No matter what career path you choose for yourself, the way you dress will affect your ability to grow in that line of work. Appearance does matter and it can affect your ability to get hired or promoted. For that reason, it’s a good idea to learn how to use your appearance to have a positive effect on others.


General Dress Codes

Regardless of your gender, there are certain rules for professional dress that apply to everyone. This starts with keeping your style of dress within the realm of business casual. Avoid clothing that appears too formal, but also try not to wear the same clothes you might wear to the store or a nightclub. Keep your outfits well proportioned to your physique since clothing that’s too tight or too loose can be uncomfortable. Piercings should be removed and visible tattoos should be concealed as much as possible. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry or fragrances that are overpowering.


Additional Tips For Women

When you’re working or interviewing for a new position, you should always dress conservatively. This means ensuring dresses and skirts aren’t too short. Tops should also be conservative by avoiding a fit that’s too tight or too revealing. Don’t overdo your use of cosmetics. Try to maintain a natural look with limited use of blush, lipstick, and nail polish. Use clear or neutral colors. Wear low pumps that aren’t brightly colored to avoid being too distracting. If you carry a briefcase, leave your purse at home.


Additional Tips For Men

Suits and slacks should be worn in dark colors with lightly colored dress shirts for contrast. Ties should also be dark and should match the suit jacket. Dress socks (blue, grey, or black) should be worn with traditional laced dress shoes that are kept polished. Your shoes should match your belt. Hair should be kept short and facial hair should be kept trimmed or cleanly shaven. Avoid wearing jewelry other than a wedding band, tie clip, or cuff links.


While general rules for professional dress should be followed in most cases, you should also consider your chosen profession. For example, if you’re pursuing a career as a model, you may want to wear trendier clothes that don’t necessarily align with traditional standards. You can measure how these rules apply by looking at the outfits worn by established professionals in the same career field.