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Your clothes say a lot about you. They also help people form a first impression of you for better or worse.
How you dress in the office can have a big impact on your career. It can impact your pay, your promotions, and your career trajectory. In other words, you can’t afford to miss the mark with your professional fashion. You also don’t want to be boring.
How can you keep your professional fashion game strong? Keep reading to learn nine tips that will help you stand out, be fashionable, and look professional.
1. What is Your Style?
Everyone has a personal style. Some people are jeans and t-shirts types, but that won’t fly in most offices.
If you’re not sure of your professional style, take the time to decide. You want to be conservative, but there’s also room to be a little eclectic, too.
Some offices, like at creative ad agencies, prefer to have people that show a little personality. For men, wear a bow tie. Women can opt for something funky like personalized Converse shoes.
In a conservative office, such as at a bank, you can have style, but you’ll have to wear suits. You can go with a classic look that is simple and elegant. These clothes usually have clean lines and you can mix dark and light colors for contrast.
If you’re not sure what your style is, check out fashion magazines and online sites like Pinterest. When you can define your style, it makes it much easier to shop.
2. Use Accessories Wisely
Accessories can be creatively used to make your business attire stand out. Without them, your outfit can look a little boring or like you’re not taking your work seriously.
For men, belts, briefcases or portfolios, jackets, and watches can make a big impression. In a casual environment, you can express your interests and personality with patches sewn into your bag or jacket. You can shop here to find patches for you.
For women, necklaces, purses, bracelets, watches, and earrings can work together to tie an outfit together. Scarves can also be used to add an accent of color and elegance.
3. Add Color to Your Wardrobe
The same way that a room with one color can be boring after a while applies with your professional fashion.
You don’t want to wear the same dark colors all the time. Mix things up with colors that will provide some pop to your attire.
For example, dark pants with a light shirt and a bright scarf add a little bit of fun to your outfit. You can also add color with your shoes and bag.
When you add color to your outfit, you want to ensure that it’s tasteful and matches the personality of your corporate culture.
4. Be Somewhat Trendy
You want to follow fashion trends outside of work. Inside the office, however, you don’t want to be too tied to the latest trends. Believe it or not, your wardrobe choices could cost you a promotion. You want to make sure that your professional attire matches your personality and the personality of your office.
Trends change so often that it is possible to spend a lot of money on business clothes that you’ll end up donating in a few months because they’re out of style.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Mix it Up
You want to express who you are through your clothes, but you have to do so in a way that works for your office.
With that said, you can have room to mix things up a little bit. You might surprise your colleagues once in a while with a fun scarf, though you may need to leave the feather boa at home.
6. Makeup and Hair are Part of the Ensemble
Hair and makeup matter in your overall appearance. An outfit that has a wonderful sense of style with hair that looks like you just rolled out of bed won’t work.
You want to make sure that your makeup is subtle and your hair can be air dried for a more natural look.
7. Plan Ahead
There will be days when you roll out of bed and you don’t feel like getting up. That may be you on most mornings. In those cases, you’ll want to sleep in as long as you can before you have to get ready for work.
What you can do to maximize your sleeping in time is to plan your business attire ahead of time. Lay out your clothes the night before. It makes it easier to look like you care about your business wear even on days you don’t.
8. Wear Clothes that Fit
This tip applies to both men and women equally. When you go shopping for professional attire, you’re likely to buy something right off the rack.
When you buy something right off the rack, it doesn’t mean that it’s a perfect fit. You want to make sure that your clothes aren’t too baggy or ill-fitting. You can do that by taking your off the rack purchases right to the tailors.
9. Don’t be Too Casual
Professional fashion has certainly changed since the 1950s. It’s become more casual. Some companies have casual Fridays, where you can wear jeans and a t-shirt.
You don’t want to be too casual, especially if you have meetings on your calendar. Instead, opt for a sweater and dress pants that will make you look casual and professional.
Professional Fashion That’s Stylish and Fun
It’s not easy to dress well for work without being boring. While every day can’t be casual Friday at the office, there are some things that you can do to improve your professional fashion wear.
You need to define your style, make sure your clothes fit your body, and use colors and accessories.
When you do those things well, you’ll have a professional wardrobe that gets attention for the right reasons. That can turn into a big promotion in the future.
Want more great business and career tips? Take a look at our blog to grow your career today.