Work Attire: Dress Like You Mean It

Choosing the right work attire can be a tricky business. There are lots of things to consider and manage. On the one hand, you want to create the right impression and dress to impress. On the other hand, you’re at work for a minimum of eight hours a day, and so comfort is also a factor. And that’s before we even think about your twice-daily commute. When putting together your work wardrobe, keep the following in mind.

  1. Dress Code

Your employer’s dress code is the first place to start. Some companies are clear on the clothing their employees can and can’t wear, and this is written into the contract or employee handbook. When making your choices ensure you don’t breach the rules. But that’s not to say that you can’t work around them.

  1. Practicalities

There’s no point in looking the pinnacle of poise and success when you’re just not comfortable. Those high heels may look great, but your feet are killing you after a couple of hours. This will impact on how you do your job and your overall well-being and happiness, so you may need to make a few compromises.

  • Find shoes that are comfortable to wear, even if it means reducing the heel height.
  • If you have a sizeable commute each day, consider wearing comfy shoes for the journey and then swapping them at work.
  • Suit attire can make you feel stuffy in the summer months, so opt for layers that can be removed.
  • Tight pencil skirts may be very Mad Men but if they’re restrictive when you’re sitting, your day is likely to be miserable. So, opt for clothes you can sit, stand and walk in.
  • Keep a few spare outfits at work. If a client phones for an impromptu visit, it’s worth having something suitable on hand to wear.
  1. Personal Flair And Individuality

The thing about formal and implied dress codes is that it can all get a little bit samey. Everyone dresses alike, and this can often come at the expense of personal style. But there are many ways you can enhance your working wardrobe without breaking the rules.

  • A business suit or shift dress can be transformed by adding jewelry. For example, a bold, statement necklace adds color and texture and creates a focal point for the ensemble.
  • Accessories will also enhance your look. Scarves add instant color. Belts will cinch or alter the position of your waistline. Brooches or flower corsages break up blocks of navy and grey and add interest.
  • Don’t just stick to the usual black, navy, grey, and pinstripes. Opt for a mix of colors and patterns. Sites like have some interesting examples.
  • Colored tights or socks can look fun and quirky, and will tone down overly formal attire.
  • To max up the individuality, consider making your own clothes or accessories. This will ensure that no-one else will have the same outfit. Find a sewing machine on review sites like to find a machine that will fit your needs.

It’s possible to dress like you mean business without feeling uncomfortable all day long or losing your sense of individuality. Start with the dress code and make some subtle enhancements.

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