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How to Dress Like a Professional

Clothes are the ultimate way you express yourself throughout your daily life. But not...
a man and a woman smiling

Clothes are the ultimate way you express yourself throughout your daily life. But not everything is appropriate at all times. Of course, you’ve got your looks for going to the gym or hitting the clubs on a Friday night with your friends or for your lazy day in bed on a Saturday. But what about the time you spend at work? Looking professional is important and can have a huge impact on your career. You need a wardrobe specifically for work that will help you get where you want to go.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to dress professionally and still have fun with it. Just because you’re in a suit and tie doesn’t mean you can’t add little bits of your personality to your workday attire. It’s all about finding your style and how to express yourself within the parameter of professionalism. Knowing the rules and what is expected of you can help you avoid any embarrassing moments or looking like you’re not well put together.

How you look and carry yourself at work matters. It affects how your coworkers and your clients see you. Dressing professionally can also help land you the job in the first place. You need to dress for the job that you want and the job that you deserve. You work so hard, and your appearance should match the quality of employee you are. Now that you understand the importance to dress professionally, here are just a few simple tips to get you looking your best at work.

Know the job requirements.

Every job is different. Depending on what you do, your version of professionalism may look a little different than someone else’s. For example, a marketing executive or entrepreneur probably shows up in suits and business professional attire whereas an art teacher would look ridiculous trying to lead a class in slacks. Other highly active jobs like dancers, gym coaches, or athletes will have professional work-out attire in their profession. Or a local community member looking for small business ideas for small towns may be able to get away with a more casual, hometown look. So as you start to build your wardrobe, the best thing to do is layout the needs of your job. If you’re going to be extremely active, you may not have the same ability to build a traditionally professional wardrobe.

Get your basics.

Fashion can seem like an overwhelming field to someone who doesn’t have an eye for it. Everything seems so exclusive and high end. Where do you even start? Easy, start with the basics. By checking out places like chicos store, you can grab items like slacks, blazers, blouses, jackets, skirts, and dresses that you can mix and match. Finding select styles you love means you can checkout with a bunch of these basics. It’s a great way to start building your professional wardrobe. Whether you find sale items or exclusive limited time offers, starting with a few pieces you feel great about will help you build from there.

Find a style icon.

Sometimes fierce, young entrepreneurs need a style icon to look up to. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so feel free to model your look after theirs. Check out examples like a lawyer, Courtney Sarofim in Texas to see how to look fabulous while enforcing the law. Heck, you can even watch an episode of Suits and pull directly from that. It can be great to get that source of inspiration to make your professional attire fun and appropriate.

Take care of your grooming and hygiene.

Dressing professionally isn’t only about the clothes, it’s also about keeping up your general appearance. Grooming and hygiene are absolute musts to complete your professional look. You don’t want to be wearing a fabulous outfit to have people be distracted by your unkempt hair or a scraggly beard. Regular trips to the salon or barbershop can help you exponentially. This should be a simple tip overall. Take showers, brush your hair, and make sure you smell good. Plain and simple.

Don’t forget the accessories.

Accessories can make or break your professional look. Don’t forget the little things. Invest in comfortable, professional footwear, and nice socks when you can see them. Wearing a watch, automatically makes you look more professional and put together. The same with a good belt. These little pieces are what really tie your whole look together and help you do great business. Just remember not to go overboard. Maybe leave the huge hoop earrings or the joke tie at home.

Spend money on tailoring.

Ill-fitting clothes automatically look less professional. It is absolutely worth it to spend money on a tailor to make sure your suits are fitting you just right. You can also invest in custom clothes from the start that will be perfectly fitted to your frame. Not only will you look your best, but you will also feel more comfortable knowing your clothes are fitting you correctly.

Take it out for dry cleaning.

When you spend money on nice clothing items, make sure the condition of purchase stays nice for a long time to come. Dry cleaning can be a great small business to invest in. Even though it’s an extra step to go through an official cleaning service that will take a few business days to get you your clothes, it’s still a great place for professional resources. Having qualified cleaners will keep your professional wardrobe nicer for longer so you can dress to impress for many years to come.

Find the balance between comfort and style.

Professional attire doesn’t have to be stuffy and uncomfortable. Search for merchandise and select styles that look great and feel even better. You don’t want to feel constricted at your job, so find sweaters, jackets, and pants that allow you to look great without feeling miserable. Shoes are a huge area for this. Those high heels may look great, but maybe try a flat so you can run around and keep your new business running without your feet hurting.

Learn the workplace rules.

Every workplace is going to have different expectations for their attire. You’ll probably hear a lot of different terms thrown out, so it’s important to understand the expectations. Casual vs. business, casual vs. executive, business vs. business, and professional vs. boardroom attire are all different definitions with different sets of rules. Don’t be afraid to ask other employees or even your boss about what the expectations are. This will give you a clear layout of how to prepare yourself to impress and keep the same level of professionalism as everyone else.

Commit to confidence.

What you wear should make you feel great about yourself. Putting on that powerful pantsuit or knowing you’re rocking that clothing boutique dress increases your confidence. If you can bring that confidence into your professional environment, it will help you soar and succeed in any industry. Whether it’s your own business, a job in real estate, or owning a flower shop, if you dress for success, you’re sure to find it. Your professionalism reminds you that you are put together, you are powerful, you are driven, and you are happy. Let your clothes express who you are and help you reach the stars in your career and beyond.

Billie is the newest addition to the Mitzi’s Cafe team as designer, writer, photographer, and all around creative aficienado. When she’s not shooting or designing, she’s usually adventuring outside or building something for her home.
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