If you want to get ahead at work, you better dress the part!
Though many workplaces adopt an ‘anything slides’ approach to the dress code, it doesn’t hurt to put a bit of effort in. After all, people will often build their first impression of you based on how you present yourself and these impressions have potential to stick!
Before you get the wrong idea and roll into the office suited and booted in a place where jeans are the norm, stop! Because to put it plainly, you’ll probably stand out like a sore thumb and looking good at work doesn’t always have to equate to wearing a tie. What I mean, is that by simply putting a bit of thought into what you wear, not only will you get yourself noticed for the right reasons, but you can also inject a bit of personality into your appearance too.
So put down that grubby old shirt and have a read of our top tips to becoming the best dressed in the office.
Dress Code: Laid back
It’s certainly a lot easier when the company you work for has a casual dress code, as it usually means that your work wardrobe can double up as your weekend one. When the rules are relaxed, however, it’s important that you don’t misread ‘casual’ as ‘just rolled out of bed’. The same can be said for wearing anything too risque, as though your string vest may be a big hit on the Magaluf strip, it probably won’t go down quite as well with your boss!
By having the freedom to wear what you please, it allows you to be a bit creative with your outfits and get a few style points under your belt. Most casual workplaces will allow jeans and if worn the right way they can actually look quite smart. This makes them the ideal choice for adding a professional edge to a laid back outfit. More fitted styles tend to look neater, so opt for a straight leg or slim fit in a dark rinse and avoid distressed or faded styles. Pair your jeans with a classic t-shirt in a plain design or simple pattern, and layer up with a stylish bomber jacket to complete the look.
In terms of footwear, a classic, well kept pair of trainers in a neutral colour should do the trick.
Dress Code: Smart/Casual
If the dress code in your workplace falls somewhere in the middle, you can enjoy the best of both worlds by dressing up your casual clothing with some more sophisticated accents.
Create the perfect office outfit by pairing some smart/casual trousers with an open necked shirt, minus the tie. Chinos or even some slim fit jeans in a colour at the darker end of the spectrum look great paired with a check shirt, for a laid back, yet put together look. Layer up with a knitted crew neck jumper or a tailored jacket for some added warmth.
Alternatively, a polo shirt can also look pretty smart if worn the right way and is a great option for keeping cool in the warmer months. Opt for something in a block colour and a slim fit to keep things neat. Fish off with a pair of simple shoes, such as suede boots and smart accessories.
Dress Code: Dress to Impress
If you work in fashion or another creative sector there is a lot more space for freedom of expression. In some cases, particularly in the fashion industry, it could even be said that what you wear for work can almost become part of the job itself! For this reason, you want to put some thought into how you are presenting yourself.
If this sounds like your workplace, don’t shy away from clothes with a bit of an edge to them. Be the quirky guy!
It’s important to remember that you are in the workplace and need to remain professional, but a creative environment is a great opportunity to get on board with current trends and experiment a bit. So, to add a bit of pizzazz to you workplace look, incorporate a bit of print into your outfit, turn up your cuffs, go for the full three piece suit, or even accessorise with some bold accessories. The world is your oyster.
Dress Code: Business Smart
Though the days of the compulsory black suit and tie seem to be behind us, there’s no better way to show you that really mean business, than donning a quality piece of tailoring.
Over the years, the classic single breasted suit has become an icon of power and I think it is for that reason that it is still so prevalent among business leaders, finance professionals and politicians.
If you’re looking to make a good impression, or if a smart dress code is enforced in your workplace, you can’t really go wrong with a refined black, navy or grey two piece. Put it together with a neutral shirt, a matching tie and some smart derby shoes or brogues, and you’ll look a million dollars!
The problem with a smart dress code, however, is that there’s little variation. In order to inject a bit more personality into your look try adding a pop of colour or pattern to your outfit with a stylish tie or shirt. To avoid any clashes, as a rule of thumb only ever wear one patterned item at a time, and remember… novelty ties are strictly off limits, even if your son bought you it for Christmas.