We have already made it clear that what you wear is very important as it is part of your image and it communicates a lot about you and your personality. Well, when dressing for work, what you wear is very important as it makes you look the part. Regardless of your role, always be presentable at work, be well groomed and show up looking like you mean business. This does not, however, mean that you kill yourself with a power suit five days a week. It means you know what is in your wardrobe and work with them in a way that they represent who you are as a person. Here is a simple guide, for women on what to wear to work.
There are four types of corporate dress codes. There is the business formal, business professional, business casual and casual. I am going to highlight the basics which you need to stick to. The rule of thumb is to ensure you are always dressed appropriately.
This corporate dress code is often for those in the legal industry. Those in law and higher positions in organizations that are often meeting with executives are required to be in this highest form of workplace attire also called the “boardroom attire”.
- A well cut pant or skirt suit in a conservative neutral colour such as black, grey, navy or brown.
- White button-up blouse with a collar
- Closed-toe heels in a neutral colour
- Conservative accessories such as diamond studs as opposed to chandelier earrings
- Well groomed hair. Go to a professional stylist that will advice according to you face shape, hair type and your personality.
- Your skirts should never be more than two finger-widths above the knee
- Well groomed neutral nails like clear coloured or a beige-toned polish.
This is a slight dress down from the business professional attire. Such outfits are still formal, neat and conservative but the screws are loosened when it comes to colour and pattern. With this look, you get to be professional but also injecting a little personality to your outfits with such things as accessories and your choices of colour.
- Conservative skirt or pant suit in the neutral colours
- Collared button-up shirt in any solid colour
- larger, more noticeable jewelry such as a statement necklace or a chunky watch. Ensure it is high quality and not distracting
- Hair that is neat and groomed. Check with the HR for the acceptable cuts and colours.
This is a type of office wear where employees are allowed to add quite a reasonable amount of pomp and colour while still looking professional.
- Wear business separates rather than a full suit i.e a skirt and a cardigan
- Coloured shirts and blouses – a break from the mandatory collared ones
- Statement jewelry
- Shoes may be comfortable flats or loafers. Pumps should remain closed-toed
- Hair can be dyed (as long as it sits well with your company policy)
This is in most cases what most workplaces allow their employees to wear on Fridays. You should ensure you are still neat, pressed and professional.
- Nicely fitted tops and blouses
- Skirts in more casual fabric such as cotton.
- Dark wash denim if permitted
- More leeway with hair styles and colours
- You can wear open-toed shoes, flats and loafers
- You can get brighter colours of nail
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