How to Choose Professional Attire for Women

Your appearance is an important aspect of your professional success. Simply put, first impressions matter and they can make or break an opportunity. Whether you’re getting dressed for a job interview or an important presentation, what you wear matters. This is the case across all industries and it’s imperative at executive levels.

There is a philosophy that promotes dressing for the job you want and not the job you have. It essentially means your attire can help you get to the next stage in your career. Check out the answers below to common questions about professional attire for women. Knowing what to wear can eliminate a lot of angst when preparing for a professional meeting or event.

What’s considered professional attire?

While professional attire will vary depending on where you are in the world, there are some constants. For instance, a nice suit is a good choice no matter where you live and it’s a business standard for executive-level women. When an occasion calls for professional attire and you don’t have a clue what to wear, choose a suit and a classic blouse. If a workplace situation calls for business casual, stay away from jeans and anything that you might wear to exercise. While you probably won’t wear a suit as business casual attire, your clothing should remain appropriate an professional.

Does the color of clothes matter?

When shopping, you’re likely to find professional attire for women in all colors and patterns. While this is great because there are many options from which to choose, it’s often best to stay away from bright colors and busy patterns, unless you work in a field related to art, media or entertainment. For instance, it isn’t wise to wear a neon yellow blouse in an executive environment. Although this isn’t a hard and fast rule, it’s something that should be considered. This absolutely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear color at all. It just means you should avoid colors that are distracting. In fact, a blouse of just about any color will look good under a blue suit jacket, as long as it’s a relatively subtle color.

Should you have your clothes tailored?

A tailored suit always looks better than a suit that’s ill-fitting. When given the opportunity to choose, it’s best to select one tailored suit that costs a little more money than two cheap suits. This also makes sense because most people will wear a suit that fits well more often than they will a suit that feels uncomfortable or isn’t flattering.

What are the best accessories for the office?

Accessories have always been a way to make a fashion statement. There are a wide range of accessories that can be worn to express your sense of style. When it comes to professional attire, your accessories should remain modest. While it depends on the situation, it’s always best to err on the side of caution by choosing simple accessories. For instance, you wouldn’t want to wear overwhelming costume jewelry to an interview. Instead, you might choose the basics, such as a simple watch and single strand necklace. These are just a couple of examples that will always remain on trend. When choosing accessories, you can certainly express your personality. However, just make sure it’s understated.

Simply put, you want the people you encounter in a professional environment to remember you because of your professional capabilities and poise instead of what you wore. It’s also important to remember that when you feel good about how you look, you’ll be more confident.