Millennials, Here’s How You Can Dress Smarter At Work
My social media feeds exploded a few weeks ago with the introduction of the “male romper.” First designed for small children, it became popular for women in recent years. And now we have one specifically designed for men.
While this fashion statement likely won’t appear in the modern workplace, it does point to the increasingly casual nature of society. Culture was once far more formal; men wore suits to work, at dinner, and to coach sports.
Recent decades have ushered in a much more casual style at home and work. Jeans and tennis shoes are likely more popular in the modern workplace than suits.
For millennials, particularly those who recently graduated, it can be difficult to know exactly what is ok to wear in a new work environment. Mastering this tricky part of work is crucial for long-term success.
How can someone dress in a way that follows company guidelines, reflects their personality, and ultimately promotes success?
“Wardrobe for the workplace is going to be different for everyone,” says Toi Sweeney, Personal Branding & Style Expert and author of the book Secrets of a
Well Dressed Brand. “The important thing to know for sure is that what you wear does matter and can have a tremendous impact on how well you perform.”
Sweeney recommends learning the company dress code as soon as possible. Most companies cover this in an employee handbook, so speak with a supervisor or HR representative to get updated information.
“Once you know the dress code, be intentional for the first few weeks. “Regardless of your feeling on the dress code,
be a team player. Make sure your closet is stocked with enough items to get you through your first two weeks,” says Sweeney. “You can mix and match the remainder of the month. Once you are aware of the dress code think carefully about how you can infuse your personal brand into your wardrobe.”
Having a personal brand is something common among millennials. Many intentionally create a style reflecting their personality, mission, and vision, and this style can be seen on everything from their wardrobe to a social media feed.
Infusing a personal brand into workplace attire can be a smart career move. “Combine your personal brand with the company brand,” says Sweeney. “You want to stand out and fit in at the same time.”
Sweeney also advises clients to consider who they will meet with each day and what impression they want to create. “Wear the right colors and silhouette to convey the message that you want to send,” she notes. “For example, the color blue is the color of trust and responsibility, while black is the color of authority and power.”
Sweeney also recommends many practical tips for young professionals as they build their workplace wardrobe: “Make sure your clothes fit perfectly. Invest in smart accessories, whether it’s shoes or a nice computer bag. Always look polished and professional. Always prepare your work outfit the night before. Studies show that if you dress well, you perform better.”