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6 tips for dressing smart at the office

Almost everybody wants to know the secret to the perfect attire at the workplace. The kind of outfit that exudes the confidence we wish to project. However, there’s no checklist where you can tick off things to decode the ultimate work outfit. The real parameters to determine the right kind of outfit are our own confidence and comfort levels.

Picking the right variety

The kind of outfit we wear is a huge giveaway of where we are headed. While heavy ethnic wear usually brings weddings to mind, business formals bring huge Multi-National Corporations to mind. An outfit also defines the kind of behaviour we project by affecting us subconsciously. Wearing work attire automatically puts us in a zone where we wish to look sharp and project the best version of ourselves- in terms of confidence and reliability. Smart casuals are also taking over the work sphere with the advent of startups. This adds the element of being comfortable to the table.

Silhouette and fit

There’s no perfect fit or silhouette for any outfit. The determinant of that is solely based on the wearer’s comfort zone and preferences. While some people would like a more flattering fit, others may prefer more relaxed or even boxy fits. Anybody who is uncomfortable about the silhouette or fit of the garment will never be as confident as they might be otherwise. The uncertainty can be a deterrent. So, the best bet is to pick silhouettes we like in a fit that not only looks good but also makes us feel good about ourselves.

Pick colours wisely

All colours have certain emotions or perceptions associated with them. Subconsciously or consciously they affect how we behave and how others interact with us. For example, red might be perceived as confident by some and flashy by others. The key is to find the perfect colour based on your need. Pick from a palette of colours you usually gravitate towards- your palette may include, navy, white, grey, amber, maroon and black, for example. From these, eliminate the colours that might be seen as too simple or too neutral. Finally, from amongst the remaining three- navy, amber and maroon, pick the one that makes you feel the best about yourself as per the situation. If you feel that wearing maroon will make you look professional and give you a boost of confidence for your appraisal, pick an outfit in that colour.

Fabric matters too

While the fabric of your garment is something only you are privy to, it does impact the impression you make. A crisp oxford shirt or even a linen dress that keeps you comfortable can drastically affect how you feel about yourself. This increases your level of confidence, thus helping you appear more relaxed and in control during your meeting. Also, a fabric that looks shabby or worn out can have a negative impact on the impression you are trying to make. So, try to pick fabrics that retain their shape when ironed and wouldn’t crease easily or at least end up looking shabby.

Accessorise smartly

Accessories are the small details that say a lot about our personality and add to our character. Pick a watch that resonates with you- a smart watch indicates a tech savvy person and a classic analogue shows someone who likes timelessness. Cufflinks can indicate a lot about your personality too as they come in a lot of quirky designs. Belts and shoes should match or at least coordinate well. Scarves and jewellery shouldn’t overpower but should definitely depict your personal aesthetics.

Stay well groomed

Even a perfect outfit can end up looking shabby if you don’t pay attention to these details. While women should ensure that their hair is in place and their hands and feet well neatly kept, men should ensure the same. Beards especially should be neatly trimmed and well kept.

In the end, cracking the right outfit is all about mixing and matching elements that look good and make us feel great about ourselves. That extra bit of added confidence goes a long way in making impressions that last and helping us get ahead professionally. And what better occasion to use that little boost of confidence than for your appraisal.

Niharika Dubey, Stylist, PostFold

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 14:47 IST

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