If you’re like me, the phrase ‘business casual’ throws you into a panic attack. Depending on the workplace, that phrase can mean anything from jeans and a nice blouse to dress pants and a button up. So if you’re looking to ‘dress to impress’, just what does that mean?
Lots of people weigh in on what women should wear to work. Some adhere to the philosophy that women in the workplace should look masculine and no-nonsense – pantsuits are required. Others argue that style has a place in the workplace, making pencil skirts and blouses the norm. Still others eschew the idea of dressing in anything other than what makes you feel comfortable and confident.
With all the ideas of what women should wear, it can get complicated. So here’s a list of general guidelines to follow.
1. Dress for the audience. Remember that not all workplaces are the same, nor are all meetings the same. Think about wh you’re meeting with before you get dressed that day. Do you have a meeting with an important client? Maybe a suit is best. Or is your day going to be sitting at your desk reading emails? Something more causal may be ok.
2. Pay attention to fit and style. While it’s easy to wear the same thing you were wearing ten years ago, maybe it’s time for a change. Changing up what you wear, or who you wear, can boost confidence. Wearing clothes that actually fit can too! It’s not easy to get things tailored on a budget, but it’s easy to reject things that don’t fit as not a good use of your spare pennies. So make each item count and get them to fit right.
3. Don’t be afraid to copy co-workers. It’s absolutely ok to watch what your co-workers wear and copy their style. Not exactly of course (stick to your own unique style!), but it’s ok to copy the tone and timing of their clothes. If all your co-workers tend to wear suits for the Monday meeting, you probably should too.
What’s your best dressed secret?