Appropriate dress is one of the most important but often overlooked aspects of work. When you dress correctly, you put yourself in the right mindset and prime yourself for success. If you show up on the job site with the wrong clothing, you will not only look unprepared, but you may represent a safety hazard to yourself and others. Open-soled shoes at a construction site, for example, will probably get you sent home for the day. You can avoid those kinds of problems by finding out what the work clothing expectations are at your position. During the interview process, it might be a good idea to look around the office or job site – if possible – and see what everyone else is wearing. When you’re getting dressed for that first day on the job, just keep two things in mind: Follow the safety rules and try to blend in.
At an industrial job site, such as an oil derrick or road project, you will likely need to wear high-visibility work pants and work shirts. In this case, you don’t want to blend in too much with the environment. Bright orange or yellow clothing helps other people see you. If you should fall into water, highly visible colors will make it much easier to spot you and pull you to safety. Clothing for construction and other manual labor needs to be very well made, too. Strong, durable fabrics will hold up to a lot of wear and tear. Certain kinds of work may also require heat-resistant clothing. Your employer may provide you with a uniform, especially if it’s the kind of clothing you can’t easily get in a store.
Work uniforms add a level of professionalism to any occupation. Whether it’s the kitchen of a five-star restaurant or a small medical center, uniforms make customers and clients take you seriously. However, there’s no reason that uniforms can’t be both professional and comfortable. Make sure your work uniform is something that lets you move around easily and doesn’t get uncomfortable after a long day. Depending on the kind of job you do, you may want uniform pants and uniform shirts with specific designs. A nurse, for example, might need pockets in particular places, and clothing that won’t wear out during an extra-long shift.
Knowing how to dress for your job is the first step in doing your job well. Proper attire keeps you and everyone around you safe. In some occupations, comfort is the most important thing. When a job keeps you on your feet and moving for long periods, you need clothing or uniforms of the highest quality and craftsmanship. Other jobs may place a premium on safety and durability. Industrial labor, for example, may require rugged clothing that can handle all sorts of abuse. Dangerous job sites may also call for steel-toed shoes, helmets, ear protection, and other forms of personal protective equipment. Wherever you work, start each day by choosing the right clothes for the job, and you’re guaranteed to do your job better.