The Right Clothes for Success
You have just landed a new job and as if that isn’t stressful enough, finding a new wardrobe to match the corporate culture you are entering can only add strain to the difficult transition period.
Recruitment specialist Ayanda Mbuyazwe says when you graduate and begin the job-hunting process it is essential to have a corporate wardrobe.
“Acquiring a new wardrobe all at once just after you graduated from varsity might be difficult, because it can be very expensive. But you might be expected to dress professionally at you job each day.”
She says before starting a new job it’s a good idea to find out what everyone else wears to work.
“Take note of your bosses’ attire during your interview and also make a mental style note when you’re being introduced to the people you’ll be working with,” Mbuyazwe says.” If you’re still not sure what the rules are, don’t be afraid to ask your manager about the office dress code. That’s far more professional than showing up on the first day in something inappropriate.
“If you have an entry-level position and hope to climb the company ladder, don’t dress like an entry-level employee,” she warns.
Velile Botha, an image consultant, says some people won’t think twice about spending hundreds of rands on a suit or dress for a special occasion, such as a wedding or a party, but would never consider spending the same amount on clothing to be worn to work.
But she says if you take the time to figure it out, you actually get more out of the clothes you wear to work than you do from an outfit you bought for a special occasion.
“Investing in a wardrobe for work is a good investment in yourself and your future. People who look professional often feel more professional and are perceived more positively than those who do not.”
“Don’t be afraid to splurge. Your employers see you as a reflection of the company and of themselves. You want to be perceived professionally. Don’t be afraid to buy good pieces that you will wear over and over for a long time.”
Botha says accessories matter.
“Jewellery, scarves and shoes are a great way to have fun with our classic suits. Adding a splash of colour to a black pant suit with a bright, eye-catching necklace is a much more economical way than buying a bright top or ensemble. Some fun accessories include belts, ties, necklaces, scarves and so on. Something to add visual interest to your look.”
Botha says most men make the mistake of looking rumpled or wrinkled.
“Dry clean, or at least wash the clothes yourself, and then bring them to the dry cleaner for professional pressing at about half the cost of dry cleaning.”
For the ladies things aren’t always as cut and dry, Botha says.
“Your best tip for starting out is to take a good look at the women in your office.
“This should not be women in customer service or the women on your level but the highest executives.
“Look for classic tailoring such as pencil skirts, white button-down shirts, black pants, a classic-cut suit, black pumps and both sheer and opaque tights. These items will form a good base so you’ll always have something to wear.
“Try to buy enough so that you can mix and match items into five different outfits.”
“Ladies who aren’t used to wearing heels should opt for classic black pumps or wedges, while guys should look for minimal detail when buying their first pair of corporate shoes. Plain and black is a safe bet.”
Corporate dress code policies have evolved over the years, with some companies having no guidelines and some still maintaining the traditional office wardrobe style.
If your company’s style is still the traditional formal work wardrobe, it is important to stick to it as such a policy is the foundation on which to build your business image.
Author: Zenoyise Madikwa
Source: Sowetan Live
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