Anyone who wants to be taken seriously in the workplace needs to dress the part. As Austin Kleon once said

You have to dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

In today’s competitive world of work, this has never been truer. Whether you’re the managing director or the office assistant, impressions count – that’s the first impression and every single one thereafter. Dress to impress, and that will imprint on people’s opinions of you. 

There are plenty of things you can do to ensure that you look the part when you’re at work, but there are a few basics that you can consider absolute essentials. Keeping these items as part of your work wardrobe is a sure-fire way to help make a good impression, each and every day.

1. Invest In A Classic Black Blazer

A classic black blazer or suit jacket is not only professional but versatile too. No matter what your dress code at work is, a blazer will fit right in. Wear it with a matching pantsuit or with jeans and a tee – think t-shirt printing chic! A blazer shows professionalism and an awareness of unspoken office ‘rules’, as well as offering an air of sophistication no matter how it’s worn.

2. Make Your Outfit Wearable

When it comes to professionalism, looking good is the key. But one ingredient of a good look is, surprisingly, comfort. When dressing for work, comfort should be high on your list of priorities. Think about it – if you don’t feel good, you won’t look good. A pair of spindly stilettoes looks fabulous, but only if you can walk in them! If you’re going to be stumbling all over the place or constantly adjusting your straps, opt for a different outfit. A waist-trainer can also help enhance your appearance and make you comfortable and confident.

3. Find Your Signature Look

Some ultra-organized and stylish people are able to easily choose a different kind of outfit every day without ever getting it wrong. If you’re not one of them, there’s a simple solution. Choose yourself a signature style. It might be a colourful dress with a cute jacket, or it might be a customised t-shirt, skinnies, and heels. Whatever your outfit of choice, being able to use an ‘outfit recipe’ to choose your clothes means you’re less likely to get it wrong. And less likely to end up feeling frazzled in the mornings! As long as the items vary in colour or style, nobody will guess your trick.

4. Express with Accessories

Chosen with care, accessories can help make an outfit – and you – stand out from the crowd, and in the best possible way. It could be as simple as a chunky necklace or it might be something more daring like a trilby hat. There’s nothing wrong with expressing yourself at work, as long as it’s within the confines of your office dress code. It shows creativity and a sense of individuality, both qualities that should be valued by your employer.

5. Keep Some Nude Heels In Hand

Unless you’re Imelda Marcos, you’re unlikely to own shoes in every colour of the rainbow. Black heels are great, but they won’t work with every look. A nude shoe, however, will go with pretty much every colour outfit you can imagine. Don’t have exactly the right shade of cobalt blue shoe to match your new dress? No worries – wear your nude heels. As well as being versatile, a heel gives an outfit an instant lift. It also gives your walk a look of power and authority, which is exactly the impression you want to give.

6. Train Your Shape

Part of looking good is feeling good – about yourself and your body. If you’re self-conscious in what you’re wearing, you won’t carry yourself in a confident manner. Investing in a waist-training corset can help solve this problem. These tools not only smooth out your shape so that you look and feel better, but also help to train your waist into the shape you desire. They can be worn under any kind of outfit, making them versatile and easy.

7. Keep Things Neat

No matter how early you arrive at the office or how well you do your job, your boss won’t care if you look like you’re wearing last night’s clothes. When you’re choosing your outfit each morning, either use the iron or wear something else. Better yet, buy clothes that don’t need ironing! Stains, no matter how faint, won’t do either. If you can’t remove the mark, throw that thing out. Remember, your outfit can be as stylish or expensive as you like, but if it looks messy, so do you. And unfortunately, that will reflect on how you’re seen by your peers and superiors.

And there you have it – seven ways to ensure you’re dressing like the successful, ambitious boss lady that you are!

Follow these easy, simple rules to help you make the right impression in the workplace so that your boss and colleagues get the measure of your success.