Dress For Success

Great! You’ve made it! In this very unsteady economy and job market, you have successfully got your resume looked at, went through the interview process, and now you got the call back and have the job. So, what now? The most important thing to do now is be sure you don’t mess things up and have people second guessing you on your very first day at work. One surefire way to make an immediate bad impression is by what you wear. Quite often your clothes are the first thing by which people judge you, and you want to make certain you come off as confident, dependable, and even a bit stylish.

Below is a summary of tips you can follow to ensure you are dressed for success.

Go Shopping

Even if your new job is at an uber-casual start-up company, there will always be a borderline between proper workplace attire and dressing in your bottom of the drawer clothes like it’s laundry day. So before your first day, go out and invest some money in a few proper workplace outfits. Of course, you will first need to figure out what is the appropriate style of dress at your new workplace. One tip is to take a peek during your interview at what clothes some of the employees are wearing, and then as you’re shopping, base your purchases on what you saw.

Well dressed man and woman walking through office doors.

However, if you can’t remember what the employees were wearing, contact the company’s human resources department and ask what the dress code policy is. The last thing you want to do is to show up for your first day dressed much too casual or, conversely, much too conservative. For women, it’s often a safe bet not to wear revealing or sexually suggestive attire such as tight, high-cut skirts. In fact, research has shown that women who do dress in a sexually suggestive manner at work decrease their chance of receiving promotions and pay raises.

Observe Others

As mentioned above, a great tip to know how to dress for success at your new job is to simply observe what the current employees are wearing and base your style off of that. However, this is where things can get tricky. You don’t want to be dressing exactly like your fellow employees. Although mimicry is flattery, there is still a line to be drawn. So, on your first day try to show up wearing an outfit that is a bit more conservative than what the other employees are wearing. Of course, if everyone is already wearing suits and ties, then no need to one-up them by wearing a tuxedo. However, if you are working in a more casual environment where jeans and polo shirts are the norm, then show up in, say, khakis and a dress shirt. Then after a couple of weeks on the job, it’s usually safe to shift gears into what everyone else is wearing, with the point being that during your first weeks on the job you are always looking to dress for success and to impress.

What To Avoid

Aside from tips and advice on how and what to wear to your first days at your new job, it should also be noted explicitly what you should not wear. Again, for women, it’s best to stay away from overly sexual clothing, and displaying cleavage or bare skin. So, if you have decided to wear a tank top to work, just be sure to put a sweater over it. Also, if you plan on wearing a skirt, make sure it is close to knee length. For male employees, avoid tank tops, baggy pants and shirts, or else any clothing that would be deemed as sloppy. For both men and women, if you want to wear jewelry, be sure it is not big pieces or flashy. Regarding tattoos, cover them up as best you can. Also, within many office cultures, it is a faux pas to wear perfume or cologne. This is not because it is deemed bad taste, but rather it may cause an allergic reaction to fellow employees. One final note is the night before your first day go through a dry-run of what you’ll be wearing. Try it on, make sure there are no stains or rips or wrinkles. Most of all, keep your appearance looking neat, clean, and professional.