For most of us, starting a new job is always challenging. You will soon realize that every company uses their own jargon and their own set of rules. All those terms you studied in college.. they’ll still be used but there will be another word used instead however, it will mean the same thing and maybe part of another term and maybe it won’t even mean anything at all. Have I confused you yet?
With everything going on at your new gig you won’t have much time to worry about your work wardrobe. These days companies are moving towards the business casual ( which can have several different meanings). I highly recommend that you look around your new company and always dress for the job you want.
There is nothing wrong with jeans but do keep in mind that if your manager or director seldom wear jeans, I’d probably recommend leaving them at home for the weekends. Over the years I have come to realize that there are some basics that can be worn at all the different companies I worked at and provided me with comfort and versatility at the same time. You really do not need more than a handful of outfits in total and a couple key pieces to get you there. It may take some work in the beginning to curate these outfits but once you make them you will be so much happier.
After all, figuring out the new culture at your new company is a headache in itself, your outfit shouldn’t be!
Yes, I’m going there. You want clean underwear that is comfortable and the proper size. A fitted bra and panty will really elevate your look. You will look more put together and your clothes will look less wrinkled and fit you better. Remember, you do NOT need to spend a fortune to get proper fitting underwear. Always wear these UNDER your clothes and be sure they are never peeking out and on display.
One neutral colored/patterned jacket in a streamlined clean style that can be worn over sweaters, tops, and dresses. You can really go all out here with chic blazers to elevate any casual outfit. I love wearing jeans and a shirt and adding a beautiful blazer to really polish off my look.
The key here is to remember that you want to be sure it’s a high neckline and a material that will not wrinkle. Silk tanks are great, if you can afford to get them dry cleaned. That being said, always go with materials that you can easily wash and put away for the following week. It will make your life so much easier.
Button down shirts
A classic white button down, or striped button down will dress up jeans and skirts. I love wearing them under sweaters for days when I need an additional layer or just want a nice collar to dress up my sweaters.
A short sleeve or long sleeve sweater is great for all seasons. Most offices I’ve worked at have always had the A/C on blast and trust me finding the perfect sweater will make all the difference. If you are usually always warm, you can keep a sweater at your desk or a shawl of some kind but remember do not EVER wear a hoody (unless it’s a hoody day at the office.. something about a hood just screams “i’d rather be home” and that’s not a message you want to be sending out to your coworkers or superiors).
Long sleeve Blouses
Getting into blouses was difficult for me. Don’t force this one on yourself. Find the blouse that makes you feel great, Is comfortable and is of good material. They are great under cardigans and jackets and really polish off your look when wearing jeans. It shows you are professional yet not too stiff.
Two Types of Pants
You can wear these all week. Black pants are neutral and will look great with everything and have a polished look. They’re also great for days when you do not want to wear slacks or jeans.
Dark Wash Jeans:
It took me a while to learn that light, neutral or bright colored denim are just not acceptable at the office. Not even light blue slacks ( people will think they are JEANS!) I still can’t seem to get my mind wrapped around that one but it is what it is and that’s okay. Definitely make sure you have clean dark wash jeans. That means no holes or scuffs or any kid of distress. Again, if you work in a fashionable office maybe the rules are different, however for the remaining 99.9% of us, it’s always safe to bet that a pair of dark wash jeans will be acceptable on Fridays (or other days if your office wear jeans on the daily).
I always recommend having at least one neutral colored/patterned dress. This will serve for the days you don’t want to wear slacks but need to dress up for a meeting or presentation or just because.. Just be sure that your dress hits the knee or just above the knee or longer. Any shorter and you may get raised eyebrows or find issue when you sit. My favorite stores for this are J. Crew and Banana Republic.
Pencil Skirt are great. I recommend going for a longer length skirt as most pencil skirts at the stores always have such a high slit. Always test out the skirt before you wear it to the office. These will dress up your sweaters and tanks for days you are just not feeling like wearing pants. Banana Republic has some great professional options and if you get their card they do free tailoring for you as well.
Every Girl needs a good pair of heels. Keep them clean and take a pair of flats with you on rainy days so you don’t get them muddy or ruined before you even hit the office.
Loafers are like flats but better. They really polish up your look. Look more expensive than they are and are truly comfortable. I’m so glad there are some awesome new styles out now.
Flats are great for the office. You can find all kinds of cute and colorful styles to dress sup your outfits. Once i started working in a corporate office, i started to realize why it makes a world of a difference to invest in some comfortable flats. I have flats that have lasted years for me. It was definitely worth the money to buy quality shoes. Some of my favorite brands in shoes are: Cole Haans, Tory Burch, and Sam Edelman.
These are just some of my recommendations. Each off ice is different and this is based on my personal experience. The main takeaway here is to have clean clothes with no holes and prepping your clothes ahead of time. Preparing your work wardrobe ahead of time will save you a headache in the morning and saving you time in the long run. I love just going to the work section of my closet and knowing exactly what to wear each day. It’s great and after all it’s for work so you want to look professional yet not sacrifice comfort.