So you’ve landed your first job—congratulations!
Now comes the hard part: learning the ropes, impressing your boss, not forgetting VIP names…
Plus, what on earth are you going to wear?
We can’t help with navigating the ups and downs of your first weeks in the office. However, we can give you guidance on creating a fabulous corporate wardrobe.
To share tips on how to dress for your first job, we’ve enlisted top stylists to provide expert advice on dressing with style and confidence.
Plan to create a mix and match range
“With a little planning your corporate wardrobe can be really savvy! Look at your work week’s specific needs. How often will you need to dress formally? Is business-casual suitable for most days? Are there casual Fridays? Do you occasionally need to take things up a notch for interviews, important client meetings or networking events? Understanding these needs is key to building a flexible wardrobe. Plus, I’d say that a jacket or blazer is your number one credibility piece. Invest here. Choose a neutral colour that suits you and goes with the majority of your wardrobe.”
Amanda Curren, The Style Manifesto
Create a signature style
“Personally, I always wear a dress. This way, your corporate wardrobe can be seven dresses and four blazers. There are plenty of budget fashion chains (such as ValleyGirl and H&M) that have affordable options for professional workwear.
“An antique pin in gold can be your trademark accessory. Wearing it on the lapel of your blazer makes you look very professional and sophisticated. Another good accessory, if you can afford it, is a high-quality handbag that helps you make a refined impression.”
Jade Pearlhouse, Career Coach, jadepearlhouse.com
Dressing well matters
“Perception is everything. Being well-dressed tells others you are confident and professional, even if you’re a junior It gives you a competitive edge because everything else being equal, the well presented candidate will get the job, or the project. You can’t control decisions in the workforce that affect you but you can control how you present yourself, so put your best foot forward. It gives you confidence in your abilities which helps you perform in your role.”
Keah Nguyen, Stylist, Keah & Co. Personal Styling
Invest in low-maintenance, quality pieces
“An iron-free, minimal upkeep wardrobe is a godsend for a busy woman. Choose dresses that can wash on cold and hung to dry on a coat-hanger and then transferred directly to the wardrobe. Iron-free clothes won’t crease sitting or in transit always look good and wrinkle free. Investing in a few well-tailored pieces from brands like Cue or Veronika Maine is well worth it. I wore my favourite suit to every job interview I had from 2003 to 2013! Good quality leather shoes, generally in black, will get you to work and home, every day of the week. Look after them and they will last far longer than budget shoes.”
Kearin Lowry, Director, Workforce Positive
Keep it simple
“When you’re starting out, build up your wardrobe by keeping to a simple colour palette— blacks, greys, white, navy. Add colour with a shirt or accessories. You don’t have to buy a lot, but invest in a few staple pieces – a nice knee-length skirt, a straight leg pant, a smart dress and a good blazer you can use to dress up your outfit for important meetings.”
Shannon Lyndon-Lugg, Head of Career Solutions for Career Ahead