Whatever kind of job you have, chances are, there’s some sort of dress code. It doesn’t matter if you work at a sports bar or a law firm: you can’t show up to work wearing whatever you please. Like an actor on the stage playing a role, you have to dress the part of your profession. Doing so will not only bolster your professional charisma, but it will help you get in the zone for a day’s work.
No matter what you do for a living, here are some tips to help you dress appropriately for work.
- When In Doubt, Ask
If you aren’t sure exactly how you should dress at work, ask someone — and ask someone in a position of authority. Even if a coworker has adopted a business casual approach to dressing, this does not mean that the office dress code is business casual: it may simply mean no one has corrected your coworker’s misapprehension. So, ask if you aren’t sure how you should dress, ask, and then dress accordingly.
- Skip the Skin Show
Part of dressing for work means not showing too much skin. This goes for men and women. There are plenty of sophisticated and sexy work-appropriate clothes out there, so you don’t have to wear short shorts and cleavage-baring tops to showcase your attributes — unless you happen to work at Hooters.
- Dress Comfortably
Workwear is not synonymous with uncomfortable clothing. In fact, your workwear needs to be comfortable for you to be able to focus enough to actually do your job. People whose professions have them on their feet, for instance, will likely have a hard time in high heels. Dressing for your job means you should dress so you can do your job.
- Keep it Clean
Personal hygiene is a large part of a professional appearance. If you don’t want to shower for a week, that’s your right, but don’t expect to be able to hold a job. And if you do manage, don’t expect people to want to work closely with you. Keep it clean. Bathe regularly, wash your hair, keep it neat and your nails trim. Oh, and for the love of your cubicle mate, brush your teeth!
- Safety, First
If your job requires that you wear any safety gear (e.g. glasses, boots, helmets), WEAR THEM! It doesn’t matter if you think it makes you look like a dork: better to be a dork with working body parts than a corpse who looks stylish.
Dressing for your job doesn’t mean you have to abandon your own sense of style, but it may mean that you have to showcase it differently. That’s the price we pay for having paying work, and really, it’s not too much to ask, so unless your workplace dress code is infringing on your fundamental human rights, suck it up, and dress appropriately.