Four things to remember when dressing for a job: a guide for modern workers

None more so than setting the right tone and making a good impression on those around

When working in any form of employment, there are so many factors that need considering. None more so than setting the right tone and making a good impression on those around. From the initial interview process to your first day, getting off on the right foot is important, for it will set you on the right path moving forward.

While what you say and your body language have a significant impact on the impression you give people around you, there are other aspects about yourself that you should be thinking about when faced with this situation. The clothes that we choose to wear often reflect parts of our character and personality.

While some people have no issue with the types of clothing they wear to work – particularly nowadays in a world filled with remote workers – there are some circumstances when you should consider the items of clothing you are choosing to wear for your job.

The modern world is becoming more accepting of different styles and clothes; there is no doubt about it. While that is the case, read on to discover what you should be thinking about when dressing for a job, whether an existing one or future.

Check Your Wardrobe

Finding the right outfit for any occasion in your life can be tedious and time-consuming. As much as we might wish to disagree in these moments, our wardrobes are packed with clothes that we have worn and loved throughout the years and could also provide an alternate purpose by being used for work attire too.

Checking your wardrobe for clothes that could be multipurpose will make the task at hand that little bit easier while also easing any burden on your bank account too! Making a list of what you have and where they could be used is also useful; you can use this information to build on and spot any gaps in your attire that might need filling.

Considering the style of clothing that you wish to wear to work will also make a vast difference. Establish whether there are any dos and don’ts within your workplace regarding what you can wear. From here, you will have a better understanding of what to choose.

Smart or Casual: The Ultimate Question

This is a question we have all asked ourselves from time to time and is used in various circumstances. Looking over-or under-dressed is something that we want to avoid at all costs, for it can lead to the wrong impression being given, and feelings of embarrassment at the same time.

While this is the case, it is worth distinguishing the differences between smart casual, business casual, and business professional attire in the workplace. The lines between these categories can often feel blurred, particularly when more people are experimenting with their clothing styles and mixing things up regularly.

Placement’s guide to business professional attire can help you learn more about this type of thing. Going into a new job with an understanding of what attire looks the most professional is sure to give the best impression possible. You will also have a better understanding of where each of these clothing styles is appropriate, which takes us to the following section.

Matching Your Clothes To The Situation

As is to be expected in any job role, you will face a whole host of different situations, either daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. For the most part, you will be able to wear your usual work attire for these events, but there might come the point where you have to think about what you are wearing for something in your calendar.

Business meetings with other companies, for example, often call for your clothing to lean more on the side of caution and be professional in its appearance. However, having an informal video call with someone internally could allow you to wear something a little more casual; who is going to know that you are wearing pyjama bottoms while on the call?!

Matching the clothes you are choosing to the situation at hand will make narrowing down the options a lot easier. You will already understand what is suitable for these varied situations, but thinking more about it and considering your options will ensure that you are looking and feeling your best at work.

You should make an effort to think about your footwear too. Suppose you are attending a conference that requires a lot of walking around. You will want to refrain from choosing big heels or something that will cause blisters and opt for something stylish, suitable, and comfortable. While we recognise the desire to make a statement with contrasting footwear, you also want to ensure that you are comfortable while working; there is nothing worse than tending to a blister in between important meetings.

Subtle Makeup and Accessories

Accessorising your work outfit might not be something that you have initially thought about, but it is something that can make a statement when in certain business environments. Standing out from the crowd is important when attending an interview that has been applied for by lots of people. A brooch on your smart jacket or an eye-catching necklace are both sure ways to attract the attention of others and encourage them to look at you over other people.

Naturally, statement jewellery and accessories should be avoided in the workplace, for they will most likely get in the way. The same can be said for makeup that is bright and colourful. While more casual workplaces will most likely be okay with this type of thing and not have a policy concerning it, office jobs might not lean the same way.

Subtle and neutral makeup is ideal for an office environment and will ensure you look your best in video calls and in-person meetings. Beat the blush with a touch of concealer and feel confident in your appearance.

While this guide has only scratched the surface on the types of things you should be thinking about when planning outfits and dressing for a job, we hope it has left you with a better idea of what questions you should be asking of yourself moving forward.

The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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