dressprofessionally

How To Dress For Your First Day Of Work:

Whether you’re a fashion guru or not, it is important to keep a fine line between what you think is proper for a Friday night out on the town and for the workplace.

As Lizzie McGuire said, “The worst thing than an outfit repeater is an outfit remember-er.” The last thing any of us want is for any of those “outfit remember-ers” to look at us the way Meryl Streep looked at Anne Hathaway on her first day in the office in the movie The Devil Wears Prada.

For starters, where are you working? There is a difference between what would be acceptable at your old record store job and what is acceptable in your new office setting. Most employers would mark the dress code as “business casual,” but what the heck does that mean? If you’re asking this question, what a great excuse to go shopping! Stores like J.Crew, Banana Republic and Gap have all of the essentials to make office attire cute and professional instead of boring. Set yourself up for success by gathering the basics and creating a core wardrobe you can build your outfits around.

Some necessary go-to articles of clothing are the blazer, pencil skirt, button down blouse and a pair of grey slacks. Who said slacks were masculine? Tuck in a white sheer blouse; add a necklace and a belt and you’re good to go. If you’re going to rock the pencil skirt, add some sheer panty hose just in case your boss is a little uncomfortable with workers showing off some skin. As for shoes, some clean looking close-toed flats or kitten heels will do the trick! If you aren’t sure you’ll be comfortable in your new shoes, always keep a pair of some comfortable, broken-in flats for those days you’re constantly on your feet (Dr. Scholl’s inserts also work wonders).

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As for hair and makeup… don’t go too crazy. A simple hairstyle like the neat-looking sock bun always looks professional. Leaving your hair down is okay too, as is the half up/ half down look. The way you do your makeup can sometimes be a deal breaker if you tend to cake on the eyeliner and mascara. To play it safe, wear your natural-looking makeup face for your first day. All you need is a neutral eye shadow and a few strokes of mascara. Remember, you aren’t going to the prom.

For some first day attire DON’TS, it’s always important to stay classy. If you’re on the fence about a low-cut blouse or short dress, play it safe and DON’T wear those on your first day. When it comes to jeans, it can be tricky knowing whether or not they would be appropriate, depending on the environment in your office building and the pant wash. Since it’s your first day, leave those skinny jeans at home until you can get the fashion vibe from co-workers.

Still weary on the fashion front after day one in the office? Take a look at what some of your respectable co-workers are wearing and mark those outfits as acceptable. For the most part, stay conservative with your outfits until you feel comfortable changing it up a little. Not all offices are the same, nor is the dress code. When in doubt, being more dressy than casual is probably correct. If you think you’ll be uncomfortable, keeping some hideaway back-up articles of clothing in your car isn’t a bad idea either.

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Most importantly, relax and be yourself. You will get a sense of your own work style once you get into the swing of things!

By: Aissa Vallecillo | Photo Credit: Katherine Lee