There comes a time when, male or female, you look into your closet and realize your clothes may not fit your new job or worse yet, they don’t fit you! You were able to fake it between interviews because most of the employers saw you only once. You wore that same suit to every interview because the companies were different and no one was the wiser, right? Never fear, you can still maintain your colorful personality and charming individual style by using a common sense approach to updating your closet.
Culture – When choosing workplace fashion consider where you work and what you do. Your last interview gave some indication of company culture, right? Let’s be real? You were so focused on your “new gig,” you didn’t care what others were wearing! So, use professionalism and appropriateness as a guide. In some industries jewelry may not be allowed and perfume / cologne may be discouraged. Go for an understated look or when in doubt just don’t wear it. Be proactive, ask the person who hired you for assistance and review the dress code section in your policy and procedures manual. Though nobody reads it, everybody’s heard of it!
Fit – The horror! Someone had the audacity to resize your entire wardrobe? Hey folks, I cast no judgments. I throw no stones. Truth be told, I’m only a double cheeseburger away from a full on zipper pop myself!
Your favorite garment may have become too tight, too loose, too revealing, or just plain wrong! If the garment is too tight or too loose, but a definite keeper, get to know your neighborhood tailor and become aware of weekly specials. It can be very cost effective to simply do it yourself. Try not to spend too much effort on tailoring trendy, wildly patterned pieces. Go for those timeless classics, for lasting impressions! Too revealing? Save it for the weekends. If the garment is just plain wrong, consider tossing it, re-purposing by garage sale, or donating to your favorite charity.
Honesty – Don’t be afraid to ask a loved one or trusted friend for opinions about questionable garments. Think strategically. Build your wardrobe piece by piece, not impulse! Maintain the same attention to detail the employer admired from the beginning and the employer’s impression of you should remain positive, from the day you start until the day employment ends.
During the interview the main focus was on your face and that award winning smile of yours. A good employee knows that well-groomed, head to toe professionalism is necessary every day. In a future blog, we will discuss cost effective ways to stretch your workplace wardrobe while creating your own personal brand!
Frieda Carmouche is a member of the Regional Navigator team specializing in training, educating and assisting employers, and career center staff throughout the Gulf Coast with community resources, outreach events and technical support in assisting job seekers with disabilities. A native Houstonian with a love of training and development, Frieda has been employed by Workforce Solutions for over 16 years.