Monday, August 1, 2022


By Stella Van Lane

During Business Hours

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Many people would say that it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters. But I’m guessing that’s not what your average CEO would agree with, especially when the company’s image depends on the employees. The first impression you leave as an employee has a significant effect on your clients, and your superiors, for that matter. Sometimes, when two employees are in a close race for a promotion, management will often choose the one that presents themselves better, or simply looks the part. So here are some tips on how to best present yourself in any work environment.

Follow the dress code

First thing’s first, make sure you follow the set dress code or have an adequate uniform. Nobody will tolerate an unprofessional worker. Even if your job doesn’t have a mandatory dress code, just look around and see what your colleagues are wearing. If they are more business-casual, you are also free to be casual. But if you see that most of the star-employees are wearing business-professional attire, maybe consider matching them. You’ll fit in better, and management will perceive you as someone who knows what they are doing, even if it’s your first week at the office.

Photo courtesy of Pexels (Click to enlarge)

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Define your style

Now that you’ve seen the office environment and what dress code you should follow, it’s time to own it. There is no reason why you shouldn’t personalize your outfits by incorporating your own style into them. This means personalizing the fit, cut, color of your outfit and accessories. You don’t have to wear a fitted, sharkskin suit with sharp shoulder pads if you don’t like the look. Women have even more freedom when it comes to stylizing work clothes. Whether it’s pant suits or skirt suits, dresses or even a simple blouse-and-pants combination, there are so many options to choose from, that you’ll never get bored of one and the same outfit.

Photo courtesy of Pexels 

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Work with what you have

That being said, there are jobs that require mandatory uniforms, like working as a nurse or policeman, and these outfits can be tricky to style. However, everybody deserves to look good, so you have to work with what you have. Either getting stylish well-fitted scrubs from high-quality materials, or focusing more on accessories or your hair and makeup (depending on the type of job), you can certainly look good in almost any uniform. Besides, there are other ways to elevate your appearance, without tampering with your clothes.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Do your hair and makeup

Hair and makeup are essential components of your appearance, besides your clothes. Both guys and girls are supposed to have a well-maintained haircut, and they should never show up with scruffy or greasy hair. Guys, put a little gel or wax in your hair if it’s short, especially if you wake up with a cow lick. Ladies, having long hair is perfectly fine, so long as you style it a bit before work. Either straighten it, or curl it if you’re wearing it down, and make sure it’s not all over your face. If you dye your hair, do it regularly, since showing roots is a bit sloppy and unprofessional. That also goes for split ends.

Photo courtesy of Pexels


Hair should not be the only thing that is well-kept. Maintaining proper personal hygiene is essential for any professional. No amount of designer clothes will hide a bad case of BO, or yellow rotting teeth. It really seems like something that shouldn’t even have to be mentioned, but a lot of people underestimate the power of a nice shower before work. Men should also keep their beards neatly trimmed, or go clean-shaven. Additionally, everybody starts smelling a bit funky at the end of a long day, but if you are dealing with particularly strong body odor, always keep a can of deodorant or body spray at your office desk.


Now we come to the fun part – accessorizing. Even though we often forget, especially on days we’re running late to work, accessories can make any plain outfit pop. A white shirt and black pants can be a bit boring on their own, but a colorful bag, chunky jewelry, large sunglasses and a vibrant silk scarf will compliment the outfit and make it more interesting. There are accessories that are worth investing in, like a good-quality watch or classic leather shoes and briefcases, since these items will last you for years, and they give subtle hints of classiness to your every outfit.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Summing up

Considering all that was said, the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable and confident in your work clothes. How you feel on the inside will affect how you look on the outside. There isn’t a lot to think about when dressing for work, but, nevertheless, there are things you can incorporate in your daily outfit that will make you seem more put together and capable, like always being clean, wearing clothes that fit properly, making sure there are no rips or wrinkles anywhere, and always being properly groomed. And these things matter even more if you have to wear a uniform at work.


Stella Van Lane is a passionate traveler and writer, in love with coffee, fashion, interior design, books, and good vibes.

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