The Do's and Don't's of Office Attire

Strictly business attire is less common, and the new casualness requires new rules. 

by Michele Benza • More.com Member { View Profile }

At last fashion designers have realized working women are an untapped market and are designing clothes for us. Needless to say this makes me very happy! Especially as I believe it is vitally important that we wear appropriate attire to work that is both stylish and elegant.

Interestingly, strictly business attire seems to have disappeared. Only four percent of women in the United States say they wear strictly business clothes, while 31 percent claim to dress casually for work.

Being an Image Consultant, I naturally take great care about how I dress. It is imperative that my clothes fit perfectly and that they enhance my good features and camouflage my flaws. Unless my outfit needs to be uplifted in some way, my jewelry is minimal. As for makeup, it is religiously applied every morning. And it has to be flawless.

I know I do a better job when I am dressed for the part. Even when working from home, I dress professionally as I know my voice would project differently over the phone if I dressed down.

Here is a checklist of do’s and don’ts for you to keep in mind before heading out the door to work. I highly recommend that you place a full-length mirror next to your front door and look yourself over very carefully from the feet up. Details count!

DO's:

· Shoes - clean and in immaculate condition. No scuff marks or worn-down heels! Make sure they go well with what you are wearing.

· Legwear - needs to be invisible. Only if the skin on your legs is smooth and you have no visible defects can you go barelegged to work!

· Pants – check the hemline. It should NOT touch the ground.

· Skirts/dresses - not too short, not too long, not too tight. Sit in front of a mirror and check out what others see.

· Tops - fitted yet not revealing.

· Hair and makeup - pulled together. A hint of flawless makeup.

· Accessories - good quality and discreet.

· Finishing touch - a coat or jacket will tie your entire outfit together. 

DON’TS:

· Fragrance – wear very little. Your clients and/or coworkers could be allergic.

· No cleavage.

· No sleeveless tops - unless your upper arms are super toned.

· Handbag – Keep it neat and tidy. A messy one shows you are disorganized.

· Jewelry - less is better. Save the chandelier earrings for evening.

 

Last words. Invest in high quality well-tailored pieces. The higher up you are on the work ladder, the better quality your clothes should be. Dress for the job you want, not the job you are in.

Find your signature piece of the season–whether it is a piece of clothing, a piece of jewelry, a handbag, or a scarf–your colleagues will admire you for your great style.

Finally, remember a good business outfit is all about fit, color and silhouette!

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