Readers, what are your best tips for how to to look great for work every day? What do you think is the key to being consistently polished and put together? I was talking about this with someone recently and some of my top tips would be these six below — but I’d love to hear your thoughts!
1. Wear a good bra.
If you want to see an immediate improvement in your appearance, get a new bra that fits well — everything you wear looks better! This tip is especially a good tip for busty women, but it’s true for everyone.
Are your blazer sleeves too long and grazing your knuckles? Is your skirt too short? Are your pants hems dragging on the ground, are your pants or skirts “smiling” because they’re too tight, or are they gaping or twisting because they’re too loose? Some people will say “tailor everything!” — and while that’s a great way to look like a million bucks, it can also COST a million bucks. So I say that even if tailoring isn’t in the cards for you, make sure you understand fit — and when something is fitting you POORLY.
3. Take care of your clothes and accessories.
Are your shoes scuffed or in need of a polish or cleaning? Does your skirt, blazer, or handbag have loose threads hanging down? Are your pants wrinkled with dirt on the hem? Is your blouse in need of ironing? Attention to little details like this can make a big difference in making or breaking your appearance for work.
4. Know your shapes.
Specifically, know the classic shapes that work best on you — and don’t be afraid to adopt a uniform or capsule wardrobe that features those pieces. (At the very least, have one or two outfits that you KNOW look great — whether you call those your power outfits, your safe outfits — you can even grab them for help looking great the day after the all nighter at work.) Sheath dress, shift dress, A-line dress — do you know which one looks best on your body, and why? What is the best pants look for you — trousers, ankle pants, boot cut pants, or straight leg styles? Be ruthless in assessing it!
5. Have a great office hairstyle that works with you at least 90% of the time — and keep your hair maintained.
Get frequent cuts so you don’t have straggly, split ends, and if frizz is a problem for you, do what you can to control it — consider a keratin treatment, a regular moisturizing hair mask, or an easy office updo that’s easy for you to do and comfortable to wear. (That may even be a ponytail, although I would argue that an overly high ponytail or a cheerleader ponytail is not appropriate for work … but readers have definitely disagreed with me on that, so you know your office! To be 100% clear: You can have gray hair, curly hair, long hair, natural hair, etc., but if you find that your hair is a distraction for you more than 10% of the time once you’re at work, either because you find yourself playing with it, redoing it, annoyed by it, or in pain by it (raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten a headache from a ponytail!), you should probably find a better office hairstyle.
6. Have great posture.
We just talked about ways to improve your posture — and it really makes a huge difference in how you look for work. You can try a posture helper like Lumo Lift, being mindful, focusing on good ergonomics in your office, and other tricks.
Ladies, what are your best tips for how to look great for work every day? Would you add anything to my list — or take anything away?
Picture credit: Shutterstock / S_L.