It’s time to blow a kiss goodbye to your favorite sweats and say hello to the fashion of the working world (yes, that oversized hoodie has got to go)! We’re more than prepared for the financial independence and responsibilities that come with starting a new job, but it seems no one can recall a “master class” for dressing professionally. With millions of stores and tons of pieces to choose from, the search for the perfect “business casual” outfit is ruthless.
Don’t worry! VALLEY’s here to give you all the tips and tricks to dress for success!
Dress Code Alert
First off, it’s important to be aware of your dress etiquette in professional settings. First impressions are so important, especially in the workplace. You don’t want your first day to turn into your last!
Below are five friendly reminders of what to be cautious of when planning a professional outfit:
- Less is always more: Don’t overdo your outfit, keep colors neutral and avoid patterns.
- Long vs. Short: If wearing a skirt or dress, it’s a safe choice to go the long route. Same goes for button ups, don’t make the mistake of having your button up too short or too fitted. Stay true to your size!
- Wretched Wrinkles: Double-check in the mirror for any unwanted wrinkles. They can be viewed as unprofessional, so be mindful of ironing your work clothes.
- Closed for Business: Open-toe shoes are a no-go. Avoid wearing flip-flops, sandals or any extreme high heel.
- Tame the Mane: Go the extra mile to make your hair look as presentable as possible. Your clothes could be the definition of professional, but it wouldn’t matter if your hair is a disaster.
This is as basic as it gets, but its totally essential! You can never go wrong with a classic black blazer. It fits every professional occasion and goes with practically everything! A great place to find a quality blazer is Banana Republic. Their Unstructured Blazer is the best choice for a modern fit and feel.
A nice pair of trousers or chinos will go a long way for any wardrobe. With so many cuts and colors, the potential pairings are endless. Banana Republic’s Sharkskin Trouser has a comfortable stretch, and is true to size and wrinkle-resistant!
Finding a business professional dress can be tricky. You want to make sure you’re keeping it classy and being mindful of etiquette. Zara‘s Ruched Rib Dress is a classic staple for any professional outfit. A great alternative if you’re not feeling a dress is a pencil skirt. J. Crew’s No. 3 pencil skirt is a customer favorite that puts the “casual” in business casual.
Extra Tip: Looking for more inspiration? Zara has a section called “Wear to Work” which is completely dedicated to pieces tailored for the workplace!
Having the proper dress shirt in your wardrobe is essential for both men and women. It pulls together any formal outfit, making you look your Sunday best! Banana Republic men’s Athletic-fit dress shirt is perfect for that spruce and put-together look. Ann Taylor women’s Slim-Fit Essential Shirt is a must-have button up in your closet!
You can never go wrong with a classic pair of loafers or lace-up shoe. Mimicking the slipper, loafers are the best option for comfort. Men’s Warehouse Florsheim Kierland Apron Toe Loafers have a smooth leather finish that ties in with any formal pant.
If you’re more into laces, Johnson & Murphy’s Meade Cap Toe lace up shoes are the perfect pairing to trousers and a slick blazer. Anna’s Pump from Naturalizer is the definition of an everyday heel for work. Its sleek and timeless look makes dressing up and outfit that much easier!
Are you entering the working world soon and in need of an outfit? Be sure to check out @VALLEYmag on Instagram for more fashion tips like these!