Not sure how to dress in a way that inspires confidence, competence, and makes a great first impression in Corporate America? Here is a breakdown in five easy steps.
1. Must Have Basics
The dress code for most traditional corporate jobs is business professional. This generally means that a suit is required. The safest bet is to choose dark colors such as black, grey, or navy and stay away from patterns that are flashier than a pinstripe.
When purchasing your suit, buy it as a set to make sure that the fabric is a true match. A quality suit looks more refined and professional while a cheap suit is likely to look frumpy. The fit of your suit is just as important so don't skip on the alterations or opt to invest in a made to measure or fully custom suit.
2. On The Top
Layer your blazer on top of a good quality blouse. The safest bet is to stick with neutral colors that compliment your suit. White, cream, black, or grey are acceptable in just about any circumstances. However most places of business are more flexible and allow brighter colors as long as they aren't too over the top. Any shirt you wear should not reveal any cleavage and all of your fabrics need to be clean and ironed.
3. On The Bottom
Traditionally, showing your toes has been seen as unacceptable in any role that deals with money. There has been some debate on this issue when it comes to warm weather. While some employers may allow open toed shoes, a black closed toe pump is a staple that no professional woman's closet should be without.
There was also a time when professional women were required to wear stockings and thankfully this is generally no longer the case. But if you're showing your legs do make sure you're not showing too much.
4. The Accessories
When it comes to jewelry, make wise choices. Keep it small, simple, and tasteful. Don't allow your jewelry to be distracting or showy. The same rules apply to makeup.
Your hair doesn't necessarily have to be pulled back but you should prevent it from covering too much of your face. You don't want to give the impression of hiding behind your mane. Convey open honesty by showing your face.
While your suit should be the staple of your work wear and creates a great first impression, sometimes you just need to mix it up. Most places of business will allow conservative dresses, especially when worn with a blazer. It’s a good idea to pick up a few dresses for different types of weather.