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We all know first impressions count for a lot, but did you know how fast most people form an opinion? According to Forbes, the average person takes seven seconds to develop an initial view when meeting a stranger. What can one glean in such a short amount of time? Not much. As crucial as this initial impression may be, it is essential to remember that it still is based on largely superficial judgments. This also means you can control the image you make by presenting yourself well.
So, what should you do when thrust into a high-stakes situation, such as the first day at a new job? Sometimes your new firm will have a dress code that says what you can wear and what you can’t, making things easier to start. But some company policies are left intentionally vague – making your first-day ensemble more stressful than it should be.
The most important thing to remember is to match the atmosphere of your office. Try to match at least the dress level presented to you during the interview process. For example, if your interviewer was business casual, you can probably ditch the dress slacks for your first day.
Still unsure? Try to tend your choices towards the more conservative side until you fully grasp the typical dress code. After all, there is a fine line between a professional outfit suitable for the workplace and the bodysuit you wore your last night out with girls — the latter of which, needless to say, probably won’t cut it. Check out the chic options below for “first day of work” outfit inspiration that will have everyone wondering who the new hire is.
Are you looking for something a little less stuffy? Business attire doesn’t have to be all blazers and pressed pants, as there is still room for dresses in the right environment. Of course, you’ll want to be sure to match the same level of formality as if you were wearing pants, but modest dresses can be a great way to show some personality while still presenting a professional face.
Opt for longer lengths and more muted colours when choosing the first-day dress. Cover arms and shoulders as much as possible. If suitable to your style, consider wearing a matching cardigan or accessorizing with a belt. A black maxi dress can be a great way to make an understated first impression.
Back when women could be arrested for the simple act of wearing pants, the pantsuit was one of the original signs of female ascendancy in the workplace. Now admirers of the pantsuit are being joined by a new, younger generation of women who adore its classic masculine looks and the versatile detailing a good set can have.
While menswear can be hard for some to pull off, it can also look sublime when done correctly. Just remember, when dressing for the office, you’ll want to be sure to show less chest than Dakota Johnson does in this red power suit here.
When it comes to blazers, why should it be the guys who get to have all the fun? A blazer can be a great way to bridge the gap between more formal and casual attire, as it can be easily paired with a nice pair of slacks and a shirt for an elevated yet basic look. Underneath, you can pair a blazer with more formal blouses for a more dressed-up look. Are you attempting to look like less of a try-hard? Put on a t-shirt underneath for a more understated look.
There are a wide variety of colours of blazers available. You can’t go wrong with neutral tones or classic black. Ensure that your blazer fits well; the cuff of sleeves should fall just before the wrist, and the jacket should effectively mask the chest without providing unwarranted cleavage when buttoned.
Don’t Forget About Accessories!
Of course, there are still accessories to consider. In short, you’ll want to wear jewellery that makes you feel good, but that is modest at the same time. It can be a difficult balance to tow, but a simple pair of earrings or an elegant necklace can make all the difference.
On the contrary, flashy jewellery can be a distraction and lend the wrong impression, so unless you’re a rapper starting at Def Jam, leave the ice grillz at home.
When it Comes to First Day Attire, Wear What Makes You Feel Confident
An old Greek adage says that a leopard can’t change its spots. Just as a leopard can only be itself, so should you on your first day of work. So, in the end, wear what makes you feel confident. This will show when you wear it and will make you feel good on your first day — both inside and out!