The nature of your work and the culture of your work environment will determine the business image you present. The dress codes for business attire are formal business wear, professional business wear and business casual.
The most important thing for an employee to remember is, it’s all about the whole presentation. Your clothes help people form an impression of you and you want to be noticed for the right reasons. You want to exude confidence, and clothing is just one of many tools with which to work.
Whether or not your place of work has enforced a dress code always make sure you look presentable, professional, and like someone you would want to do business with.
The 2011 Colour Trends offer a wide choice of colour palates to select from. You can opt for vibrant hues or settle for muted shades as per your taste and liking. The neutrals can look fabulous too, especially if you want a more somber look. Just be careful in selecting the colour combination and try to strike a balance between being too predictable and going over the top. Bright, vibrant eclectic colours like fuchsia, orange, purple, turquoise and yellow will flow from spring into summer.
Vintage clothing is poise to make a strong come back with a 1970s Bohemian retro influence. Fabrics will be fluid and light weight and floral prints will dominate retail outlets. The cuts and fabrics play as important a role in defining the in-look for a particular season. Care should be exercised when choosing appropriate attire for the business world. Coordinate your outfit, accessories and hair so that you look your best every day.
Here are five key questions to help you put your wardrobe together:
1. What is the dress code for my industry?
2. What is my company’s dress culture?
3. Who do I interact with?
4. What is my position within my company?
5. What activities will I be engaged in today?
Situational factors also come into play with regard to business attire. There are always elements to consider: Is the employee dealing with the public? Are they in a position where they might suddenly be called to give a speech or attend a meeting? Those factors influence what a person thinks is appropriate to wear on a particular day or every day.
As a result some companies have adopted a “Situational Sensitive” policy. It is becoming increasingly common for companies to require their employees to keep a change of formal business clothing in their offices for meetings with clients, particularly for those unexpected situations.
Finding business attire wear that goes from the boardroom to a five-star restaurant after work doesn’t have to be difficult. Suits and separates can easily transition to business evening wear by simply changing the accessories, purse and shoes. Understanding your industry goes a long way in helping you develop a business fashion wardrobe.
Conservative versus Creative:
Work environments like an accounting office demand a modern classic and traditional style of business fashion, and therefore lean towards the conservative side of this continuum. In a design studio, on the other hand, trendy, and even eclectic or edgy dress is encouraged and completely business appropriate as long as the outfits are polished and professional.
Casual versus Dressy:
Some industries are dressy, while others are more casual. For example, the IT industry will interpret business fashion closer to the casual side of this continuum, whereas financial services will interpret it more formally. The same is true in the more creative environments — some will be dressier than others.
Investing in a business wardrobe is a strategic business plan. Dress for the job you want not the one you have. The way you dress sends an instant message. Shop for business fashion clothing on purpose. Think specifically about how many other pieces this new piece will match. If the new single item matches at least three other items it is a good buy.
Making a good impression in the workplace is extremely important, especially for young adults who are just starting out in their careers. Being well-groomed and having a professional business wardrobe will ensure a sophisticated appearance that gains respect and credibility.
Remember that you want the focus to be on your professionalism and work; not your outfit. Dress that is extremely casual could be interpreted to mean that you don’t care. Make an effort to look your best at work or play and everyone will want to be your associate.
When in doubt about what is appropriate business attire feel free to check in with your supervisor or with your company’s human resources department. Don’t simply guess, ask. A good workplace dress code has guidelines, clear expectations and consequences.
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