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Dress For Success

What to wear to work.

Margaret Mudon

on 27 September 2012

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Transcript of Dress For Success

What does your wardrobe say about you? DRESS FOR SUCCESS What to Wear to Work What you wear speaks loudly! What do you want it to say? You did NOT get your 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 Not Wear it to Work! Appropriate Attire for "OUR" Company Yes, that's right, "OUR" Company WE ARE A TEAM! What your clothes
say about you: Your attire affects your conduct,
your interpersonal skills
and your ability to articulate 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
attire, this is probably
because you made an
error in judgment! Dressing nicely and appropriately
is a compliment to the people you
meet, so if in doubt, err on the side of
dressing to a higher standard than
you might need to Dress more
formally for
important meetings Changes in fashion: Things change,
like the width
of lapels & the
cut of pants The colors of
blouses, shirts
and ties Basic professional attire
does not change with
the whims of fashion A good suit should last five to
ten years, depending on its quality,
how hard you wear it,
how well you care for it,
and if it continues to fit you well You can express
fashion's whims
in your off-the-job clothes
and to some extent
in your accessories Are these appropriate for an office? The image presented to
the customer is critical;
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 consisting of 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. Keep jewelry to the least amount possible. • Limit yourself to one ring per hand

• 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

• Keep hair color looking natural (black, brunette, blonde, auburn, grey, etc.)

• Hair should be well trimmed, clean, and neat no matter the style

• If nail polish is worn, pick non-extreme colors, like clear or light pinks Appropriate
your belly! Other than ear piercing,
body art and piercings
should be covered
at work. Guidelines for Your Professional Wardrobe:
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 and dark gray are safe and are the most conservative for men. Choose a solid or very subtle weave pattern or plaid (the kind that look solid across a room). Wool, wool blends, or very high-quality natural and synthetic fiber blends are acceptable.

• Cost/quality: You are not expected to be able to afford the same clothing as a corporate CEO. Do invest in quality that will look appropriate during your first two or three years on the job. Here are some
guidelines for you
to follow: • Facial hair: should be well-groomed. Observe men in your industry if you are unsure what's appropriate or are considering changing your look.

• Jewelry: Wear a conservative watch. If you choose to wear other jewelry, be conservative. Removing earrings is safest. For conservative industries, don't wear earrings. Observe other men in your industry to see what is acceptable.

• Details: Everything should be clean and well pressed. Suits typically have tacking stitches to hold vents on the jacket back and on sleeves in place before the garment is purchased. Cut them off if your retailer/tailor doesn't. And that tag stitched on the outside of your sleeve is not meant to stay there for show, cut it off! Carefully inspect clothes dangling threads, pet hair, missing buttons, etc. Above all - does everything fit correctly? Business Attire for Women: Don't confuse club attire with business attire.
If you would wear it to a club, you probably shouldn't wear it in a business environment. What is your First Impression? • Very sharp, clean cut outfit
• Ready to go
• Conservative professional
• The outfit looks professional, well put-together & thought out
• Very professional; taking the job seriously
• He means business
• Very serious about work, dressed to impress
• This suit says he is proud to be a part of the company; believes he is an asset • 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, did not consider appearance, he may also want to shave
• The untucked shirt is unprofessional; 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 rep, 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
• 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! It shows that you are professional, but have your own personality
• Looks professional - a bit trendy - seems confident!
• Nice suit; tuck in the somewhat 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, still classic;
• 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. Select good quality silk ties. 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. A dark shirt might be acceptable in a non-conservative industry. 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. Invest in a good pair; even if you don't wear them daily on the job, you'll need them for other occasions and you should expect to get lots of years out of good shoes.

• 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, particularly if the visit involves getting in and out of vehicles and/or the site is (or includes) a manufacturing plant or industrial facility. If you wear pants, they should be creased and tailored, not tight or flowing. If you are in doubt, observe well-dressed women on the job.

• Skirt lengths: Much of what you see on television shows that masquerades for professional attire is actually inappropriate for a work environment. Your skirt should cover your thighs when you are seated. Showing a lot of thigh makes you look naive at best, foolish at worst. A skirt that ends at the knee when you're standing looks chic and professional. Longer skirts are professional too; just make sure they are narrow enough not to be billowing, but not so narrow that you can't climb stairs comfortably. Don't purchase a skirt or decide on a hem length until you sit in the skirt facing a mirror. High slits in skirts are not appropriate. A small center-back slit in a knee-length skirt is appropriate. On a calf-length skirt, a slit to the knee to facilitate walking and stair climbing is appropriate. • Color/fabric: Navy, dark gray, brown and black are safe. Other color trends may come and go; avoid the extremes. Women generally have more options with suit color than men. For example, while a women could look conservative in a slate blue or light gray suit, slate blue would be inappropriate for men, and light gray would be more casual for men. Choose a solid or very subtle weave pattern or plaid (the type that looks solid across a room). Wool, wool blends, and high quality blends and synthetics are appropriate for women's suiting.

• Shirt/sweaters: Underneath the suit jacket, wear a tailored blouse in a color or small print that coordinates nicely with your suit. A fine gauge, good quality knit shell is also appropriate underneath your suit jacket. Don't show cleavage. (Remember that television shows are trying to attract viewers, and don't represent reality of the professional environment.)

• Jewelry/accessories: Wear a conservative watch. Jewelry and scarf styles come and go. Keep your choices simple and leaning toward conservative. Avoid extremes of style and color. If your industry is creative, you may have more flexibility than someone pursuing a conservative industry. • Cosmetics: Keep makeup conservative. A little is usually better than none for a polished look. Nails should be clean and well groomed. Avoid extremes of nail length and polish color, especially in conservative industries.

• Shoes: Should be leather or fabric / micro fiber. Shoe styles and heel heights come and go. Choose closed-toe pumps. Regardless of what is in style, avoid extremes; no stilettos or chunky platforms. Make certain you can walk comfortably in your shoes; hobbling in uncomfortable shoes does not convey a professional appearance.

• Hosiery: Should be plainly styled (no patterns), sheer is most conservative (not opaque), and in neutral colors complementing your suit. Avoid high contrast between your suit and hosiery color.

• Purse/bag: A business-like tote bag is ideal for interviews and other professional occasions. It can carry your portfolio, extra copies of your resume and any other papers you might need, and personal items can be concealed within. If you also carry a purse, keep it small and simple (so that you are not carrying two large bags). Tote/purse color should coordinate with your overall attire; it does not have to match your shoes, but should not clash in style and color. Your tote/purse can be leather, faux leather, micro fiber or a fine woven material. Avoid purses that look like beach/pool totes, have bold prints, or are partyish or little-girlish. • Hair: Should be clean and neat.

• Shoes: Should be in polished condition. Make sure heels are not worn.

• Details: No missing buttons, no lint; and don't forget to remove external
tags and tacking stitches from new clothes.

• Hands: Clean fingernails.

• Fit: Clothes should be clean, neatly pressed, and fit properly.

• Smell: Perfume or cologne should be used sparingly or not at all. Remember
that some people have allergies/sensitivities. No odors in clothes. Don't smell
like smoke.

• Portfolios / business bags: Always wise for holding paper to take notes and to
hold other documents you may need to bring and receive. Business like totes
or small briefcases are also appropriate. But if you have no reason to carry a
large briefcase, don't; you risk looking silly. • Observe co-workers for appropriate outfits. While it’s true that not everyone dresses how she
should in the office, you can certainly model your workplace style off someone else’s you
admire. Different corporate cultures call for different styles, so get to know your company’s
informal dress code through observation.

• Invest in classic, yet stylish, basics. A tailored suit, wrap dress, and leather bag never go out of
style. Make sure these items are always ready by having them cleaned and pressed after wearing

• Add color to your basics. Don’t wear a black suit with a plain white blouse. Instead, add in your
fashion personality by wearing a color underneath. 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. You don’t have to go overboard—natural-looking foundation, eye shadow, and
mascara might be all you need.

• Tailor your pieces for your body type. When a piece of clothing fits right, it makes you look put
together and confident. You won’t be pulling at it all day, trying to keep it in the right spot.
Length matters too, so don’t wear pants that are too long or too short. Tailor your pieces to the
shoes you’ll be wearing with them.

• Accessorize. Don’t be afraid to wear jewelry or a nice watch with your professional outfit.
Accessories add a polish to your outfit and are an easy way to spice up any outfit. Most attire worn on television
is not appropriate
for business environments.
Don't be deluded. Business Casual Guidelines: Business casual is crisp, neat, and should look appropriate even for
a chance meeting with a CEO.
It should not look like cocktail, party, or picnic attire.
Avoid tight or baggy clothing; business casual is classic rather than trendy. •Basics: Khaki or dark pants, neatly pressed, and a pressed long-sleeved, buttoned solid shirt are safe for both men and women. Women can wear sweaters; cleavage is not business-appropriate (despite what you see in the media). Polo/golf shirts, unwrinkled, are appropriate IF you know the environment will be quite casual, outdoors or in a very hot location. This may not seem like terribly exciting attire, but you are not trying to stand out for your cutting edge look, but for your good judgment in a business environment.

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

•Cost/quality: You are not expected to be able to afford the same clothing as a corporate CEO. However, do invest in quality that will look appropriate during your first two or three years on the job for a business casual environment or occasions.

•Details: Everything should be clean, well pressed, and not show wear. Even the nicest khakis after 100 washings may not be your best choice for a reception. Carefully inspect new clothes for tags, and all clothes for dangling threads, etc Use Common Sense: Whether you are attending the Company Picnic or the Christmas Party, even though these are relaxed events, Modesty and Decorum are your Best Friends! Dress and Act Appropriately! If you show up at a business event and realize you're not as well dressed as you should be, make a quick, pleasant apology and make a good impression with your interpersonal skills and intelligent questions. 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; by dressing nicely, you pay a compliment to your host. You can always wear the tie and walk by the room where the function is held; if no one else is wearing a tie, you can remove yours. (Then put it in a discreet place. Don't stuff it in your pocket and let part of it hang out.)

•Shirts: 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 well-groomed. Know your industry and how conservative it is; observe men in your industry if you are unsure what's appropriate or are considering changing your look.

•Jewelry: Wear a conservative watch. If you choose to wear other jewelry, be conservative. Removing earrings is safest. For conservative industries, don't wear earrings. Observe the other men to see what is acceptable.

•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. Be discreet when checking time; frequent checking sends the message that you are bored and would rather be somewhere else. Women's Business Casual: •Pants/skirts: Women can wear casual pants or skirts. Neither should be tight. Fabrics should be crisp; colors should generally be solid; navy, black, gray, brown and khaki are always safe bets. For the most business-like appearance, pants should be creased and tailored; neither extreme of tight or flowing. If you are pursuing a conservative industry and are in doubt, observe well-dressed women in your industry on the job.

•Skirt length and slits: Your skirt should come at least to your knees while you are standing. While you are seated, your thighs should be covered. If your skirt comes to just below the knee, a slit to just above the knee might be acceptable. A very long skirt should not be slit to above the knee. Generally slits in the center back of a skirt — to facilitate walking a stair climbing — are acceptable. Slits to facilitate a view of your legs are not appropriate for business purposes. Slips should not be visible.

•Shirt/sweaters: In addition to tailored shirts or blouses, tailored knit sweaters and sweater sets are appropriate business casual choices for women. Cotton, silk, and blends are appropriate. Velvets and shimmery fabrics suitable for parties are not appropriate. Fit should not be tight. Cleavage is not appropriate to business casual •Jewelry/accessories: Wear a conservative watch. Jewelry and scarf styles come and go. Keep your choices simple and leaning toward conservative. Avoid extremes of style and color. If your industry is creative, you may have more flexibility than someone pursuing a conservative industry.

•Cosmetics: Keep makeup conservative and natural looking. A little is usually better than none for a polished look. Nails should be clean and well groomed. Avoid extremes of nail length and polish color, especially in conservative industries.

•Shoes: Should be leather or fabric/microfiber. Appropriate colors are black, navy, brown, tan, taupe (to coordinate with your other attire and accessories); white and pastels are not appropriate. For the most conservative look, toes should be covered. Sandals which are neither extremely dressy nor extremely casual might be appropriate. Thin straps and 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; hobbling around in shoes that are pinching your feet does not convey a professional image and does not convey good judgment. •Hose: Not essential for business casual, but are recommended if your skirt is knee length (rather than calf length) and in more formal environments such as hotels. Climate and weather can be a factor. Hose may not be expected in hot climates/weather and in less conservative industries. All your choices send a message about your judgment; if the weather is extremely cold/snowy, and you wear a skirt with bare legs, you won't look like you have good judgment.

•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. A structured bag tends to look more professional than something soft or floppy. Purse/bag color should coordinate with your shoes. A briefcase is certainly not necessary for most business casual events. Leather, microfiber and fine wovens are appropriate. Casual canvas and straw are not appropriate. Whether you like it or not, people size you up in a very short time, actually only about 3-5 seconds. Your apparel, demeanor, and mannerisms are all factors in influencing what someone else thinks of you and whether you inspire them. On the job, what you wear
creates important impressions
and will definitely affect
whether an employer
will take you seriously. Your image has the power to affect
people emotionally and intellectually, projecting that you do or do not have
the confidence and professional potential to be successful. Because the impression your visual image makes is so important, we asked employers from eight different industries, which apparel is best suited
(no pun intended) to a professional
office environment and makes
the Best First Impression. I hope you enjoyed this training session and will put the concepts you learned to good use... Because now I would like to introduce you to my replacement... The new Human Resources Director
Mr. Stickler... Who has a few words for you on this important subject...
Full transcript