What to Wear to the Office
Figuring out what to wear to work each day can be a real challenge. I’ve recently A. started a new job and B. started working in an office again after 3 years of being remote. Below are a few of the strategies I’m using to figure out what to wear each day in the office environment. What are your
1. Look at your peers – my first day work I wore a dress and heels with a suit-jacket. Totally appropriate office attire – plus it’s appropriate to bring your a-game the first day. However, I quickly noticed my peers were wearing more functional alternatives. They looked great, yet generally there were more flats and pants worn than dresses and heels. I work on a big campus and we are constantly meeting with partners in other offices, so outfits must work with an active lifestyle. I’ve since adopted a regular uniform along the lines of what I’m wearing here: an easy top, pants and flats.
2. Look to the women above you – a superstar friend of mine, profiled here, opened my mind describing how she navigated the tricky world of workplace dressing in the New York finance. She noted that one easy way to tell if you are dressing appropriately is to look at the women above you. Try not to be flashier than they are – if they have a nice purse, have a nice purse too, but not one more expensive than theirs, etc. You want to dress to impress, but not to outshine or detract from the environment.
3. Remember to bring it – all that said, you want to look sharp and professional, no matter the environment. Wear nice shoes, invest in a good jacket or two, have your nails done…dressing up for the office makes me feel focused; ready to tackle the week and represent the amazing institution I work for.
What is your approach for workplace dressing? How do you assess what to wear in a new environment?