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Align Your Personal Style with Your Work Goals

After you define your personal style, you need to consider what works and what doesn’t work for your company, your desired position, and your personal goals so that you can harmoniously and authentically blend them together.

Every workplace has a certain look that represents the company. In some companies, that look is written into the dress code. Other companies have unwritten rules about what to wear. You need to dress the part for the role you play, the work you do, and the company you do it with.

Serious, authoritative, distant, and demanding

Men want to wear straight lines, dark or dull colors like black or gray, firm or stiff fabric, small patterns, pinstripes, point or snap tab collars, long sleeves, tailored plain or reverse pleat pants, matched suits with minimal trim, a small to medium pattern tie, and conservative accessories to achieve the look.

Women should wear the female version of the man’s straight lines, restrained curves, dark or dull colors like black or gray, stiff fabrics, small patterns, pinstripes, high or buttoned collars, long sleeves, straight and A-line skirts, matched suits, coatdresses, minimal trim, and small to medium conservative jewelry to achieve a serious and authoritative look.

Energetic, fun, friendly, approachable, and outgoing

Men can wear clothing with curved lines, brighter colors, knits, plaids, checks, stripes, or prints, soft fabrics, loose fits, bold contrasts, polo, crew, henley, or mock turtle necklines, open collars, short or pushed-up sleeves, casual style belts, socks, or shoes, hats, or gloves for this look.

Women can enjoy full-curved lines; bright colors; gathers or pleats; knits; plaids, prints, or polka dots; soft fabrics; bold contrasting colors; scoop necklines or open collars; short, puffed, or pushed-up sleeves; colorful trim; and casual larger jewelry for this look.

Calm, quiet, gentle, and supportive

Men need to wear solid colors, subtle color contrast, small patterns, small floral or paisley print ties, softly tailored styles, soft or fine fabrics, soft pleats, natural shoulder lines, and simple and sophisticated accessories to exude this style.

Women should wear solid colors, subtle color contrast, small and floral prints, soft and delicate sheer fabrics, fitted styles, soft gathers and flair, bows, and small or delicate jewelry to exude this style.

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