Dress for the Job You Want...

June 13, 2014 | Ashley

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In a professional setting, how you dress can determine many things such as your success, the way others perceive you you i.e., clients, coworkers, bosses etc. Even though we are taught that it isn't right to judge people by the way they look, the same rule definitely doesn't apply in most work settings. At work, often appearance somehow translates into things like performance, competence, credibility, organization etc. Most people make these judgements subconsciously, without meaning to. Many of us have heard that popular saying "dress for the job you want, not the one you have". If you're going for a job interview this is especially important, usually you can't go wrong with a good suit, this applies for men and women. Obviously the guy in the picture above took this a little too far, maybe he should have just worn a suit!

Today's workplace has transformed from traditional professional attire to a more business/casual feel. While this is more comfortable it can be confusing when trying to figure out where to draw the line between too casual and too formal. If your company does have a dress code, just make sure you follow it. However, since a lot of companies don't have a strict dress code it can be difficult to figure out what to wear, based on what your co workers are wearing. So, just because your coworker is wearing ripped jeans, flip flops and a crop top, it doesn't necessarily make it the right thing to do. Different industries also have varying expectations for they way employees dress.

One tip that I've heard of before is to look at the way your boss dresses, as a guideline. The website Talent Egg is a great Canadian career resource for new or recent graduates looking for entry level positions, internships, career guides and meaningful work, posted a great article called How to Dress for Career Success: Tips from Image Expert Erin Miller the article suggests that if you dress in a way that mirrors the way your clients dress (if you have clients) it shows respect. The article has many other great guidelines for formal, casual and business casual looks for both men and women. Check out this excellent video tutorial they provided:


Here are just a couple of tips, I've learned along the way. However, the way we dress is all very personal we all have our own style.


There is nothing wrong with incorporating some colour into your wardrobe, it is becoming more trendy to do so now. However, it is still important not to wear colours that are too flashy or distracting.


Simple accessories are fine. A nice statement piece of jewelry can really transform an outfit. Similar to colour, accessories also shouldn't be too flashy or noisy (like noisy bracelets which bang against each other).


Ladies (and gentlemen too if applicable) if you are going to wear open toed shoes make sure that you have had a pedicure, that doesn't mean you have to go out to the spa and spend a lot of money on french manicures and pedicures, just that your feet and hands should be well groomed. Also, high heeled shoes shouldn't be too high, you should be able to walk in them comfortably. 

Here are a few articles from the web which may also help you dress well for work:

Real Simple - How to Dress for Success

Forbes - Dress for Success

Harpers Bazaar - 10 Rules for a Chic Workplace Wardrobe



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Book look speak

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For years, highly paid executives at major corporations have had the benefit of professional image consultants to give them feedback about their presentation in the workplace. That expert advice has helped them to dress properly for any business occasion, improve their public speaking and presentation skills, understand the dos and don'ts of the workplace, and enhance their standing in the business community. Now that same type of guidance is available to anyone--recent graduates looking to enter the workplace as well as managers and executives looking to polish themselves and their skills. 


Photo Credit: http://memecollection.net/my-boss-told-me-dress-for-the-job-you-want/