A Guide on How to Dress to Impress—Not to Stress—at Work

In Career Advice

Last Updated:

Men in suit

For new graduates about to start their first jobs or career shifters who are about to step foot in a new company, choosing the right clothes to wear often becomes stressful. Questions like, “Is this too much?” or “Is this appropriate?” starts to arise, and it becomes a recurring problem. But it doesn’t have to be! Dressing up should be a fun and exciting experience everyone should embrace.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to dress to impress at work:

General Tips

  • Know what is considered as appropriate in the chosen industry
  • Only clothes that fit should be worn
  • Clothing that reveals too much must be avoided
  • Hair must look clean
  • Facial hair should be trimmed and groomed
  • Bags used must be the perfect size to hold all of its content
  • Strong perfume and cologne must be avoided
  • Shoes must be well kept and clean
  • Men should not wear ankle socks with slacks
  • Pedicures are a must for women who wear open-toed shoes
  • Accessories should fit the attire as a whole
  • Watch should be paid attention to
  • Rich colors can portray authority
  • Neon colors are to be avoided at all cost


  • Wrinkled, torn, dirty, and frayed clothes
  • Shorts (Bermuda and short shorts), tights, and sweatpants
  • Shirts with offensive graphics or words
  • Leggings and jeans
  • Mid-thigh skirts
  • Sun dresses, beach dresses, dance club dresses, and spaghetti-strap dresses
  • Tank tops, cropped shirts, halter tops, tops with bare shoulders, and sweatshirts
  • Flamboyant athletic shoes (neon-colored)
  • Flip-flops and slippers


  • Clothing with the company logo, sports teams, university labels, and fashion brand names
  • Slacks, wool pants, flannel pants, dressy capris, khaki pants
  • Casual dresses and skirts with acceptable length
  • Casual shirts, button-down shirts, sweaters, polo shirts, turtlenecks.
  • Suit jackets and sport jackets
  • Blazers
  • Neutral athletic shoes or walking shoes
  • Loafers and sneakers
  • Boots, leather deck-type shoes
  • Flats, dress heals, clogs

Mix and Match


    • Monday: Plain white, button-down shirt; white, dressy capris; and printed high-heeled shoes. Accessorize with an understated watch and simple earrings.
    • Tuesday: Plain grey shirt tucked in black pants with a thin belt; black, open blazer; and a black, pointed, three-inch heels. A bold colored long necklace and a simple watch to accessorize.
    • Wednesday: A plain white shirt under a blue or red blazer; dressy, grey flannel pants; and black flats. Accessorize with a gold watch, simple earrings, and a few bangle bracelets.
    • Thursday: A simple, knee-length, printed dress; thick, black belt for the waist, and plain nude heels.
  • Friday: Printed sweater vest over a plain, white button-down shirt; black pants; and knee-high, plain black boots. Keep accessories at a minimum.


    • Monday: Striped button-down shirt tucked in black slacks with a light brown leather belt, and brown loafers. A brown leather watch will complete the look.
    • Tuesday: Plain white shirt, black or grey suit jacket, black pants, and black loafers. A silver or stainless steel watch will be the perfect accessory.
    • Wednesday: Black button-down shirt with rolled-up sleeves tucked out of black pants, and black dress shoes.
    • Thursday: Plain polo shirt of any color, khaki pants with leather belt, and light brown loafers.
  • Friday: Plain black shirt, sports jacket, black pants, and sneakers.

It’s important to look good in the office while maintaining a business-like image. It not only gives professional a confidence boost but it also inspires employees to be more productive.

For new graduates looking to get into the workforce, Resume 4 Dummies houses the best resume templates that can help soon-to-be business people land their dream jobs.

Source: About Money, Executive Style, Emily Post, Style Caster, Sortra