Career Blog

Dressing for work Do’s and don’ts

by champions in General 15/06/2016 0 comments

Struggling to get your work wear right? Accent Clothing have created this handy guide just for you…

We know all too well just how confusing it can be trying to pair outfits together for that important new job, especially with vague terms like “business casual” and “smart” floating around.

What you wear to work can be just as important as your interview prep. It will define your first impression, one that counts. It’s what will surmise you as a person yet also project a professional attitude without you even having to say one word.

It’s a daunting thing, so we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to and created an ultimate guide of do’s and don’ts for work wear.

Keep it classic

The classic suit is an ideal staple.

Trousers are typically perfect if you want to play it safe. Mix texture tailoring has been key this year so feel free to mix it up. Guys, dress like a man, not a boy. Ladies, if you’re questioning “Is it too short?” it probably is! Knee length is the safest option if you’re fancying dresses/skirts or mix it up with bang on trend culottes.

Keep it comfy

Try and avoid anything being too tight. We know you’re proud of your new beach ready gym body, but the whole office doesn’t need to see it. You will also avoid any risk of embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions that will give a nickname even worse to shake off than the “Newbie”.

Use colour

Express your personality but keep it simple! Accessories are a safe option that can be removed if you feel uncomfortable or out of place. Pick a couple of your favourite pieces of minimal jewellery though, too many of your festival bands you’ve collected over the years can be a bit of a distraction.

Coloured shirts or bags are an easy option but also don’t be afraid to showcase your personality through coloured basic pieces. Nothing says confidence like a bold splash of colour accentuated with traditional tailoring. If in doubt, a white shirt always hits the button.


Be appropriate, be intuitive and always prepare. Depending on the job, you will have some essential requirements to meet.

Each role will be unique. So if your job is outside or quite physical, think about comfortable footwear that’s not going to hold you back.

If it’s office-wear, you ladies can go for a heel if you want, but nothing above 2-3 inch, and a wedge is even better as it’ll avoid the frustrating ‘clip clop’ around the office. For the fellas opt for a classic formal shoe. You need to be able to walk and feel confident in yourself. A shoe polish and wipe wouldn’t go a miss either, no scuffs or mucky heels please.

Hair cut 100

Your hair is your biggest accessory so use it to your advantage. Keep it fairly simple, nothing too colourful, backcombed or spikey as you want to look approachable not scary. Make sure your hair isn’t in your face and is not messy in appearance. Simple says sophistication but you don’t need to be boring either.

Bare essentials

Make-up wise, go minimal and opt for a natural colour base. Apply foundation and blusher lightly and make sure your lipstick is not too bright. An overpowering look may be off-putting; you don’t want to look like Coco the Clown and it’s what you say that needs to be the focus, not the amount of make up on your face.

Keep it covered

The number one golden rule of dressing for work is to not reveal too much skin. You want to be taken seriously and for people to look at you and listen, not to just focus on your…ahem, assets.

So ladies keep the cleavage under control and those thigh high split skirts in the weekend wardrobe. Men keep the shirts buttoned up and if it gets warm go for a shorter sleeve. Smart casual shirt attire with tailored trousers can always be pulled off for the right situation too.

Make the right statement

We’d advise that it’s best to steer clear of the slogan Tee’s and smutty comments, although it might have been funny at the pub, this is a whole new environment and you are out to set a good, solid and lasting impression.

Too much pattern going on can be overwhelming at the best of times, never mind in the workplace. Garish colours can be clashing and also distracting depending on how you put it together. You can showcase your flamboyant side other than wearing your marvel comic three piece suit combo. Too much of everything and you could end up being labelled as the ‘office weirdo’.

Little touches

Yes, we said little. It’s nice to make a subtle impact and obviously ensure you are clean and smell good on a daily basis, but don’t overwhelm your co-workers nostrils with gallons of Chanel. They won’t thank you for it! Stick to fresh clean smells that suit the season or just your signature scent but don’t go overboard.

By Grace Wood is the marketing manager for Accent Clothing.

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