Like it or not, the way you dress in the workplace can have a huge impact on your career. But it can also be tricky to determine what’s acceptable and what’s not. With that in mind, I’ve come up with a guide that covers some basic do’s and don’ts of office attire.

Why It’s Important

Dressing for success isn’t just about looking nice to those around you; how you dress can help — or hinder — the way people perceive you in the workplace. Presenting a polished, professional image at work gives your co-workers and clients a lasting first impression and instantly boosts your professional credibility. It also makes you feel good, you feel confident and prepared, and wear the right colour’s and you will transport yourself even further!

These first impressions apply to your social media presence, too. It’s important that your LinkedIn profile picture sends the right message to colleagues, clients and anyone else who might see it. Try to use a professional picture and keep the photos from your weekend in Marbella for you and your friends.

Business Professional Do’s & Don’ts

Do wear …

  • Business suits – they don’t need to be boring & conservative but think classic!
  • Skirts: the length should hit just above the knee or below
  • Trousers: neatly pressed, nothing too tight
  • Shirts: Think simple design, plain or soft patterns – nothing too overpowering
  • Dresses: worn alone, or with a suit jacket or blazer – think neutral colours
  • Shoes: ideally closed-toe, polished, scuff-free, or a classic sandal for summer
  • Jewelery: tasteful, simple pieces or one bolder piece – not overdone
  • Hair, Makeup & Nails should be clean, classic and tidy at all times

Don’t wear …

  • Anything too short, too revealing, too tight or too sheer
  • Try and avoid sleeveless or low-cut shirts
  • Casual khaki combat trousers or jeans
  • Open-toed or overly casual shoes, or those with extremely high heels
  • Clashing bold colours & patterns


Business Casual Do’s & Don’ts

Do wear …

  • Casual trousers, including cropped and capris that hit around mid-calf, avoid ripped or tatty looking jeans
  • Skirts and dresses in more casual styles in an appropriate length
  • Button-up shirts, blouses or sweaters
  • Open-toed shoes, including dress sandals

Don’t wear …

  • T-shirts (especially slogan)
  • Jeans, including coloured styles
  • Any type of revealing clothes
  • Shorts, even longer styles that hit right at the knee
  • Beach wear or street wear shoes, like flip-flops or sneakers
  • Casual sundresses (a light cardigan or jacket over a sleeveless piece is an easy fix)

Other Tips for Presenting the Best YOU

Remember that a dress code isn’t synonymous with style. Adding colour and patterns to your wardrobe is a fun and easy way to showcase your personality while still maintaining professionalism. Also, investing in a few wardrobe staples, like a reversible black/brown belt and wrinkle-free shirts, can help simplify things. And no matter what you choose to wear at the office, your clothes should always be clean, pressed, stain-free and conservative.

Top Tip – Its always a good idea to keep some handywipes, a small makeup bag, hairbrush, nail file and painkillers in your work drawer or bag for those emergency situations. You never who will walk in, or what meeting you might suddenly have to attend so be prepared!

So there you have it: A fool-proof guide for dressing like a professional at the office. What other dress for success tips do you have? I’d love to hear from you!

For further style or image advice contact me direct to arrange an Image Consultation – 07825 509318