By Andy Flynn
As you transition from college to corporate life, so should your daily wardrobe. After all, many of us wouldn’t dare wear the same outfit from the classroom into the conference room – and the rest of us shouldn’t. Not all of us have an eye for fashion, but we still need to look appealing in order to “stand” out (not “stick” out) in the crowd. If one of these 5 common fashion “don’t s” applies to you, a small change might not only aid your perception, but the way your co-workers, peers and colleagues perceive you. So whether you’re about to enter the corporate world for the first time or are a seasoned executive with a closet full of plaid, one of these tips may apply to you.
- The Backpack - Men With Backpacks At Work = FAIL pretty much sums it up! It goes without saying that having a degree means you’ve graduated from the world of text books and back packs. After all, have you ever seen a CEO carry a back pack (Zuckerberg even has a laptop case) to a board meeting? If your lawyer brought one into the court room, would you (and more importantly the judge and jury) still take them seriously? [Note: even law students carry cases] So for those of us who are too old for the back pack -yet too young for a briefcase, I give you the alternative: the messenger bag.
- The Hooded Shirt – The ONLY time hoods are acceptable in the workplace is if and only if they are attached to a jacket. That being said gentlemen, umbrellas are still preferred to the hooded raincoat (except on”snow days”).
- Cargo Pants – are for men whose job does not require them to wear a shirt and tie. For these men, going to the “office” means going to the “construction site” or “military base”. In such cases Dickies Cargo Work Pants are just that – workers’ pants.
- Athletic Shoes and Sandals – never, ever, ever wear them to work (including days when “casual” and/or “summer” office attire is permitted) -not even if you’re Captain Kirk!
- The Same Outfit Twice in a Row – I know what you’re thinking on days you wake-up late with a dirty hamper and no clean clothes. However just because you don’t remember what your coworkers may have worn the day before, doesn’t mean they won’t recall your attire from the previous day. Human memory tends to get better the more we see similar objects and patterns. So if you want to “be remembered” at work (especially by your boss), you’ll want to ensure that your wardrobe isn’t the reason for your being recognizable. Variations of the same outfit in the same week are acceptable in desperate times, but dressing like Mr. Rogers is not!