What to Wear to Work: The Rules
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What to Wear to Work: The Rules

how to dress for workRegardless of how long you’ve been at your job, there’s always time to advance your wardrobe. Whether you’ve been at the job for one month or one decade, you should stop and think about the image you’re putting off at work. Research also shows that your alertness is affected by what you wear so you should definitely be conscious of what you put on in the morning. Here are eight tips to get you started:

1.  Add a blazer (women) or sport coat with a necktie (men) to a basic outfit to dress it up.

2.  Wear tailored clothes that fit your body type. Remember, you don’t need to be a certain size for clothes to look great. You should never wear anything too small or too large.  It’s always a good idea to accentuate the positive. For example, if you have amazing legs, wear a skirt or well-fitting pants with sharp creases.

3.  Make sure your shoes are clean and shine them if possible. Even though it might seem old-fashioned, regular shoe maintenance can go a long way. Shoe paste wax will also keep your shoes scuff-free and repel water.

4. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to spruce up your work wardrobe. Living in Vancouver (and surrounding areas), we are lucky to have a lot of options: Winners, Joe Fresh, Reitmans, H&M, and more. Buy clothing in neutral clothing that you put together in various outfits. You should avoid cheap prints and always remember that a little tailoring can go a long way.

5. This one is important. Always keep your attire modest and professional. Stay away from overly tight skirts, low V-necks, and anything that is see-through. You want to be remembered for your great work, not your great body.

6.  Always keep your hair and makeup routine as simple as possible. Depending on your hair and skin type, you should be able to get everything done within 30 minutes. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance between good grooming and overdoing it.

7.  Don’t try and build a wardrobe in one shot. In the beginning, purchase the bare minimum (one pair of shoes, a few skirts or pairs of pants, some shirts and a blazer, etc.) so that you can get a feel for what you like to wear.

8. No shorts, cropped-tops, mini-skirts or club clothes in the office. These items can go south quickly. We don’t think any explanation is necessary with this one!

We’ve come a long way since clothes were only about warmth and modesty, yet, many of us have become unaware and mindless about what we reach for each morning. It’s important to be yourself and respect your own style when dressing; however, you should always remember that impressions count. The right clothes can also make you feel more productive, trustworthy and authoritative. Do you have any tips to share? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

By Samantha Collier

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Samantha Collier is a well-respected social media specialist in the Canadian legal realm. An experienced practitioner of online social networking, Samantha also has experience working in-house in business development for a national IP firm, but has worked in marketing and client acquisition for over 13 years.