When you meet someone, you are often judged and evaluated before you even strike a conversation, based on how you look and how you carry yourself. As much as we may hate it, your attire is an important part of your personality and does communicate a non-verbal vibe about you to the other person. That is exactly why dress codes exist for different occasions and are considered an important element of discipline. However, when you graduate out of your college, your dress codes are vaguely classified as formals and casuals. It often becomes difficult for fresh entrants in the industry to figure out the right way to dress.
Dressing right is very crucial when you are in a corporate role, especially if you aspire to assume a leadership position. Your attire should communicate that you are professional, focus and you mean serious business. This quick style guide will help you crack the ultimate style code.
When you are working as a corporate executive, especially in a leadership role, your attire matters a lot. The way you carry yourself is considered to be an important part of your corporate identity. Your clothing is the most dominating element of your overall attire and therefore you need to pay attention to it regardless of your gender and position.
The best clothing option for any corporate executive is to go for a suit. A nicely stitched suit in hues of Black, Blue, and Greys paired with an appropriately contrasting shirt and a tie is a classic gentleman’s dress and you can never go wrong with that one. That being said, many people do not find it practical to wear a suit every day. Moreover, often weather conditions and work dynamics do not allow that kind of attire at many places. In that case, you can stick to a formal shirt and a dress pant. When choosing shirts and ties, pay attention to the kind of colors and prints that you choose.
Keep your hues and prints subtle and sophisticated. You wouldn’t want to walk into your office with a splash of colors. Some contemporary workplaces today encourage more easy-going environment and follow a smart-casual dress code instead of a formal one. In such circumstances, do not get carried away by going for something way too casual. Collared polo shirts paired with cotton pants or straight cut jeans are a great smart casual option.
For female executives, the basic guidelines remain the same. Ladies suits have been a huge hit in the fashion circuits in the recent past, so you can make the best use of the current trends by dressing up in a ladies suit. When going for a suit, make sure it is stitched according to your body requirements. If suits are not your thing, you can put up a smart formal top paired with a skirt. Although females have a wider color palette to choose from but avoid picking up colors that are too bright or loud. You can go for darker tones of blues and red, however, stick to a single color or pair up with a neutral color instead of going all colorful. Even if you are personally okay with showing skin, avoid dresses that are too suggestive at your workplace. Wear something that is convenient, manageable and comfortable while at the same time professional.
Your shoes are very much part of your overall professional attire. The classic hot always has been the closed toe high heeled shoe. Closed-toe shoes do not mean that you are allowed to walk into your workplace wearing sneakers or joggers. Invest in a good pair of formal leather shoes. Ideally, shades of black and browns are the best choices. The closed toe rule applies to women too, and ideally, women should stick to high heels too. However, if for some reason you are not able to wear heels, go for kitten heels or Wedges.
Remember that often your work will require you to move around and it is important that you wear something that would not give you sore feet. Therefore, even if you are used to heels, pick only heels that are high enough for you to carry all day. Wedges are a great alternative to closed toe heels as the offer relatively much more support and are relatively more comfortable. If you wish to stick to flats, go for pumps. For shoes, try to stick to neutral colors only and avoid hues that are too loud or bright.
Accessories are an important part of fashion and style as they help to accentuate your entire look. Although you do not have to completely eliminate your jewelry and accessories from your corporate look, you still have to keep it very subtle. Even if you are a huge jewelry fan, leave your bracelets and necklaces at home when coming to work. The max you can wear is a small pair of studs in your ears, a finger ring or two and a watch. Keep other pieces light and let your watch be the most dominating element of your accessories. Watches have always been associated with class and luxury so invest more in this area. Tag Heuer Carrera has some super classy leather strap watches in its line that you can pick from. Whatever you choose, make sure that your accessories do not become a hindrance in your productivity and allow you to do your tasks effectively.
Hair and Makeup
Although there is not much to do with hair and makeup with men, still style it as professionally as possible. Ideally, avoid very long hair, but if you have longer lengths then avoid keeping them open. Make sure your hair is clean, shampooed and tied up neatly. Although females can leave their hair open, but make sure they are manageable and do not bother you amidst your work. You do not have to invest hours in the morning to style your hair. Tie them up in a neat bun or do a high ponytail or a braid. That would not only look neat and professional, but your hair will stay intact till the day end without bothering you. You can use a styling gel or a hair spray for extra support.
As for makeup, it is best to stay as natural as possible. Use the foundation that matches your skin tone. If your skin does not have too many imperfections, it is best to use conceal and correct and top it up with a good moisturizer and finishing powder only. Avoid heavy highlighters and bronzers and use a very subtle cheek tint. Keep your eyeshades neutral and add a liner and a mascara. If your clothes are dark toned, go with nude or earth-toned lips. If you have kept everything else very minimalistic, you may add a pop of red on your lips.