What to wear to work – look polished and professional
1. Two piece tailored suits – try not to look sleezy, look professional. Always wear knee length dresses and skirts, minis have no place in the office. If you dress too sexy for the workplace with skin-tight silhouettes, not only is it distracting but you lose credibility in your work. Embrace femininity with pencil skirts and dresses that fit well to show off your figure and cut off at the knee to still look chic and sexy, yet respectable.
Don’t look too masculine with huge shoulder pads and baggy trousers, look for sharp tailored trousers in wool/polyester mixes which keep their shape.
2. Solid colours are timeless and can be mixed and matched in your work wardrobe. Colour speaks volume:
black makes you thinner and gives authority
grey appears sophisticated and exudes confidence
navy symbolizes a calm persona, control and loyalty
purple represents wealth, luxury and sophistication
brown gives a genuine appeal and communication
3. Revealing clothes such as unbuttoned shirts, see-through or low cut tops with inadequate underpinning, visible bra straps, short skirts and skin tight dresses are unacceptable at work and should be saved for party hour. Never reveal your midriff with short tops or low cut trousers.
4. Creased, untidy or unwashed clothing looks unprofessional. Choose fabrics that wear well and avoid linen.
5. Shoes in one colour work best and you can't go wrong with nude, taupe, grey or black heels. If you have thick ankles, avoid kitten heels and wear taller slim-heeled courts. To look professional always avoid scuffed or worn heels, boots, very high stilettos, open toes and strappy shoes.
6. Statement necklaces or rings with a simple shift dress are still work appropriate as long as the jewelry is small and not too distracting or dangling. Visible body piercings, long or multiple earrings and wearing more than one bangle per arm are unsuitable for work. Studs look best and ensure you have no more than two rings per hand. If it makes noise as you move ditch it. Make sure jewelry compliments your garments and if you wear a watch, invest in a good branded one. You'd be surprised how many interviewers look at your watch first!
7. Blouses and shirts- try not to draw attention to cleavage and button up not button down, avoid baggy shirts and be sure to wear a neutral colour padded bra so nothing shows. Pure cotton shirts remain crisp and look sharp, every woman should own a few as wardrobe essentials. Silk or polyester soft flowy blouses look chic and feminine but require utmost care with repeated cleaning.
8. Makeup- the less makeup the better but not as if you have come out of bed. Powders and matt foundations make the skin look uniform and natural. Although 44% of women don't feel attractive without makeup, overdoing it will make you look too old and even transsexual. Looking like a sexual predator isn’t a good look either. Don't go for bright red lipstick, lip gloss, false eyelashes and heavy eye shadow. Make sure its subtle and pale. The state of your hands is very important in a work environment involving direct customer and public interaction. Nails should be manicured, avoid bright colours and chipped or peeling nail varnish.
9. Personal hygiene-ensure you are free of body odour, cigarette smoke and alcohol smells. Avoid overpowering perfume which can make it difficult for your colleagues to sit by you.
10. Hair looks chic if it's clean and cut on a regular basis, avoid the greasy look and bright coloured dyes. Maintain roots for coloured hair, tie long hair back and keep fringes away from hiding your eyes.