Career Dressing for Women
Here are suggestions to emphasize a polished branded look for a woman’s wardrobe. Regardless of your shape or height, these are the basic rules of being well-dressed.
It closes with ease at the bust and hip lines.
It fits well under your arms and across your back.
It’s long enough to drape over wider hips.
Full-length sleeves are hemmed to where your wrist and hand meet.
You can substitute a sweater for a jacket to relax the look.
Layer a sleeveless top under a jacket, sweater, or shirt jacket.
The neckline is 2 inches above your cleavage. If it’s lower than that, wear a nonlaced camisole under the blouse.
The fabric is wrinkle-free and smooth across your bust and back.
It’s long enough to stay tucked in, or else it’s hemmed at the hip bone.
There’s enough room in the waistband for you to insert two fingers.
The pleats and zippers lie flat.
The leg fabric falls straight down from the buttocks.
The fabric across the front of your legs is smooth without visible stretching.
They conceal your panty line.
The pleats do not pull open.
There is no crease or pull across the front or back of your legs.
It’s hemmed at the knee and does not rise up more than 3 inches above your knee when you’re seated.
It easily turns around your body.
If it’s a pencil skirt, it hangs in a straight line and does not curve under your buttocks.
Its slit (if it has one) is a maximum 3 to 4 inches above your knee.
It’s a coat dress, a shirt dress, or a two-piece matching top and skirt.
The neckline is 2 inches above your cleavage. If it’s lower than that, wear a nonlaced camisole under the dress.
The fabric is a solid color or a medium to small print. Avoid floral prints if you want to be taken seriously.
They’re a neutral color.
They have a closed toe or a minimal peep toe.
They have a closed heel or a back heel strap.
They have a conservative heel height. (Reserve stiletto heels for after work hours.)
They’re polished and in good condition.
It’s neutral or a coordinated color that blends with your hemline.
If you’re choosing hosiery that matches your natural skin tone, it’s either the same shade as your shoes or lighter — never darker than your shoes.
Avoid bright colors, which draw attention down to your leg area.
Keep an extra pair of hosiery on hand to replace a pair with runs or snags.
Wearing hosiery keeps the message professional. If you have bare legs, you’re taking the message to a personal level. You can achieve a bare-legged look while still maintaining your professionalism by finding a brand of hose that’s sheer and neutral.
Simple and understated pieces are best for most work environments.
Larger pieces make a fashion statement and should be appropriate for the work environment and no larger than the size of a quarter.
Avoid dangling or large hoop earrings that give an unprofessional look
Also avoid noisy jewelry or pieces that move.
A necklace, in particular, should be simple in design and understated to avoid drawing too much attention to your neckline.
Avoid wearing tinted lenses indoors.
Wear a watch that is simple in design and understated.
Carry your purse or briefcase into a meeting but never both.