How to avoid fashion mistakes

If you want to impress a new employer, dress appropriately. Choose the style that’s right for you and your workplace.

“First impressions are visual,” maintains Chantal Lacasse, a consultant in business etiquette. “If your new accountant meets you in a jogging suit, you’d be right to doubt their professionalism.” A suitable appearance inspires confidence in clients, colleagues and employers. But how do you know if your clothes are right for the job?

Look and listen

“You normally set foot on the company’s premises at least once before being hired,” says Lacasse. “This is your chance to check out how your future colleagues dress. Is everyone wearing a suit and tie? Follow their example as soon as you start working there. You can also ask the recruiter whether the company has a dress code.

“Keep a clear distinction between attire for the workplace, after work get-togethers and leisure time,” Lacasse advises. Shorts are for the beach! “A useful tip: before leaving for work in the morning, ask yourself if this is how you’d dress if you were on your way to a job interview. If the answer is ‘No’ then you’ve been letting yourself go.”

Sartorial tips

Chantal Lacasse has a few simple rules for avoiding fashion mistakes:

As a general rule, avoid anything attention grabbing: T shirts with logos, too much jewellery or perfume, colours. “Choose good quality materials and neutral colours such as black, navy blue and brown. These classic choices are also ‘power’ colours.”

“Sandals are out! For work, a closed shoe is the wise choice.”

“Men should wear a sweater with a collar or a long or short sleeved shirt.”

Women should avoid clothing that reveals too much thigh, midriff, shoulder or bust. “Clothes that are too sexy are sure to undermine your credibility.”