Monday, January 30, 2017

A Recruiter's Guide to Style: What to Wear to Your First Day of Work

Hello, folks! I'm back with another segment of my series, "A Recruiter's Guide to Style." In case you missed the first installment, I decided to use my professional experience to share some tips on how to dress for different professional situations! (For some notes on what I mean when I say "professional" and how that impacts certain groups of people, scroll to the bottom of my post.)


Once you've gone through the interview process and landed your dream job, you have to figure out what you're going to wear on your first day of work! I think I agonized more over what to wear on my first day of work than I did over any interview. It's stressful because you don't want to be overdressed, but you definitely want to make a good first impression! Here are some do's and don'ts for your first day of work!

Do's: 
  • Do make sure to reflect you and your personality! This will be your first impression on most of your coworkers, so let yourself shine through. 
  • Remember to bring a cardigan, jacket, or blazer with you. Offices tend to run uncomfortably cold, so you'll want to have an extra layer in case yours is a little chilly! 
  • Be sure to keep an eye on what your coworkers are wearing on your first day! Every office is different with regards to dress code, so it will be easier to determine what to wear from here on out based on what people who already work there are wearing. 
Don'ts:
  • Don't wear anything that will have you fussing and fidgeting all day. Of course I'd recommend you do this any day, but you don't want to be uncomfortable all day on your first day! 
  • Don't wear shoes that are too tall, stiff, or tight. You don't know how much standing/walking your new job will entail, so unless you want aching or blistered feet at the end of the day, best to play it safe with flats, wedges, or a mid-height heel.

Shopping Tips:
  • DO NOT go out and spend hundreds of dollars of professional clothing all at once on the day you get the offer letter. Start by taking an inventory of your closet and deciding which pieces could be styled for work--most basic tees, blouses, and cardigans will be work-appropriate, and you probably have some longer skirts and skinny pants that work, too. Combine those with whatever you bought to wear to interviews, and you've got your basic work wardrobe. 
  • After taking an inventory of what you already own, look at what you're missing. For me, this was blazers and bottoms, but it could be something else for you. I had very few work-appropriate skirts and no trousers, and I had many more cardigans than nice jackets. Figure out what you need and focus on filling those "holes" in your professional wardrobe first.
  • Now you can start shopping. But again--no need to do everything all at once. Keep an eye on online sales, clearance racks, and thrift stores to find the things on your list and gradually add them! 


an outfit with a black floral dress, maroon cardigan, and maroon flats

an outfit with a black floral dress, maroon cardigan, and maroon flats

an outfit with a black floral dress, maroon cardigan, and maroon flats

an outfit with a black floral dress, maroon cardigan, and maroon flats
photos by: Abbey Welch

Dress: Ralph Lauren via Clothes Mentor (similarsimilarsimilar)
Cardigan: J. Crew Factory (exact, similarsimilar)
Necklace: Target (similarsimilarsimilar)
Flats: Forever XXI (similarsimilarsimilar)

On This Date:

*A note on professionalism: In American society, our concept of what is "professional" is often biased against certain kinds of people. In some cases, this manifests itself in blatantly discriminatory ways--for example, black women who wear their natural hair are sometimes labeled as unprofessional simply because of their hair texture. Sometimes, it is more subtle, such as picking apart how women wear their nails or what kind of shoes they wear while men are not subject to these criticisms.

Although I refuse to allow blatantly discriminatory versions of professionalism to occur in my circles, other standards of professionalism are so common and deeply ingrained that we must adhere to them in order to navigate the corporate world, at least for now. I hope to use my career in human resources to re-define professionalism and what that means when applied to different kinds of people; however, until further progress is made to welcome women and people of color in the workplace, I want to empower people in those groups to optimize their success in the workplace through tips on how to dress for different business environments.

Linking Up With: Still Being MollyBy Lauren MMore Pieces of MeClaire JustinePink SoleStyle NudgeMichelle's PaigeElegantly FashionableNot Dressed as LambNot Dead Yet Style, Cute and LittleElegantly Dressed and StylishA Good HueStyle ElixirThe Fashion CanvasI Do deClaireA Stroll Thru LifeMyriad MusingsJersey Girl Texan HeartThe Mummy ChroniclesThe Pleated PoppyTucker UpShopping My ClosetPastries, Pumps & PiPumps and PushupsClassy Yet TrendyCappuccino and FashionButcher's NicheElegance and MommyhoodKatherine's CornerLiving in ColorA Labour of LifeThe Red Closet DiaryHome of MalonesCurly Crafty MomNancy's Fashion StyleStyle ElixirRachel the HatJo-Lynne ShaneFashion Should Be FunGrace and LoveThe Farmer's WifeA Smidge of ThisThe Closet by ChristieAdri LatelyShelbee on the EdgeMom With Style

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