How to dress for success

21 March 2018 - 07:00 By EvenMe
123RF/Aleksandra Sabelskaia.
123RF/Aleksandra Sabelskaia.
Image: 123RF

There are a variety of companies operating in a wide range of industries in South Africa. Every company has a different culture. When you’re starting a new job, understanding the company’s culture is important, including the dress code.

These tips will help you dress professionally, no matter the company culture:

1.Suiting up for the corporate world

If you work in the corporate world, let’s say the financial services industry, you’ll discover that most employees wear collared shirts, suits and ties.

Ladies are usually kitted out in suits or pencil skirts and blouses.

Employees in the financial services industry deal with customers’ money – a lot of money. This is why they need to look professional when they represent the company. The higher up the ladder the employee is, the more professional the suits get.

Other industries in the corporate world are either just as formal or slightly less formal but still require you to wear smart casual clothes. These comprise of Chino type pants and shirt for men and skirts or pants with a smart blouse for women.

Students moving into the corporate world come from a chilled and relaxed campus environment so it may be difficult at first to get comfortable in your formal threads. You’ll get used to it, so don’t panic.

As a new employee, you may not have an elaborate selection of formal attire. Don’t stress, you can add to your wardrobe every month when you get paid. Buy item of clothes you can mix and match so that you don’t look like you’re wearing the same item two days in the same week.

2.Dressing down for the creative industry

If you’re heading for the advertising, graphic design or digital fields, your skinny jeans and hipster look that you’re used to might be exactly what you need.

You may need to dress formally (smart casual) when seeing clients so do buy some formal wear too.

Even in the creative arena, it’s important to know what the company requires from its employees in terms of dress code. If you’re not sure, dress semi-formal. Men can wear jeans with a tucked in shirt and pair of smart shoes. This way, you’re looking professional and cool at the same time.

Ladies can also wear a jeans and shirt combo or even consider a skirt and t-shirt. Just make sure the skirt isn’t too short and the top too revealing.

3.Always dress for success

Whether you’re in a formal or semi-formal environment, you need to make sure that you’re always well presented. Keep your clothes neat, tidy and clean. Nobody wants to work with a slob. If you can’t afford the most expensive clothes, don’t worry, as long as you keep yourself well presented, you’ll be fine.

Presenting yourself in a professional manner, no matter your company’s culture, will earn you respect and get people to take you more seriously. It will give you the edge over tardy employees.

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