While most bosses won’t check out the labels on your clothes (unless you are have an extremely high-profile job where fashion is everything), the way you dress will likely make an impression on your boss no matter where you work. Looking presentable is important; waking up and throwing on clothes without thinking about what you are wearing won’t score you points. Certain factors — including how your clothes fit, which colors you wear, and how much skin you show — can affect how other people perceive you at work. Neat, presentable work attire can help you move up in your career, or at least keep your job, while consistent inappropriate clothing may negatively affect the way your boss perceives you. Particularly if your company has a dress code (official or not), breaking it can mean bad news for you. Thankfully, you can dress to impress if you follow these five easy steps.
1. Think about your audience
It’s common to hear people say to dress for your day, and this is great advice. Target has been in the news recently for creating a dress for your day atmosphere, which is something that is becoming very popular at many different companies. Dress for your day implies that you should do just that; if you’re sitting at your desk all day and your company allows jeans, then that might be just fine. However, if you have a meeting with an important client or your boss, you might want to dress up in a nice suit, or at least business attire.
Regularly thinking about your audience will show that you care about your job, and that you take it seriously. Many people also say that you should dress for the job you want: this means that even if everyone else in your job class wears jeans and polo shirts, you might want to dress a little nicer.
2. Be neat
Obviously, if you work at a fast-food restaurant with a required shirt, you won’t have a lot of options besides possibly which black pants you wear. However, you can control how neatly you dress in any situation. Tuck your shirt in, and make sure you wash it regularly. It doesn’t matter if every other person you work with is wearing the same shirt as you; if your shirt is clean and tucked in, and some of your coworkers’ shirts are ripped or dirty, you will be the one looking more presentable.
The above analogy is true for more than just a job at a restaurant. Looking neat and presentable is important for any job. Many workplaces are now encouraging a regular casual dress code; although you may be allowed to wear jeans, that doesn’t mean that you should wear jeans with holes in them. You can be neat no matter what you wear. The same is true for a business suit: a business suit isn’t impressive if it doesn’t look neat and well-maintained.