We have gotten lazy. Gone are the days when many of us were expected to wear a suit to work; which is not a bad thing. I love being able to express myself through my wardrobe, accessories and shoes.
Business casual has become the norm and in the marketing agency world, for the most part it is acceptable. Don’t get me wrong, effort is still required. I see more jeans, beanies, leggings and plaid then I care to.
I still believe that you dress for the job you want and how you want to be treated. If you want to be taken seriously in the business world then you need to consider the audience you are in front of, not what you feel comfortable in.
If I am visiting one of our manufacturing clients and know I will be walking the floor, then I am in pants/jeans, boots and a flowy shirt and cardigan. I seriously cannot get enough of cardigans – don’t mock me.
Here are my wardrobe staple recommendations, from a business owner to a potential employee.
- Blazer. Purchase a black and navy blazer. This can literally be worn with anything – skirt, jeans, pants, etc. Keep one at the office for a back-up, that way if a client stops in unexpectedly you can throw it on.
- Cardigan. And know this isn’t just for women. Lots of men wear sweaters. I have a gray cardigan that I throw over short sleeve shirts and wear with a skirt, dress or pants.
- Black or navy pants. I love color, but also realize that having red pants (which I do) means that I can’t wear it with a lot. You can still dress it up with lots of color whether a necklace or bright shirt.
- Dress or skirt. I realize this is a little vague but the type of dress you buy (cover your private parts) depends on your body type. I like a good sheath dress which I like to pair with a cardigan or blazer.
It is important to feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing, but put some effort in. Do your hair, throw on a professional outfit and go conquer the world.
You may not want to be, but you are judged by what you wear.