These days, it seems as though most people err on the side of casual. Perhaps we can thank technology for making our personal lives easier and less formal, but this new normal makes expectations at the office a bit foggy.
While new tech companies allow employees to come as they are in jeans and tees, other offices stick to stricter business dress codes. That’s why we’ve put together the following list of tips as to how to get yourself really ready for work in the morning. It can help you if you’re unsure of what exactly you can — and should — put on tomorrow before you head to the office.
Have a Look Around
One of the easiest ways to gauge the formalness of your workplace is to look at your co-workers and see what they’re wearing. This is especially true if you’re starting a new job, although we do suggest dressing in a safe business-approved outfit for your first day so that you’re not under-dressed.
If you have been at your job for a while but want to add a bit more oomph to your daily look, start observing the higher-ups and what they wear to the office. Perhaps mimicking some of their style choices — with your own flair, of course — will help you obtain a higher-up job yourself.
There’s no shame in being proud of the body that you have, and there are certainly ways to show it off subtly. At the office, though, be sure that you have enough fabric on your frame to keep most of your curves under wraps. An inch of cleavage is the max for an office environment; you should also be sure that your skirts comfortably cover your rear end. Fortunately, designers everywhere make clothes that blend modesty with style so you don’t feel too stuffy.
Let Your True Colors Show
Very few workplaces require you to go all formal, all of the time. In that case, you can have a little bit of fun with what you wear to the office. For example, you might have to wear a blazer to a meeting, but there’s no reason that yours has to be plain old black or navy. Instead, find something with a pattern or color that speaks to your style.
It’s also important to find a balance between your personal style and the office dress code. You never want to go too far in the personal direction, as over-the-top looks could get in the way of a promotion or project that you’re otherwise qualified for.
Beware of Casual Friday
You can’t roll out of bed and into the office on Fridays. You can probably dress more casually, as most offices observe the casual-Friday rule, but don’t let yourself take that allowance too far. Say no to ripped garments, foam flip-flops, yoga pants or anything else that reads more sleepy than casual. You can wear jeans, but you should make sure they’re in good condition and paired with a shirt that’s less formal but not completely out of place.
Wear This: Leggings have all of the trappings of a pair of slacks, but feel a lot more comfy. They’ll pair with any long sweater or blouse, too, making them a great investment.
Be Your Own Critic
Most bosses won’t bother to tell you that your outfit doesn’t fit the dress code unless it’s really out of line. Therefore, be sure to look at yourself in the mirror with a critical eye each morning. And, if your outfit looks good, feels good and represents a piece of who you are, then you’re probably doing something right.
Savannah Hemmings is a lifestyle blogger and personal stylist. She has a passion for equal wages, guacamole and chickory coffee from New Orleans. When she isn’t writing about her favorite design trends, you can most likely find her training for her latest marathon.