Making the transition from college into your first proper job is an exciting time. There is a lot to think about, from the skills you’ll need and getting to know new colleagues, but one thing you should put some thought into is your workwear.
Here are some general tips for dressing appropriately in a new job.
Dressing for the Industry
Different industries have different dress codes. What you’d wear for an internship at Vogue is likely to be very different from your first day at Google HQ, for example. In general, tech and media jobs tend to be a bit more relaxed than corporate roles.
If you are lucky enough to have secured a job in a tech startup, you can probably get away with a more casual look, such as jeans and a tee. For this type of role, a closet full of funky tees, trendy jeans, and designer sneakers are just the ticket. Ladies can style it up with some Balenciaga sneakers and some statement jewelry. You can check out the Balenciaga’s on SSENSE. The Balenciaga white canvas match sneakers will look great with a pair of black skinny jeans and a statement tee.
Jobs in the corporate world are a very different kettle of fish. If you are about to start a new job as a legal secretary or trainee accountant, you will be expected to dress smartly. Jeans and sneakers are a definite no-no unless your workplace operates a dress-down Friday.
This is where a capsule wardrobe comes in handy. Shop for some mix-and-match separates that will take you smoothly through your working week.
Gender Specific Workwear
For men, a selection of plain-dye shirts, pants, jackets, and ties are all you need, with a couple of suits for client meetings. Women will need a range of smart pants and skirts, fitted blouses, shift dresses, and stylish suits. You can dress up your outfits with funky scarves and pretty necklaces.
Footwear is important. Heels are always acceptable in the workplace, and indeed, some employers expect women to wear heels, especially in a customer-facing role. Not all women want to wear heels or can walk in them without stumbling, so if heels are not your thing, shop for a pair of smart ballet shoes or cute kitten heels. In winter, stylish boots are OK, and in summer, a pretty pair of sandals will look great.
Wearing the right outfit is very important. First impressions count and the last thing you’ll want to do is start off on the wrong foot. A lot of workplaces have a strict dress code, so it is important that you check what this is before you show up on the first day. If your new employer hasn’t given you an employee manual with essential information, call HR or your new boss and ask. It’s better to find out now than risk embarrassment.
Don’t be afraid to express your personality in the workplace. You are an individual not a cog in the machine!