If you are capable of getting a job then you are probably capable of dressing for work.

But there are a few things to keep in mind as you get ready for your first day in the workforce.

Business ProfessionalCredit: arxmanstyle.com

If you are just entering the workforce with your first professional job you might be a little apprehensive about how to dress for your first day at work.  Even if you are an older, experienced person and have held other jobs, when entering a new workplace you want to put your best foot forward but you also want to fit in with your fellow co-workers.

The attire at most professional workplaces can be classified into one of two categories. 

Business Professional

Working in a high-powered environment at a successful company will often require a better dress code because you are meeting with clients each day.

Business Professional for Men

Business Suit:  If you have to wear suits, buy at least two suits to begin your wardrobe and keep them basic in color and style.  Buy a good cut and basic colors such as  black, brown, gray, or blue.  Blue and gray suits might seem boring, but boring doesn't get noticed or ridiculed like an olive green pinstrip suit would.  Buy wool.  A good wool suit will last longer, breather better, and wrinkle less than any other type of suit.

Business Shirts:  Shirts are not cheap to purchase but you should have at least seven shirts in your business wardrobe.  By having that many shirts, you will visit your dry cleaner less often.  It will cost you about $2.00 per shirt if you send them to the cleaners.  You can resort to laundering them yourself but you need to make sure they are pressed well.  Purchase white or cream colored shirts to start your basic wardrobe.

Most dress shirts come in two main styles.  First is the tradititional button-down collar with button holes on the collar and the other is the spread-style without buttons on the collar.  Spread-style collars come with something called collar stays or collar stiffners.  These are used to keep your collar from curling up.  A good dress shirt will have a little pocket on the back side of the collar so you can remove these stays when you launder them yourself.  If they aren't removed, you will have collar stay marks that are hard to remove. 

Accessories:  Belt, shoes and socks should match the color of pants you are wearing if black or brown.  Otherwise, black is a good choice for other colors.  Ties can range in color and style but wearing a more conservative color to begin with is your best choice.

Business Professional for Woman

A business suit for a woman may consist of a jacket and skirt or dress pants.  In more expensive outfits, it is recommended to never "mix and match" your suit pieces as the texture, quality and colors may not blend well.  A three-piece coordinated suit is a good purchase to make in the beginning.

Remember to always wear pantyhose when wearing a skirt.  Panty lines that show are a no-no.  You should have an extra pair of pantyhose stored at the office just in case you get a run in the pair you are wearing.

Never wear open-toed shoes, sleeveless tops, dangling bracelets, or more than one necklace. 

Business Casual

Recently, more and more companies have entered the realm of business casual and have relaxed their dress code significantly.  There are no hard and fast rules for business casual, but even the phrase "business casual" has the word "business" in it.  This means you should still stay dressy for work. 

There are few things to remember when dressing for a new job:

  • Always overdress for the first day of work.  Look at your colleagues on the first day and decide how casual you can be for the following days.
  • Buy the majority of your wardrobe after you have spent a few days at your new workplace. 
  • Tuck shirts in.
  • Don't reveal too much skin.  Modesty in the workplace is a must.
  • Always iron your clothes. 
  • Always pay attention to details in your clothing.  Make sure they are clean and mended.
  • Match and coordinate colors.
  • Wear appropriate footwear with no scuffs.
  • Pay attention to hair, keep it trimmed and cut.  Wear daytime make up if you are a woman. 
  • Being neat and tidy is a must. 
  • Don't wear heavy perfumes or colognes.
  • Casual Friday - Ask if this is practiced and what is allowed.  For some businesses, casual Friday is a polo-shirt with slacks and other businesses might allow jeans and a t-shirt. 

When you have a question about the expected dress code, ask your supervisor what is appropriate.