5 Tips on How to Dress for Work Success

Be aware of what the way you dress for work says about you

Part of being effective for your job means dressing the part. Whether you wear scrubs to work, business attire, or “business casual,” the same principles hold true for how to dress for work success. If you work in the healthcare field, and scrubs are your work outfit, how you wear them can make you look either professional or sloppy. (You might want to follow these tips on looking your best in scrubs).

Here are a few guidelines to following in terms of how you dress for success at work:

  1. Wear clothes that are clean and free of creases and stains. Inspect your older items of clothing the bright light, with a discriminating eye. Get rid of any that have seen better days!
  2. Choose the colors you wear selectively.
  • Colors should go well together. Try to avoid clashing.
  • Neutral colors work well for most professional environments.
  • To add more color, perhaps choose one item (a scarf, blouse, or tie) in a complimentary or brighter color.
  • Colors you wear should suit the environment. For example, if you’re working with the elderly or with children, then there may be greater flexibility for wearing bold and bright colors. It’s best to observe what coworkers you respect are wearing and to inquire from your supervisor.
  1. Be sure that your clothes fit well.
  • Clothes that are too tight may draw unwanted attention and may be distracting to coworkers, patients, and/or customers. They can also be uncomfortable as you go about your workday.
  • Clothes that are baggy can look sloppy and give the impression that you’re not concerned with appearing professional.
    1. Avoid wearing clothes with holes, tears, or loose buttons. Be sure you repair clothes that have any fraying edges or unsightly damage. (If this isn’t your area of expertise, perhaps you know someone who is handy with a thread and needle!)
  1. Do not wear any clothing featuring words, pictures, or slogans that could be perceived by others as offensive or even off-putting. This doesn’t just mean T-shits, but also includes even socks—any item that people might be able to see as you move and perform your job.

The way you dress—including your sense of style—and how you take care of your personal hygiene says a lot to employers. Getting dressed each morning gives you an opportunity to show others that you care about work, and respect yourself as a professional. If you follow these guidelines, their respect is sure to follow!


This article is part of the weekly blog of Seacoast Career Schools. We offer several career training programs at our campuses in Manchester, NH and Sanford, ME. Reach out to us for more information or to schedule a campus tour!

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