Dressing and preparing for work can be time-consuming and stressful. Because not all of us have an eye for fashion, styling your “corporate self” can be challenging. But of course, that is not an excuse not to look your best and professional in your workplace.
Looking at men and women, the latter are more flexible and have more passion for fashion. Most men usually don’t mind what they wear and are not as indecisive as many women are with clothing. But even though that may be true, men can use an extra hand to help them look more professional in their workplace.
The thing is, men’s fashionwear is more limited than women’s. But that doesn’t mean men can no longer improve and style themselves better for work. Here are seven tips on how to look professional in the workplace to help you look your best.
Each industry and company has a different set of rules regarding workplace attire. Technology industries like the I.T. work field are laxer with their workplace dress code. But if you work in sales, law firms, or insurance offices, you’re likely required to wear a suit and tie daily.
Most of the time, we see men in suits and ties wearing the same colour daily. Men wear a black, blue, or maroon suit and slacks with various tie colours to spice up their overall look. Since men can use their neckties to play around with their overall fit, I suggest using a bolder colour like an orange tie over a plain coloured suit and slacks.
There are many tie colours that men can choose and use to elevate their suits and slacks better. Aside from neckties, a pleasing shade of bow ties and polo shirts is a great way to spice up a business attire look.
2 – Don’t over-accessorise, and play with colours wisely
Since men and women have limited ways to express themselves in the office, they play with accessories and colours instead. And sometimes, they over-accessorise and choose bold colours that don’t seem appropriate in the workplace.
If you relate to this, it’s best to tone down your choice of accessories. Wearing too many rings, bracelets, and necklaces in the workplace could be distracting. Also, it could emit a vibe that you’re not serious about what you do. Of course, that’s a baseless judgement, but in this society, that’s how most people often think.
Be smart with your choice of colours too. As I mentioned in my first tip, only use a pop of colour when wearing a plain top and bottom to elevate your look.
3 – Always iron the clothes you wear to work
For gents who live alone, ironing their clothes before going to work is a waste of time. And since most men get off work late and wake up early, they’d rather spend those extra minutes sleeping than doing chores. However, as most people say, small details make a huge difference.
If you’re one of the many who believe it’s a waste of time to iron clothes because they will also get wrinkly after sitting and moving around, this tip is for you. Of course, you can skip this tip for your casual clothes. However, you shouldn’t disregard this for your work clothes.
If you’re not into styling, work on presenting yourself in well-ironed clothes instead. Doing so could instantly make you look prepared, professional, and ready to get through the battles of your work day.
4 – Style your hair neatly
If a hair curler is a girl’s best friend, then hair wax is a man’s best bud. In most corporate offices, men follow a specific hair length. Coloured hair and some hair stylings are also not allowed in some offices. If you’re one of the professionals who follow strict hair guidelines, you’re probably used to styling your hair neatly.
On the other hand, if you work in an office that does not require a strict hair protocol, I’d still recommend styling your hair neatly. Have you noticed commercials always sticking to the messaging about “bad hair days”? It’s because our hair can change our aura and look effortlessly.
So if you feel your clothes are repetitive or are too plain, take advantage of your looks by styling your hair neatly.
5 – Use a cologne or perfume but don’t spray more than necessary.
Even though using perfume or cologne does not affect how you look, it does affect how people perceive you. Also, isn’t it nice to have people around in the office who smell good than vice versa?
When choosing a perfume or cologne scent, choose one that is not too strong or uncomfortable for everyone. Of course, it would be nice if we could wear scents that we like. However, you have to consider that we are working with other people and that they might be uncomfortable with some smells.
Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow. If you’re using a cologne, three to four sprays are enough. On the other hand, if you’re using perfume, one to two will do.
6 – Find a tailor because how your clothes fit you makes a huge difference
Have you ever wondered why movie actors who play the role of a lawyer or professional always look good? Aside from their natural features, their outfits play a massive role. And you’ll often see their attires look like they’re made just for them because they are.
If you’ve been struggling to find work clothes that fit you like the back of your hand, maybe it’s time you work with a tailor. Wearing clothes that fit you perfectly can instantly make you look professional, composed, and confident.
So if your clothes are too loose, it’s time to bring them to a tailor to improve your outfit.
7 – Polish and clean your shoes before leaving for work
Lastly, polish and clean your shoes before leaving for work. Since the workplace is where clients and the management expect their employees to look well put together, presentation matters.
And so don’t forget to polish and clean your shoes before leaving for work. It is critical, especially when you face clients in your profession. If you wear leather shoes to work, it’s best to polish them the night before or before leaving your house.
Also, it won’t take so much time to clean your shoes. All you need is a shoe shine, a brush, or wet wipes to dust it off and make it look clean and sparkly. Removing that dirt will make a massive difference to your overall look and aura, just like the previous points I discussed.
Indeed, when you look good, you’ll feel good.
Work can be stressful sometimes, but that’s not an excuse not to look professional and presentable. The saying “when you look good, you’ll feel good” applies, even in the corporate world. To all the gents, don’t hesitate to try these tips to always look professional in your workplace.
Bianca Banda is a writer for Rael Brook, a menswear retailer from London providing quality shirts and accessories in a range of colours, designs, and fabrics, to men across the globe.