A study published in 2015 shows that those who dressed formally were better at abstract thinking and focusing on the big picture. It’s true then that dressing well gives you more confidence.

Plus, people judge your abilities based on what you are wearing.

Read on for our seven best tips on how to look sharp in your work clothes.

Think About Your Audience

Dress for the job you want is great advice.

If you have a meeting with an important client or your manager, demonstrate that you are taking the meeting seriously by wearing the appropriate business attire.

Regularly thinking about your audience will show that you care about your job and guarantee that you leave the right impression on your boss and customers.

Work Clothes That Fit

This is probably the most important piece of advice. Clothing that is too tight, too short, or too loose makes you look sloppy and unkempt.

If an item of clothing doesn’t fit perfectly off the rack, invest the few dollars it takes to have the item tailored. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, pay for the clothes to be hemmed or taken in at the waist.

A good fit shows your professionalism and attention to detail.

Make Your Work Clothes Look Neat

The appearance of your clothes is just as important as what you are wearing. This is especially true if you work somewhere that requires a uniform.

Keep your work clothes in good repair. If there’s a button missing, sew it back on.

Make sure your shirts and pants look freshly laundered. If your work clothes are wrinkled, iron them. Or throw them in the dryer to smooth out those wrinkles.

Tuck your shirt in and if you wear a belt, make sure it is appropriate for work. No rainbow-striped belts or gemstones.

If you have pets, keep a lint roller in your car or by your front door. Take a minute to remove hair and lint from your outfit before you go to work.

You can be neat no matter what you wear. The same is true for a business suit: a business suit isn’t impressive if it doesn’t look neat and well-maintained.

Be Wary of Jeans

More and more workplaces are embracing a relaxed casual attire for employees. However, this does not mean that you can wear your lounge-wear to work.

Keep in mind that your appearance is part of your image. Studies show that how you dress correlates to promotions and better performance.

That doesn’t mean you have to wear a business suit to work every day. In fact, if the dress code at work is business casual, you should not wear a full suit. You’ll stick out like a sore thumb.

Jeans can be tricky. Some offices allow jeans on “dress down days” and some permit them all week.

Either way, leave your favorite pair of ripped jeans with the iron on patch at home. These may be the most comfortable pair of pants you own, but save them for the weekend or evenings.

If jeans are appropriate at work, choose a pair of dark, straight-leg jeans. Dark denim without fading and embellishment is your best bet for a professional yet relaxed look. Pair them with a golf shirt and you’ve got a simple, clean, business casual look.

Avoid the Graphic Tee

Graphic tees are often funny shirts with licensed characters. We all own a few pairs. Again, save those for your lounge-wear at home.

Graphic tees can have inappropriate slogans or jokes on them. Don’t make HR take notice of you because of your clothing. Leave these tees out of the office.

And despite what you may think, throwing a cardigan or blazer on top does not dress up your look.

Graphic tees are associated with teenagers. At work, you want to be seen as a competent adult, not as a child. Instead of tees, choose solid, one-color t-shirts, striped tees or henleys. These can be paired with sweaters, vests, and blazers for business casual looks.

Check out what T-shirts are in style for 2018. They’re fun to wear for going out after work and on the weekends!

Proper Footwear

When you go shopping for work clothes, don’t neglect appropriate footwear.

People do notice your shoes. They should be clean and new-looking. Never wear shoes that have holes, extreme fading or stains.

Unless your job requires running, leave the athletic shoes at home.

For men, a pair of brown leather shoes is a versatile, stylish choice. For women, a dark pair of kitten heels or ballet flats will go with everything.

Use Color Wisely

You don’t have to be a fashion guru to look sharp in the workplace.

However, some people are fearful of making a fashion faux pax that they stick to all black, every day. Yes, black is a staple in professional work clothes, but that should not be your only choice.

It’s best to use color conservatively. A pop of color on a blouse with dark pants or a skirt is a nice touch.

Men often get stuck in the rut of dark colors below the waist. Add variety to your wardrobe by investing in a pair of colored chinos. A pair of chinos in burgundy or light grey will brighten your wardrobe.

Color in your work clothes helps you stand out (in a good way). Plus, with a few choice pieces of color, your wardrobe will look much more varied.

Wardrobe Beyond Work

We hope you found these dos and don’ts for work clothes helpful. Remember, you don’t need a lavish shopping budget or an overflowing closet to look professional.

Use color wisely to make yourself stand out. Make sure your clothes fit well and are neat and tidy. Keep your audience in mind and don’t neglect your footwear.

Follow these tips for success in the workplace. Not only will you feel more confident, others will see you as a successful professional. Who knows? Maybe a promotion is right around the corner.

Next, check out the hottest looks in couture fashion right now.

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