How to Dress for Career Success


Whether you are in the process of applying for a new job or you are looking to enhance your position at work, dressing appropriately goes a very long way. Just having a good resume and an enticing cover letter might get you an interview, but if you look worse for wear, your chance of landing that job may not be great.

Everyone knows the importance of looking professional for work, and your choice of attire can make a lasting impression on your boss or prospective colleagues. The type of company that you work with also influences what you should wear at work. Whether casual, business formal, or smart-casual, here is how you can dress to make your career more successful.

Know the Company Culture

Company culture refers to the characteristics, behavior, and values that a company and its employees have. You can determine a company’s culture by observing the way people interact with each other, the decisions they make together, and the general working environment. Are they quite formal with strict procedures in place? That means you need to dress more formally than casually. Does the company value creativity and initiative from employees? Their company might be a more relaxed environment, in which casual attire would be acceptable.

Business formal refers to dark neutral colors like black, navy blue, and grey, with outfits comprising of dress suits, button-up shirts, ties, and dress shoes. Formal is very much the same, except you can add a bit of coloring to make your outfit stand out. Instead of a plain black button-up shirt, you could opt for a nice green blouse that can be paired with a professional-looking jacket. A casual dress code can mean wearing t-shirts, jeans, and Allstar sneakers if you wanted.

Buy a Few Good- Quality Items

Most of the time when people are looking for work clothes, they will look for something cheap that they can buy in different colors and styles. This might sound logical because you get more bang for your buck, but the issue is that you now own less-than-perfect quality clothes. Instead of buying five cheap shirts, consider purchasing one classy but more costly blouse, but make sure it is neutral so you can mix and match it with other clothes.

When it comes to your outer wear, go for solid colors because that will enable you to wear it in all sorts of styles and it will always be appropriate for work. Consider a Max Mara Coat in brown or navy to maintain a professional look. You can get coats from Max Mara at SSENSE, and they come in many different designs and colors that will last you for years.

Take Away Distractions

Part of looking professional is wearing items that are acceptable to those around you. If your clothes have bright and complex patterns, they may be too distracting for people around you. It’s the same thing with jewelry if you wear it. Too much jangling of your bracelet or necklace can make the environment difficult to work in, especially in a shared office environment.

Also, take your colleagues into account. They might be allergic to the perfume or cologne you wear, so try to be accommodating.

Other tips for dressing for career success tips are to hide any visible tattoos and piercings unless expressly allowed, keep your hair, nails, and face clean, and don’t wear clothes that are too revealing.