image Dress to Impress: What to Wear to the Office

Dress to Impress: What to Wear to the Office

So, you’re looking to make a big impression at the office? Upping your work game and being a team player are great ways to stand out, but if you really want to shine, think about your appearance.

How you dress definitely influences how people perceive you. In fact, one study found that when people were shown a three-second glimpse of a man wearing a made-to-measure suit, they ranked him as more confident, flexible, successful, and rich than the same man wearing a suit from an ordinary retail store.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to go out and have a tailor custom-design your wardrobe. However, there are probably a few tweaks you can make to improve how others see you and maximize your impressions.

Skip the Business Suit

Only one in 10 workers still wear a suit to work, so if you’re sporting this look, you may be old-fashioned. In fact, a survey that got the opinions of 2,000 British workers found that 43 percent said a business suit causes an employee to stick out like a sore thumb.

In some cases, standing out is good. But in this case, you’ll likely just be giggled at behind your back.

As an alternative to the traditional-looking suit, why not opt for a more fashion-forward alternative? Patterned suits are all the rage on the runways, especially those in a tartan print. Dress this down by pairing it with a high neck T-shirt and boots, and you’ll look both powerful and at-ease. For men, try a tartan blazer paired with jeans or work pants.

Embrace the Casual

Speaking of jeans, a survey completed by OfficeTeam found that 47 percent of workers find jeans to be more acceptable in the workplace than five years ago. This means you may be able to get away with wearing your favorite pair matched with a smart blouse or dress shirt.

But don’t get too carried away. Rips and tears in your jeans are still unacceptable; instead, stick to sleek styles and darker colors. Both women and men may want to try a pair of black pants with a white shirt for a modern, monochromatic vibe.

Stick With Layers

Offices can be too hot — or cold — at the drop of a pin. Compensate for this by wearing smart, functional layers. For example, you may wear a cardigan on top of a short-sleeved shirt. That way, you can stay casual while you’re at your desk, but if you have a big meeting, you can instantly spruce up your look by putting your top layer back on.

However, always avoid wearing tank tops, shorts, or flip-flops, which consistently come across as unprofessional.

What other tips do you have for dressing the part? Let us know in the comments!

Works Cited

Bailey, Grant. “Only One In 10 People Now Wear A Suit To Work, Study Finds.” Independent. 1 Feb. 2018:

Brewer, Taylah. “10 Stylish Casual Work Outfits For The Office.” TheTrendSpotter. TheTrendSpotter.

Fletcher, Ben C. “What Your Clothes Might Be Saying About You.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC. 20 April 2013:

Half, Robert. “8 Things You Need to Know About Work Clothes.” SlideShare. LinkedIn Corporation. 4 May 2018: