Youâ€™re an eager young professional entering the workforce. Youâ€™re smart and ambitious, but are you dressed for corporate success? Lindsey Pollak, author of the new book Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World, shares some key fashion rules of the workplace:
When in doubt, wear a suit. Even if itâ€™s pouring rain or the muggiest of summer days. If you discover that youâ€™re wildly overdressed, you can always remove your jacketâ€”as long as the top underneath isnâ€™t too revealing! Wearing a suit is particularly important if you have a young-looking face and want to appear older and more experienced.
You canâ€™t go wrong with basic black. The failsafe choice in any situation is a black suitâ€”itâ€™s always appropriate and matches everything. Every young professional woman should own at least one well-fitting black suit (pants or a just-below-the-knee skirt). If youâ€™re on an entry-level budget, the bonus is that less expensive fabrics look better in black than lighter colors.
Accessorize (cautiously). The place to show your personality is with accessories: a chunky necklace, a scarf-belt in a trendy fabric, a splurge-worthy tote, fabulous (closed-toe) shoes. But skip the jingly bracelets. They get in the way when youâ€™re making that super-important, first-impression handshake.
Overall, avoid having any element of your appearance make a bigger first impression than you do. Itâ€™s hard enough to get a job and get ahead; never, ever lose an opportunity because of what youâ€™re wearing.
For more great inspiration for dressing right for the workplace, check our guide to Professional Essentials by stylist, Bridgette Reas.