The struggle of what to wear to work is something that most of us face on a daily basis, and it never seems to get any easier. The crazy weather patterns certainly don’t help either.
What you wear to work obviously highly depends on the industry you work in, and your particular role, however we recommend always trying to look professional, and err on the side of dressing up rather than down. Remember that age-old saying “dress for the job you want, not for the job you have”.
We recommend having at least one suit in your wardrobe to combine with shirts, blouses, or tops to create different looks. Even if you don’t have to wear it every day, a suit is a great wardrobe staple, for job interviews, or business related events where you want to look your best.
Other work outfits include button through shirt dresses, dresses, skirts and tops. Opt for knee length or slightly above the knee when it comes to dress or skirt length, nothing too short. When it comes to colour, keep the palette fairly conservative. Neon and bright pinks are not really appropriate unless of course you work in a creative environment where you know it is ok.
A structured bag is a professional option for work and wins over its slouchy, cross-body bag cousin. Although a satchel is definitely an option. Something big enough to carry a book or folder, or pair of flats if you need, but not quite the kitchen sink.
When choosing work shoes, again it depends on the industry you’re in. Some workplaces demand that you wear closed toe shoes for safety reason so keep that in mind. For those fairly flexible workplaces, we recommend going for a low to mid range heel. Something that you can walk comfortably in and won’t have you in blisters by the end of the day. Save the platforms for the club!
Things to avoid wearing to work
- too much makeup – you don’t want to look like you have just come from the club, keep it basic.
- showing too much skin – if you want to be respected and taken seriously by your manager and peers, we recommend not showing too much skin at work. The office isn’t a place for short skirts and plunging necklines.
- bling – keep jewellery and accessories to a minimum
If in doubt, ask for guidance from other colleagues, people in the industry, or the internet!
What to Wear to An Interview
Regardless of whether you believe first impressions do or don’t count, it’s hard to deny they play a large role in job interviews. That’s why it’s important to dress appropriately for the job description, the field of work you’re in, and take into consideration the interviews time and location.
Generally it’s safe to wear tailored garments (not to be confused with body con or tight!) and or a collar, and blazer. If you’re applying for admin or corporate positions, essentially it’s important to put forward the tidiest and best version of yourself you possible can. Pendulum tops are a great way to incorporate a current trend into a tailored formal outfit. Similarly plain wedges help jazz up an outfit and minimise the risk of a stumble on your way in (basically we’d give them a job if we could).
Jewellery should be kept to a minimum and simple, keep all the tassels and neon for your post employment celebrations. If you’re in creative industries the basic guidelines still apply, however they might be a bit more lax. Patterned blazers, printed garments and accessories can be used (in moderation) as statement pieces to provide you with a signature look.
Creative by Katelyn Hague, content with the help of Sally Dunn.