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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What to Wear for Work?

Tiba2 perasan jadi image consultant kan?
"I am starting a new job soon that has a "business professional" dress code. What is appropriate for a twenty-something to wear in the office? I don't want to stand out too much, but at the same time I don't want to dress like and old lady either. Please help me!"

When I was working at Ernst & Young, we had been given a thick manual on what to wear. Being a worker in a consulting firm, we must wear the appropriate and professional attire to convey the best image of the firm.

I can say, it is BORING and CONSERVATIVE.But I like it tho, looks very professional. Y.U.P gitu (Young urban Professional).

#1) All companies are different in their definition of what's appropriate. Stay on the conservative at first, then ease up after you figure out what is acceptable. Take a look at the highest woman executive in the company. Check out what she is wearing. Use her as a point of reference- DO NOT use your peers as your point of reference. You never want to dress for the job you have. You always want to dress for the job that YOU WANT.
#2) Invest in some basics that can be mixed and matched. Professional clothes are expensive when you get them to fit right, however it's worth the money. Stick with one color scheme and then everything will look good together. Try and keep your work clothes wardrobe as minimal as possible. It saves you money and eliminates the "what to wear??" stress in the morning.

Here is my rule of thumb for dressing for work in any corporate atmosphere:

Jewelry: Stick to studs or pearls. Never large hoops or anything dangling. A very small hoop or "cuff" earring is OK as well. One item of jewelry per each wrist. Never anything the clinks together and makes noise. It's distracting, and you can't type effectively with too many things on your wrist. Less is more here.

Scarf: Please use minimal printed scarf. For me personally i didnt use funky scarf like polka dot, cartoon or wordings. I think the most suitable scarf to match with formal attire are satin-like or silk scarf. Because it looks expensive haha and more professional. Geometric or minimal flower prints also encouraged. Or ariani scarf also good. But be careful, some of awning scarf really makes u look like "makcik" rather than professional. Do not by the thick awning, and try buy the quality fabric with minimal print. Do not overdo your scarf. Keep your arabian or siti style for outings, not office. Wear medium sized brooch with minimal blings. You dont want ppl think u want to go to weddings. I love tie rack scarf. Perfect for work. But too expensive :(

Shoes: Personally, I say always closed toe. In my past working place, they always use this formula, closed toe for every attire (skirts or pants) except baju kurung. Not even peep toe. However most companies accepts "peep toe". Anything that shows too much of your toes, I would stay away from. There is something very casual about showing your toes. Stick to a standard pump or a ballerina shoe. However it is highly advisable to stick to closed toe when u are attending interview, u do not want the interview to look more at your toes rather than ur face.
One more thing, pls wear at least 1 or 2 inch heels. It looks more professional instead of using "grandma's black shoes" or mcm pengawas sekolah shoes. I always love pointed toe heels.

Skirts: A couple inches above the knee is OK. Try sitting down in your skirt, if it's showing enough of your leg to turn your coworker on... don't wear it. I personally like pencil skirts. They are very flattering, and look professional. Work dresses are also awesome.

Shirts: Never show cleavage or anything close to it. If you are wearing a button down shirt, make sure there is no gapping in between the buttons in the chest area.

Underwear: Never let your bra straps show. Always wear nude color underneath light colored clothes because it won't be seen through them. Esp for scarf girl. White blouse with red bra. OMG. No no no.

In summary, don't let your outfit overshadow your skills. Just because something might seem conservative to you, it might not be conservative to your boss, or your boss' boss. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Use your own judgement, and just because your peers are showing cleavage and wearing flip flops, doesn't mean you should too.

Below I attached some of the pics of office attire. Maybe you can have some ideas from here (Including me)

Long skirt! Very suitable for muslimah. I love her look but maybe need to change that shoes. Pair it with closed toe.

I love this look. Apa ntah nama belt kat baju tu with wide pant. Im sooo gonna get this. haha.

Cardigan! Match it with belt.

I love ribbons! and ruffless...

OK. What about baju kurung?

Personally, i do not opt to wear baju kurung to office. I rarely wear them until my ex-colleagues (mostly chinese) noticed and asked about that. haha. I just do not really confident in them and hard to move, considering i was an auditor last time which needs me on the go everytime.
If i were to wear baju kurung, i love to wear plain or modern baju kurung. Or with geometric pattern. I dont like wear too flowery. I dont think its really formal.

Some of ideas from here

1 comment:

SuRayA^i. said...

maybe diz tips wud b useful for me soon..
thnx! =D