4 Ways to Dress for the Job You Want


You have probably heard the old adage “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” While this may seem like another old saying that is unusable, it is actually quite applicable for many work situations. If you want to be treated like you are in upper management, begin dressing like you belong there. The air you give off at work can change the perception you give, from being “receptionist” to “CEO.” Included here are a few ways to alter your appearance and dress for the job you want.

Become More Modest

While prudes aren’t popular, it is much worse to be viewed as the office floozy. Beginning by lengthening your skirts a bit and fastening that top button, you can keep your coworkers and clients eyes on your face. A woman who relies on her assets to get her attention and promotions is one who lacks confidence and capabilities. While you may still be looking for a lifelong partner, save that search for outside the office and keep things professional while you’re on the clock.

Change Your Hair

If you have ever been into dying your hair unnatural colors, stop it now. Unless you are working in a very forward-thinking office, you will be viewed as irreverent and un-professional. Keep your hair dyed natural colors and styled conservatively without any strange spiking or gelling.

If you find yourself getting hair-boredom from the lack of color change, consider altering the length instead. Before you go cutting your hair into weird patterns, try changing the length and look with hair extensions. They will not be noticed in the workplace as radical but you can have your hair curly, straight or long with just a small adjustment.

Dress Professional

Wearing fluffy sweaters to work may be a nice way to stay comfy and fly under the “professional garb” radar, but it’s not doing your upwardly moving career any favors. If you want to be climbing the ladder you’ve got to bring your A-game. This means wearing crisp suits, straight skirts and heels. If you prefer to go the less feminine route, wear a business suit with flats or other dressy shoes.

Add Small Personal Touches

You may be concerned that dressing in a professional manner will give you the appearance of a “faceless suit” but you can still achieve individuality in other ways. Find conservative looking clothes in black, brown or taupe and made with wool or wool blends. After finding your professional bases, you can mix it up a little with a bright scarf or personalized bracelet. Keep the jewelry classy but add your own touches of color and individualization.


Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.