How to choose clothes for work

Making a first impression counts. What you choose to wear to work can say a lot about you. More than just being fashion, work-wear can add professionalism to your career.

Customizing the right wardrobe to wear to work can save you time and money. What you wear to work shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable. You should feel at home with what you wear, because work days can be long, racing from air conditioned offices to windy cold streets.

Depending on what industry you are in, be it creative or corporate, we’ve got you covered.

Casual workplaces
Casuals workplaces give you freedom to dress how you want – within reason. Particularly in a start-up or creative industry, t-shirts and jeans are acceptable. There are still guidelines- no offensive t-shirt slogans, and no ripped or stained clothes (unless that’s fashionable this week). Hoodies are a matter of contention and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, if you work in finance or corporate sectors, you’d want to be aiming for a more conservative look.

A versatile functional wardrobe
What you wear to work should easily convert to day and street wear. Popping into the supermarket on the way home, you should be able to comfortably walk in your power-heels. Wearing a comfortable casual blazer is also another option if your workplace is lenient in their dress code. Easy to throw on over a top and pants, taking your look from casual to work. A crisp white shirt, plain or patterned slim-fit skirt, and classic pumps are always a solid option, and endlessly versatile. The white shirt can also be paired with pants or jeans, and the skirt with casual tops and statement jewelry.

Don’t forget the details
Accessories matter. Be true to your style, and wear jewelry that completes your look. A scarf can be a dashing finish to an outfit, and can become a versatile addition to your wardrobe. Shoes are also important. Men in particular, remember to wear neat, tidy, clean shoes. Sneakers are not acceptable (unless you’re a personal trainer) and never with jeans!

Wear what fits
Men, do your pants slide down to reveal more underwear than a Victoria’s Secret catalog? Invest in a belt to save embarrassment. Women, it might be wise to check the dress code and see if low cut blouses and short skirts are appropriate.

Most importantly – be creative and true to yourself! Study your dress code at work. Look for common denominators in what people wear to work. You should be able to throw in a tweaks of personal style here and there, without raising the eyebrows of HR. And finally, remember that you dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

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