By |August 15th, 2013|

Professional Attire

You have worked hard to get to this place in your life. It’s time to transition from the world of academia to the business world. Your attire is important and it will make an impression on your colleagues and bosses. How you present yourself will have implications as to how you are viewed in the workplace.

Therefore, make the investment on your business attire. Good quality does make a difference, so this is not the time to skimp. However, by following some basic guidelines, your wardrobe should not break the bank. Use the KISS system, keep is simple and sophisticated.

Memorize these colors:

  • Navy Blue
  • Charcoal gray
  • Black
  • Khaki
  • White

These colors should be the foundation of every business wardrobe. Regardless of formality or gender, start with these colors. Color can look great; for example, a brightly colored shirt can punch up a dark gray suit for both men and women. In general, it is better to start with the neutrals just listed and to add color than to start with color and try to find something appropriate to match.

Here are some guidelines for both men and women to keep in mind:

  • In the suit world, start with the basics:  a navy blue wool suit and a charcoal wool suit, white shirts, black shoes and black belt.
  • In the business casual world, start with the basics:  Khaki pants or skirts, white shirts and black or brown shoes and belt.

Starting Your Business Wordrobe:

  • Navy blue or charcoal-gray suit
  • Close-to-knee length skirts (women)
  • Khaki pants
  • White dress shirts or blouses
  • Oxford cloth or polo shirts (men)
  • Silk ties or scarves
  • Trench coat with a liner (men and women)
  • Dark socks (men)
  • Skin tone and dark blue/black hosiery
  • Black and brown leather belts
  • Black and brown leather dress shoes
    • Pumps (women).  Heel should be no higher than two inches
    • Wingtips or Oxfords (men)

About the Author: Laurie Simonson

Laurie Simonson, AAAPM is the Director of Operations at Froehling Anderson.