Getting Started in Your Career? Here’s How to Dress for Success

Are you going to your first real job interview after earning a college degree? Have you already started your career but want to get to the next level with a new job at a different company?

Well-dressed business people

photo credit: Rebrand Cities / Pexels

You need to keep some things in mind if that’s your goal. The right mix of experience and education is essential. But so, too, is the way you present yourself. Don’t underestimate the importance of making a good impression. Doing so can positively impact your career trajectory since, whether you like it or not, more opportunities will come your way if you look the part. The good news is that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to achieve a professional look.

Keep reading to see what you need to do to hit the mark and look your best in the workplace.

Wear Formal Wear

Dressing to impress in the workplace means getting the right professional attire and putting your outfits together well. Many companies have dress codes. So, if you’re starting a new job and aren’t instructed about what is okay to wear and what should be left at home, ensure you ask.

If there’s no official dress code, stick with comfortable formal wear. Choose high-quality clothing that fits well. Your outfits should appear as though they were made specifically for you. If they’re either too tight or too baggy, you’ll have a less-than-professional look that holds you back. In other words, if you’re in the running for a promotion but put little effort into your appearance, the chances are good that you’ll be passed by for someone who looks the part.

Be Mindful About Colors

Don’t overlook the color of your attire. For instance, darker colors such as grey or black often symbolize success, strength, or knowledge while white often symbolizes formality or cleanness. You can go with pastel colors if you’re looking for a more feminine look. Don’t go overboard with colors. If your outfit consists of many bold colors, you could attract attention for the wrong reasons. Just ensure that whatever you’re wearing fits your workplace environment.

Remember Grooming

Grooming is also essential. Do you like to go bold when it comes to your hairstyles? It’s okay to be different, but you shouldn’t go overboard. It shouldn’t be excessively long, you shouldn’t choose an unnatural hair color, and you shouldn’t go with an extreme style.

If you’re a man who likes to wear a beard, keep it properly combed and trimmed. If you’re a woman who likes to grow her nails, that’s fine. But steer clear of excessively long nails. And choose a nail polish color that complements your overall professional look.

Tattoos and body piercings should, if possible, be covered up. These things can denote a lack of professionalism and could become hurdles to career advancement. Jewelry is fine as long as your choices complement your professional attire. Avoid wearing a lot of jewelry. Less is definitely more. It’s best to have a go-to selection of quality jewelry to accessorize your outfits. Diamonds are a good choice — especially if you go with trendy and cost-effective lab grown diamonds.

Your makeup should be light. The last thing you want is to go overboard. Less is more when it comes to makeup. And go easy on the perfume or cologne — particularly if they’re scented.

Get the Right Shoes

You can leave the sandals at home. And chances are that high heels can also be left in the closet or on the shoe rack. Find formal shoes that look great in a professional environment while offering the support and comfort you need to be productive on the job. The type of workplace and the industry will dictate what types of footwear are acceptable. But unless your workplace allows for whatever footwear you want, it’s best to choose formal options.

These are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind as it relates to developing a good professional image. People will judge you at work not only based on how well you do your job and how well you behave, but also based on how you present yourself.



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