Dress For Success
You know the drill: with the start of any new year comes the desire for a new and improved you, whether in your personal or professional life. If, like many others, you’ve started the year re-evaluating your current employment situation, you’ll want to ensure you look your best for when those all-important career opportunities crop up.
Whether you’re honing your look for a big interview or want to be sure your boss knows your worth at an annual review, here’s the low down on dressing for professional success in 2016.
Corporate Jobs The Suit – Your No. 1 Asset
A dark, two-piece, gray, navy or black suit is your best option when interviewing with for a corporate position. Compliment it with a light colored blouse or cotton shirt. Steer clear from strapless, spaghetti straps and well-worn tees under the jacket. Women can wear a black suit easier than men because they can lighten the look with a soft colored blouse and accessories.
If you’re interviewing for a corporate job in a sector such as finance, you’ll want to make sure you keep your look sleek, polished and, most of all, industry-appropriate. With this in mind, a grey suit makes for a good first impression.
Hardly surprising, but fit is key. Any old nine-to-fiver can pick up a grey suit on their lunch break, but ensuring your suit fits you perfectly is what will give you the competitive advantage.
Creative Jobs – The Power Of Separates
Not all workplaces require suits to be worn, particularly in more creative industries such as architecture, digital marketing and design. Or even if they do, you might have more room to be creative with colours, prints and mix-and-matching. For these kinds of roles, you should take a slightly different approach to your interview attire, in order to avoid coming across stiff, stuffy and stuck for ideas.
Media, advertising and fashion professionals could opt for colour-blocked separates. You may choose to tailor down your look without looking unkempt. Slacks and a dressy blouse, or a tailored skirt and blouse worn with a cardigan or lightweight sweater are appropriate options. The key is to think in terms of “three pieces”. It’s always better to arrive slightly overdressed than underdressed.
Re-Imagining The Suit
If you do decide to wear a suit to an interview for a more creative role, try thinking outside the box. For instance, you could still opt for a more conservative navy suit, but why not inject some life and personality into it via a printed shirt? Geometric, camo and subdued floral prints are all excellent options available to you.
Last but not least, don’t skimp on those all-important finishing touches.
- Leather purse or briefcase; carry one or the other, not both
- Manicured nails with a neutral polish
- Make up; even minimal makeup is an indicator that you value your professional image
- Neatly groomed hair, worn away from the face
- Clean and polished shoes (Pay special attention to heels and soles)
- Conservative watch with a link or leather band
- Black or neutral colored trench coat (Inclement weather)