Wednesday, September 21, 2011

10 Commandments of Dressing for Work- Day 7

Article Credit
 I read this article last week and it intrigued me because as I am climbing the corporate ladder, as well as the age ladder, I have found that in my late 20's I often feel conflicted when dressing for work.  I may be 28 on paper, but I don't feel 28. I want to dress youthfully and fashionable, but also come across as professional and confident. I want to wear clothes that I think are fun and current, but I don't want to create an image to my boss and others that I am inexperienced and don't know what I am doing at work. I work in an office environment where the majority of my co-workers are 40+ and sometimes I feel as though my attire makes me stand out even more than I already do.

These 10 Commandments from Career Builder found via I felt were very spot on. So I thought I would share them with you, as well as provide my own commentary for each.

If you are conflicted over what to wear to the office, read these ten tips and re-think your work wear!

1. Modesty is a virtue.
There is always "that girl" (or woman in my office building) who wears the shirt cut too low or the pencil skirt too tight, you know who I'm talking about, every office has one. Don't be her. You can be stylish without compromising your modesty. For shirts that are super low, throw on a camisole underneath, or even a tank top in a neutral or contrasting color. It can add interest to your outfit and keep you from being the topic of conversation in the break room. For pants or skirts that are super tight around the rear-end but may be loose throughout the legs, wear a flowy or longer shirt that hits right about wrist height or slightly higher if your arms were at your sides to cover the top of the pants.

2. Keep holy the casual Friday.
This is a tricky one, because so often Friday feels like it's practically already part of the weekend. But don't show up to work like you are already on vacation. Different offices have different standards for Friday. Mine is casual, and some folks in my building take that too literally. Pair dark jeans with a blazer and some fun heals for a casual appropriate look. Think about what you would wear to a nice dinner out with your significant other and then layer with a cardigan or blazer to make it slightly more business, thus appropriate for the office.

3. Thou shalt wear the right shoes.
I am guilty of breaking this one. It is a hike from the parking lot to the building and then another three flights of stairs before I'm finally behind my desk, and often I can be seen taking that hike in my trusty rainbow flip flops with heals hanging out of my purse. And on days where I am chained to the computer, I will stick with the rainbows instead of changing into heals. I think shoes can be counted as accessories when completing an outfit. You wouldn't wear a redic amount of necklaces or bracelets, so keep your shoes classy and not so high that you can't walk in them for the office.

4. Honor thy leaders.
Don't know what to wear to a client meeting? Look at those around you in executive positions and take clues from their wardrobe. To they wear jackets to meetings? Maybe you should do.

5. Thou shalt not steal thy boss's tie.
While taking tips from executives can be helpful, don't recreate their entire wardrobe as your own.

6. Control thy festiveness.
I love this one because nothing annoys me more than when folks show up to the office dressed to the nines like Cleopatra or Fred Flinstone during Halloween week. People please, I know you're excited about taking your kid trick-or-treating, but let's save the dress-up for after 5:00pm. It is fun to wear a red sweater before Christmas or maybe a pretty pink blouse on Valentine's day, but let's leave it at that. We don't need reindeer antlers and Cupid's arrows as accessories during business hours.

7. Remember the good book.
Remember that book/binder/folder you received on your first day? That you probably haven't picked up since? It's probably got a dress code in it! Most every office has a dress code policy that they want their employees to adhere to. Read and refresh yourself on what your office requires in the attire department.

8. Thou shalt notice what year it is.
Congratulations on taking such good care of your clothing that items from 1983 are still "fine" today. Now put these relics in the Goodwill box where they should have landed years ago. While one need not be a fashionista, looking outdated can give the impression that you lack fresh ideas.

9. Err on the side of caution.
Not sure if you should wear that black tank that has almost too thin straps? Then don't. Better safe than sorry. Another good rule of thumb, if your bra straps are not covered by the straps of your top, then you should probably not wear it, or add a cardigan or blazer to make it more professional.

10. Dress for the job thou want.
Best piece of advice in my opinion. Dressing like an executive can not only help you present yourself like one, but make you feel like one. I think clothes are such an outward expression of how we feel and how we feel about ourselves. Do your body a favor and clothe it in excellence!

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