What to Wear on Your First Day at a New Job

Just like the first day of school, the first day at a new job can be exciting and a little nerve-racking. Maintaining your self-proclaimed “efficiency in Excel” or thinking about the commute is usually at the forefront of your mind, but what you wear is a key detail to successfully stepping into your new career. Here are some tips on what to wear on your first day at a new job:

The Basics
Wearing “Business Casual” attire is always your best bet when starting a new job. Even if the office is more casual (jeans and a t-shirt) or traditional business (suits and high heels), you will fit right in between the mix with a business casual choice. Once you’re clear on the company culture overall, you can adjust your attire, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Secretly you get a small pass on wardrobe as no one expects you to know exactly what to do on your first day anyway.

BEWARE: Even in business casual attire, you can make the mistake of wearing something too tight that can either be unflattering or show a bit too much. When in doubt, go with loose and comfy clothing and do the “fingertip” test (then add 2 more inches) for skirts.

Follow the Clues for Cues
A little tip – if you read this article BEFORE you start your first day and you have a chance to do a “second interview” or somehow get into the office before your official first day, pay attention to what other employees are wearing and model their attire.

A Staple Piece
Business casual is safe but, do not be afraid to add your own flair and “brighten up” your look. A great necklace or piece of jewelry is always a good way to make your first-day outfit “your own”. It’s been said that a unique piece of jewelry, shoes or accessory is always a great conversation starter. If you want to really show off, you can throw the colors of the company into your color/ clothing options.

It’s All in the Details
Fashion Stylist Natalie Sexton says, “Remember that details matter, and it’s often the simple things that pull your look together: a fresh haircut, manicured nails, and a classic makeup look”. We completely agree! Neatness, cleanliness, and tailoring can take your look to the next level and it’s an easy way to show your commitment and desire to represent the company well– even when you’re out of the office on business travel or at a networking event. Your appearance could be the difference between you getting a promotion!

Ultimately, the clothes really do make the man or woman. Fashion guru and life coach Mary Patterson always says, “ Dress how you want to be addressed!”. To many employers, your appearance translates to how you’ll perform in that role. It is also an indicator of how you will represent the company when you are out of the office. If you’re a manager with aspirations to become a CEO, get into the habit of dressing like a CEO now.

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