I have worked at bars, nightlife and an office job in politics. Through my various 'first days', I have acquired some tips and tricks to make sure your clothing is the thing you are least worried about! After all, you only have a few seconds to make a first impression
1. Do not be afraid to ask! Representing your work is crucial, whether you work at a pet store or as a president of an influential bank- you are representing your employer! As shallow as it may seem, your presentation of yourself is key. You know you have the skills and knowledge for the job- so be as confident in your appearance as you are in your skill!
There is no harm or shame in asking what the dress code is. If I have learned anything- its the people 'behind the scenes' who are most knowledgeable (i.e. the secretaries, sous-chef, barkeeper) - make them your friends!
2. Back to basics.
Simple and chic always wins. No matter where you are working, start basic. You can still build your wardrobe once you have gotten a feel for your place of work. When I waitressed I started out in a black t-shirt, dark jeans and black vans. At my office job I wore a black dress shirt, black dress pants and brown oxfords. I ended up wearing completely different outfits after getting settled in, but I am happy I always started basic. This way, people will get to know you (the really sweet girl with the really disgusting sense of humor or the powerhouse with the pet squirrel)... Let you shine through before you let your fashion sense steal the show!
My mom taught me this and oh boy has it paid off. When I first started my office job I got two pairs
of dress pants and some white, black and dark green button downs. Of course I absolutely wanted to
go all-out and buy a fantastic huge new wardrobe, but I am so happy I waited as I ended up needing and wanting completely different clothes than I would have purchased prior.
4. Comfort is key- skip the heels!
For me there is nothing less appealing than being uncomfortable. Make sure you are feeling great in the outfit you have chosen- this will boost your confidence. On your first few days I would skip the stilettos and go for a flat or an oxford (if you are working in a job where you walk a lot and the dress code allows it Nike Free Runs or Vans are the bomb). If you do opt for heels- keep a pair of portable ballet flats (I love Tieks!) in your purse or office drawer.
Add some personality to your outfit with some great shoes! Oasis Flats (via ASOS)
I will make a separate post for this, but skip the crazy winged liner (I am talking Amy Winehouse) and green sparkle eyeshadow. Unless you can't live without it and wore it to your interview.
- cleavage, shoulders, short skirts, skin tight clothes
Let's face it, women as a group sadly still have a harder time being taken seriously than our male counterparts. So don't make it easy for men to see you as a sex-object rather than an equally intelligent woman with the same skills and education. It is always better for men to see you as a colleague or work friend than the other alternative.
Also, if you are working anywhere where alcohol is served low cut shirts and short skirts are never a good idea. You're going to want to be covered if drunk men with half functioning brains get weird- trust me, it's a lot less uncomfortable for you. And no, dressing provocatively won't boost your tips- fast and friendly service will earn you tips! :)
-too much perfume (especially in small spaces or if you work with food or beverages)
I hope this helped some of you! Let me know of your tips for the first day of work!