I have officially been working in the business world for one year this month. When I started my job last summer I was a young, broke, college grad with two nice, interview-worthy outfits. Once I accepted the position, I ran to H&M to get the cheapest nice tops I could find to try to create a professional wardrobe, thus creating a solid five outfits (thank god for casual Friday).
My mom had always told me to slowly collect nicer blouses, skirts, and slacks. I always told her I’d rather buy more tank tops. Finally, almost a year later, I have contributed to my wardrobe greatly (with the help of my lovely mama). It started as a collection of black, grey, and tan, but now I have much more options in colors and varieties!
These are my tips that I’ve gathered over the past year on how to dress for success. Or at least look like you belong in the building.
1. Color is your friend
Like I mentioned before, it all started with neutral colors. I gradually started adding bright pinks and royal blues. I even have a bright red blouse that I call my power blouse. Red is a very demanding color; it says look at me and listen to whatever the hell I have to say!
2. Watch that length
My second or third week at my new job I wore this one dress I had from H&M. It was navy blue with flowers on it, cotton, super cute. I got called into a conference room by my trainer and it was there that she told me my dress was too short. I was super embarrassed and I’ve never worn a dress since! I mean, how was I suppose to know? I went from bartender to HR professional over a weekend! It wasn’t too short for life, just too short for an office I suppose.
3. Ross is boss
I’ll admit it, I don’t have the patience for Ross. The home section, of course, but the clothes section seriously hurts my OCD. One day after work I had some time to kill, so I started browsing through the clothes. Some of the blouses I picked up and thought, “Why are these shaped so funny?” But I decided to try them on anyway for the sake of killing time. They fit perfectly! Super cute, cheap and professional! Wins all around!
4. Get yourself a watch
Watches are grown up. They are classy. They are professional. And you can always find out what time it is without pulling your phone out and looking like a rookie. So get yourself a watch. Or two. Or five. It starts to get addicting.
5. Cute flats are a necessity
I’m afraid of heights so heels are definitely out for me. Plus, I’m almost 5’8″, which is pretty tall and heels just make me look freakishly tall. Also, of whatever reason, I find myself walking all over the office more than sitting at my desk all day. Who wants to deal with the pain of heels anyhow? Flats are still functional and professional.
And that’s how I dress for success! Just a few key points I keep in mind while shopping and getting dressed in the morning. Just remember to dress classy enough to make an impression, but keep up with the dress code enough to fly below the radar! What kinds of things do you wear to work?