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“I’m gonna get dressed for success
Shaping me up for the big time, baby.
Get dressed for success
Shaping it up for your love yea yea yea.”

Who knew a Roxette song could work so perfectly in an advice blog? Jokes aside, this chorus effectively illustrates the importance of clothing to success and the workplace. Fashion speaks deeply to the person that you are and aspire to be. And yes, while this may seem superficial, it cannot be ignored. We are a visual society. We weigh people and things based off of our first sights. So much so that there is an entire school of thought around it. Semiotics, the study of signs, symbols and meaning, helps to explain this. We use signs as an indication of a greater idea. As such, your outward appearance can speak volumes to others on the type of person you are.

Considering the majority of workplaces have a dresscode, it would be handy to have a list of tips on how to stick to the code without breaking the bank. For places that do not have work uniforms, hopefully this guide will help you dress for success.

The basics:

There are a handful of key, transitional wardrobe pieces that can work for a variety of looks.

  • The tailored black suit
  • A crisp white button down (and other colours too!)
  • A pair of formal leather dress shoes
  • A classic trenchcoat
  • A briefcase/purse

The great thing about these items is that they provide simple silhouettes that can easily be accessorized or altered. Here is a video by video creator Miss Louie detailing an entire month’s worth of workplace outfits featuring these key items. You don’t have to break the bank to look good. Basic pieces can be found at affordable prices. And don’t turn your nose at thriftshopping! The key with thrifting is to ensure that pieces are not stained/damaged/torn before purchasing. Thriftshops are a treasure-trove for blazers at low prices, allowing you to have multiple looks at a fraction of the price of shopping at a wholesale store.

How to look expensive:

  • Accessorise! A beautiful layering of necklaces, or a solid watch can really take your look to the next level.
  • Tailoring! Clothes that fit your body perfectly automatically look more expensive.
  • have one bold item per outfit. It draws attention and makes you seem more put together.

Things to avoid:

  • It goes without saying that anything ripped/torn would not be appropriate for the workplace. Similarly, anything dirty or wrinkled should be avoided.
  • Avoid anything with swearwords/inappropriate slogans emblazoned on them.
  • Stick to appropriate lengths!
  • Avoid uncomfortable items that hinder your ability to work.

Do you have any more tips on how to dress for success? Let us know in the comments below!


Top Tips from our Recruiters!
How to strengthen your Google presence
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