Infographic: How to dress for success

Randall Hansen, professor of business at Stetson University in Florida, said that the most basic mistake new employees make is underdressing. The best way to avoid this problem is to understand corporate culture.

Making the right impression at work is not hard if you keep in mind three basic points when buying clothes for the office: presentation counts; casual should not mean slovenly; dress as you want to be seen serious, professional, upward-bound and ready to meet clients.

For men, the traditional attire includes a button-down shirt, polished black shoes, a blue, black or gray jacket, and slacks that complement the jacket. Blue and white shirts have been around for many years, but there is also room for the occasional yellow, pink or black shirt. It also does not hurt to go with a conservative tie.

For women, the traditional look might include a skirt that hits just above the knee or slacks/pantsuits, simple jewelry and just a hint of makeup. If you use perfume thereafter, go easy on the saucy splash behind the ears, for anyone with sensitive noses or allergies. Polished flats or moderate heels are also very appropriate for the workplace.

Remember that you are dressing to underscore your professionalism and competence. Some young workers do not understand the difference and eventually damage their careers. Getting it right is especially crucial when interviewing for a job or sitting down to a new one.

When starting a new job you are being judged all the time, so little things like fashion choices do count. Some people, especially young workers, overlook this basic point and then wonder why what seemed like a promising opportunity ended up turning sour.

Another good rule of thumb is to always dress for the task at hand. If you are a civil engineer headed for a construction site, jeans, a flannel shirt and work boots are fine. But that is not how to dress when making a formal presentation at the office.

Appearance can create credibility. Mark Twain said it best: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”

The following infographic shows how to dress and what is best to avoid in order to be professional and neat at work.



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