Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 15th 2015 Contents B31
February 15, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Mark Twain once quipped, "Clothes
make the man. Naked people have lit-
tle or no influence in society."
Good insight. But in a world of "Dress
Down Friday," what s appropriate to
wear to work? In many cases, there are
no carved-in-granite rules so when in
doubt, go traditional.
"The most basic mistake new
employees make is under dressing,"
says Randall Hansen, a professor of
business at Stetson University in
"If unsure, dress conservatively. The
best way to avoid a problem is to under-
stand the corporate culture."
To make the right impression at
work, here are three basic points when
assembling your wardrobe:
• Presentation counts
• Casual shouldn t mean slovenly
• Dress as you want to be seen: Seri-
ous, professional, upward bound.
When putting together your work
wardrobe, take the most basic step first:
size up your office. If you want to be
an executive, check out what successful
executives wear. They don t show up
for work in their weekend grubs.
If there is a written dress code for
your office, your problems are solved.
If necessary, go shopping with the dress
code in hand and you can t go wrong.
If there are no written standards then
it s up to you to get it right. So, here s
a rule of thumb: professional beats flash
and trash five days a week.
Remember that you re not dressing
to attract attention at a Carnival fete---
you re dressing to underscore your pro-
fessionalism and competence. Some
don t understand the difference, or mix
the two to the detriment of their
careers. Getting it right is especially
crucial when interviewing for a job or
sitting down to a new one.
Like everything else at work, espe-
cially when starting a new job, you re
being sized up all the time. Little things
count. Some people, especially young
workers, overlook this basic point and
flub the obvious. How you dress will
tell the boss how you see yourself and
how you approach the job.
When dressing for your career,
remember that you want to be noticed
for the quality of your work---not the
horrible miscalculation of your flops.
On your first day at a new job, it s
better to do your research and dress
appropriately. Talk to friends, family
members or a personal image coach.
That beats the boss thinking that you re
fashion-impaired or, worse, that you
don t take the job seriously.
Remember: Always dress for the task
at hand. If you re a mechanical engineer
headed for a site, jeans and work boots
are fine, but that s not how to dress
when making a formal presentation to
the executives at the head office.
Appearance can create credibility. We
know this from watching how movie
and TV stars dress at the various award
functions. Think of the number of times
experts from opposing sides of an issue
have made good points, but you
remember what one said simply
because that person was better dressed
and looked better on the screen.
Pay attention to how you dress.
JANICE LEARMOND CRIQUI CPC, ACC
Ideal Life Associate Certified Coach
Dress to impress
Casual shouldn't mean slovenly...
For men, traditional attire includes:
• A button-down shirt
• Polished black shoes
• A blue, black or gray jacket
• Pants that complement the jacket
• You can't go wrong with a conservative tie (stay away from flashy ties)
Socks are next on your list. Buy two dozen pairs of black or blue socks so
you can pick two at random from your drawer each morning and always have
a match. Get rid of them when the elasticity in them starts to go. Not
professional to see a man's sock drooping by his ankles especially when he
crosses his legs.
For women, the traditional look includes:
• A skirt or dresses that hits just above the knee, as well as pantsuits
• Simple jewelry
• Just a hint of make-up. Please don't go and spray yourself with perfume in
the bathroom before entering the interview room. The smell can be quite
• Polished moderate heels
• Classic sweaters if the office is regularly cold
• Pantyhose may be the office standard. Ask.
DRESS CODE FOR MEN
DRESS CODE FOR WOMEN
These minstrels from the Fyzabad Secondary School in Fyzabad portray traditional mas at Woodford
Square, Port-of-Spain, last Friday. PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
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