judged more critically
Would you choose any of these for work?

Grooming and Accessory Tips:
Recommendations on BODY ART:
Body art is defined as eyebrow, nose, tongue or lip piercings, visible tattoos and alternative hairstyles/color.

First impressions go a long way.
When it comes to body art, keep it at a minimum.

Use clear spacers in gages

Cover offensive tattoos
• Limit yourself to
one ring per hand, limit bracelets and necklaces

• Try to limit
piercings, by taking them out or wearing clear spacers

• Wear conservative, small earrings

If tattoos can be covered, do so,
especially if they can be seen as offensive

• If nail polish is worn, pick
non -extreme colors,
like clear or light pinks
should always cover
your belly
at work!
Other than one pair of conservative earrings,
body art and piercings
should be covered
at work.
Guidelines for Your Professional Wardrobe:

Professional Business Attire for Men:
• Suit: A two-piece matched suit is always the best and safest choice. Don't combine a suit jacket with pants that don't match.

• Conservative colors/fabric: Navy, dark gray, and tan are safe and are the most conservative for men.

Here are some
Dress to Impress
for you
to follow:
• Facial hair: should be well-groomed.

• Jewelry: Wear a conservative watch. Removing earrings is safest.

• Details: Everything should be clean and well pressed.

Carefully inspect clothes dangling threads, pet hair, missing buttons, etc.
Professional Business Attire for Women:
Here are their responses...but we also want to know....

What is your First Impression?
• Very sharp, clean cut outfit
• Ready to go
• Conservative professional
• The outfit looks professional, well put-together
• Very professional. He is taking the job seriously
• He means business
• Very serious about work and dressed to impress
• This suit says he is proud to be a part of the company
• Great smile! Relaxed - outgoing - laid back
• Confident - enjoys color and yet conservative
• Good first impression - clean, well-fitted, comfortable
• Business casual - caution the potential for cotton pants to get wrinkled
• Need at least a tie, and adding a jacket would be very helpful in looking professional
• More casually dressed, may be a great worker but would question seriousness
• The shirt color might be a bit bright, however, with a dark tie and suit it
might work, khaki pants are definitely too casual
• Great for a casual environment... a bit risky otherwise

• Good colors, nicely dressed, sharp, professional, approachable
• Adding a sport coat or matching suit jacket would make it an A+
• It would be perfectly appropriate for most client meetings
• Very nice - says he is ready to work and is proud of his part in the company
• Dressed well; takes things seriously, but also has a calm demeanor
• Perfect; It is completely professional without being completely boring
• Very professional without going overboard - crisp and clean, but looks
comfortable without being restricted
• Would like to see a jacket to complete a more professional look
• Good for the weekend or in a very casual 'jeans day' environment
• Absolutely not appropriate, he may also want to shave
• The untucked shirt is unprofessional and goes too far beyond "casual"
• Underdressed, too casual, totally inappropriate
• Looks like he's getting ready to order pizza and play video games; this is not someone who serious about his career
• Save it for a night out with your friends
• Too casual; Come on - make SOME effort!
• No good. Go home and change

• Nice suit, very positive - with that smile and confident look
• It would need a tie or one may look to nonchalant and uncaring
• Add a tie and remove hands from pockets (presents a less than professional image)
• Professional but not overdone or great business casual look
• Laid back professional, comfortable, but still dressed for success
• Add a tie for a formal client presentation, appropriate for almost any other meeting
• Should really be wearing a tie; the look without a tie is a little too casual
• Savvy, entrepreneurial - could be a sales representative or entrepreneur
• Professional and simple, needs splash of color to make it more dynamic and engaging
• This would be a professional outfit for going into the office or going out with clients
• Nice monochromatic outfit; pants appear a little too tight, and shoes a little too casual
• The lighter suit is a nice change from the typical black that everyone wears
• A higher heel would be more appropriate; outfit appears a little too dressy for the shoe
• The color doesn't leave a great impression, black is more polished/professional
• Conservative professional, nice suit, neutral, not too wild, strong - pleasant - confident
• Boring color, clunky shoes - simple heel would be better; overall professional
• Blah - no energy or creativity, add colored shirt or jewelry, slacks are too tight
• Might consider pulling her hair back, choose a dressier shoe and a piece of jewelry
• Suit is appropriate, it is borderline too tight; loose fitting clothes are best
• Looks professional, she is serious about projecting a professional image
• Excellent - some distinguishing jewelry or scarf would add pop
• Anyone who thinks this is appropriate and professional needs to rethink what she wants to do for a living. Looks like a student, not a professional!
• Not professional in the slightest, not appropriate, need to dress up more
• Not professional; arms should always be covered, and blue jeans should never be worn
• Not an outfit for work, looks to be a typical outfit to wear on the weekend
• Absolutely not, not for a business position, too casual, even for a casual dress
• Much too casual; not a bit professional looking, does not give a professional impression
• Looks nice, but is not dressed for work! Inappropriate for a professional level position
• Not ready for work; not interested in first impressions

• Great look....It shows that you are professional, but have your own personality
• Looks professional - a bit trendy - seems confident!
• Nice suit; tuck in the sloppy shirt, keep hair groomed a little better
• Professional and simple, but could use a splash of color
• Appropriate...a black suit is always safe, professional, fun and trendy
• It would be perfectly acceptable for an important client meeting, it shows her
personality, looks fun and creative; but it is still classic looking
• Shirt needs to be tucked in, maybe button the white shirt up a little more
• Says she is ready to go - probably very creative person

• Nice for office that has a relaxed but professional atmosphere
• If one works in an office that is business casual, this is just fine
• Adding a blazer would convey a more professional image
• Looks dressy, but looks like she is missing a jacket
• Nice business casual look fun, trendy and still professional
• Professional - but I would add jacket, the less skin, the better
• Very fun and funky, maybe it would work for an ad agency
• With the addition of a jacket, would be appropriate

• This person is a professional, although it is rather tacky to show the tattoo; YES, people do notice that kind of stuff, lacking jewelry, nylons should be worn
• A nice professional suit good for conservative environment, cover the tattoo
• Get rid of the tattoo and this person is ready for a meeting
• Visible tattoo should be covered, the skirt is too short and the neckline is too low
• Professional appearance; notice the tattoo on the foot so recommend a pantsuit
• Visible tattoo is never good in an office setting, skirt too short
• Higher neckline would make this outfit more appropriate
• Excellent choice; it says that you are professional, serious about your work, and ready to go out and meet with clients!
• Ties: Tie styles come and go. Avoid fashion extremes, like character ties, in interviews. Notice what men in your industry wear on the job when they meet with clients.

• Shirts: Long-sleeved shirts, even in summer. Choose white or light blue solid, or conservative stripes. Avoid being trendy.

• Socks: Dark socks, mid-calf length so no skin is visible when you sit down.

• Shoes: Leather, lace-up or slip-on business shoes, preferably black or brown.

• Belt: Black or cordovan leather, to match your shoes.
• Suit: Wear a two-piece matched suit.

• Suit - pants/skirts: Tailored pants suits are appropriate for women. Pants suits can be an excellent choice for site visits like a manufacturing plant or industrial facility.

• Skirt lengths: Your skirt should cover your thighs when you are seated.
• Color/fabric: Navy, dark gray, brown and black are safe. Other color trends may come and go;
avoid the extremes.

• Shirt/sweaters: Underneath the suit jacket, wear a tailored blouse in a color or small print that coordinates nicely with your suit.
Do not show cleavage.

• Jewelry/accessories: Wear a conservative watch.Keep your choices simple and leaning toward conservative. Avoid extremes of style and color and avoid noisy jewelry like bangle bracelets.
• Cosmetics: Keep makeup conservative.
Nails should be clean and well groomed.

• Shoes: Shoe styles and heel heights come and go.
Choose closed-toe pumps.

• Hosiery: Should be plainly styled (no patterns),
sheer is most conservative.

• Purse/bag: A business-like tote bag is ideal.

Observe co-workers
for appropriate outfits. Suits are most formal. Know you company's dress code, if established.

• Invest in
classic, yet stylish, basics
A tailored suit, wrap dress, and leather bag never go out of style.

Add color
to your basics sparingly. It will make you appear confident and stylish, yet still professional.

Wear makeup
. Women who wear makeup earn more than those who don’t and are more likely to be promoted. But keep it natural and conservative.

Accessorize with caution
. Don’t be afraid to wear jewelry with your professional outfit.

Business Casual Guidelines:
Business casual is crisp and neat.
It should not look like cocktail, party, or picnic attire.

Khaki or dark pants,
neatly pressed, and a pressed

long-sleeved, buttoned solid

are safe.

•Shoes/belt: Wear a
leather belt
leather shoes
Athletic shoes are inappropriate.

•Details: Everything should be
clean, well pressed
, and
not show wear.
Men's Business Casual:
•Ties: Ties are generally not necessary for business casual, but if you are in doubt, you can wear a tie.
It never hurts to slightly overdress;
if no one else is wearing a tie, you can remove yours.

Long-sleeved shirts
are considered dressier than short-sleeved and are appropriate even in summer. Choosing
white or light blue solid, or conservative stripes is your safest bet.
Polo shirts (tucked in, of course) are acceptable in more casual situations.

•Socks: Wear dark socks, mid-calf length so no skin is visible when you sit down.

•Shoes: Leather shoes should be worn. No sandals, athletic shoes or hiking boots.

•Facial hair: Should be

•Jewelry: Wear a
conservative watch
. If you choose to wear other jewelry, be conservative.
Removing earrings is safest.

•Watches/cell phones/checking the time: If you use your cell phone as a watch, just be careful that you don't look like you're taking calls/texts.
Your attention should be directed on the people with whom you are physically present.

Women's Business Casual:
•Pants/skirts: Women can wear
casual pants or skirts
; colors should generally be
solid; navy, black, gray, brown and khaki
are always safe bets.

•Skirt length: Your skirt
should come at least
to your knees
while you are standing. While you are seated, your thighs should be covered.

•Shirt/sweaters: In addition to tailored shirts or blouses,
tailored knit sweaters and sweater sets are appropriate
business casual choices for women.

Cleavage is not appropriate, ever!

•Jewelry/accessories: Wear a
conservative watch

your choices simple and leaning toward conservative
. Avoid extremes of style and color.

•Cosmetics: Keep
makeup conservative
and natural looking. Avoid extremes of nail length and polish color, especially in conservative industries.

•Shoes: Appropriate colors are black, navy, brown, tan, taupe.
For the most conservative look, toes should be covered

Spike heels are not appropriate. Chunky heels and platforms are not appropriate.
Your choices reflect your judgment
. Make certain you can walk comfortably in your shoes!

•Hose: Not essential for business casual, but are

•Purse/bag: If you carry a purse,
keep it simple
, or carry a small briefcase or business-like tote bag in place of a purse.

Whether you like it or not,
people size you up in a very short time...
actually only about
7-10 seconds.

So, choose your
outfit wisely.

We asked 8 employers from 8
different industries, which outfit
is best suited
to a professional
office environment
and makes
the Best First Impression....
These comments from
human resource managers
of various companies prove that
your appearance does matter....


Contact us in the WCC Career Center
for career readiness help:

Deanna K. Mabe
Bland Hall ARC
Adult Career Coach
Global Career Development Facilitator
Experiential Learning & Job Placement Coordinator

Hair: Should be
clean and neat. Avoid super trendy styles and colors.

Smell: Perfume or cologne should be
used sparingly or not at all.

Remember that some people have allergies/sensitivities. Do not smell like smoke.

Full transcript