450 words. 5 minutes to read.
A great working wardrobe consists of:
- Clothing that serves your needs. Can you move in it? Does it cover your body appropriately? Is the cut and style suitable for your profession?
- Clothing that fits you well. Is it roomy enough? Can you bend and kneel if you need to, without your clothing pinching, tearing, or showing parts of your body you’d rather not show?
- Clothing that is of the best quality you can afford. Do you present a tidy, well-groomed image? Does your wardrobe look stylish? Will it last more than one season? Is it made of natural fabrics that breathe, or will you sweat the moment the temperature rises a few degrees?
- Clothing that looks great on you and makes you feel great. Do your clothes represent who you want to be, and how you want to be seen by others?
How many items do you need?
If you work a five day week you’ll probably need five tops, two bottoms (trousers or skirts), a good quality belt, a decent pair of shoes, and a jacket.
Separates work better than dresses, as you can mix and match between them.
You may also need a handbag or messenger bag, especially if you transport your lunch and / or computer to and from the workplace.
If you live in a cold climate, gloves, hat and scarf may be essential, and an umbrella or raincoat.
Check that you have the right underwear for your work wardrobe.
- Choose quality over quantity. Be selective. Save your money and buy few items thoughtfully and rarely rather than lots of cheap clothes.
- Fit is important, especially in an active role. If you’re scrabbling down under desks on a regular basis, or bending over others to present your work, check your neckline and waistline carefully to ensure that nobody is seeing parts of you they might not want to see! “Plumbers cracks” and plunging necklines are never professional.
- Keep the slogans, brand names and “bling” out of the office. Draw attention to yourself with the excellent quality of your work, not with the obnoxious nature of your clothing!
- Keep scent levels low. Many companies are now advocating scent-free workplaces. Even if your workplace has no policy, it’s considerate to keep scent subtle. Ask a blunt friend to be frank with you if you’re uncertain about how much scent you’re using!
- Do use deodorant! Yes. Please do.
Just remember the key guidelines: Shop less, buy quality, choose wisely.