Via Quartz At Work : There’s a very simple hack for your work wardrobe
We go to work often. We wear clothes every day. Deciding how to dress for the office shouldn’t be hard.
So how come mornings often start with a long, time-wasting moment of indecision and outfit changes before we finally manage to decide what to wear? And many times only to find, by 11am, that the chosen outfit feels wrong anyway: Tight or revealing in all the wrong places, scratchy, sweaty, unflattering.
One answer to the question of what makes dressing for work hard is, perhaps ironically, the culture of fast fashion. It means we have more clothes than most people owned generations before us. Clothing analysts have started to suggest that we’re now beyond “peak clothes,” the zenith that saw the average American consume nearly 70 garments per year in the early 2000s. In October 2019 a research note from Morgan Stanley suggested that clothing as an industry was entering a state of structural decline: prices were continuing to fall but consumption was not rising. This indicates that clothes-buying may have hit a ceiling. Morgan Stanley’s analysts also wondered whether increasing environmental awareness was making people buy less—a prospect that has certainly rattled the CEO of H&M, one of the big retailers feeling the pain of declining growth.
Whether or not you have separate “work” and “home” clothes, dress carefully or casually, it’s likely that most people will have more pieces than their predecessors. The manifold inputs complicate what should be a simple equation, and can lead to indecision, sometimes to the point of dressing paralysis.
In a recent (and rare) session of home organization, I hit on a hack that now seems obvious, but has solved that morning issue to a surprising degree. I went through all my clothes, checking that none needed mending and that they were all appropriate to the weather in the coming season. But when I put them away, I reordered them. Marie Kondo’s advice to store things of the same category together has influenced my home organization to at least some degree. But in this case, instead of putting like with like (sweaters in one drawer, all skirts hung together), I realised there was a different designation to be made: clothes I sometimes or often wear to work vs those I never do. I put all the work clothes together in a separate place.
This has been quietly transformative. When I get dressed for work, I open one drawer, and look at one short stretch of hanging space. The difference is this: It cuts out the time I used to spend looking at all my clothes—including all those I would never wear to the office—and wondering why there seemed to be so much choice, and yet nothing to wear.
It’s also shown me where the gaps are: I have enough work skirts (three) and probably enough trousers (4 pairs; I’d like one more for winter.) I have enough socks and sweaters. When it comes to work tops, I rely on a few generic dark singlets that in summer I wear on their own, and in winter cover with a warm layer.
Men’s clothing allows for fewer variations perhaps, and for a long time male “workwear” was fairly simple: A suit, shirt, and a tie. But with the relaxation of many workplace dress codes, that’s changed, and largely for the better, since men are increasingly able to express their personalities and preferences through dressing for work. (Of course, the new, almost-anything-goes code might mean that men are experiencing more of those “wish-I-hadn’t-worn-this-shirt” moments, though most will still be spared the misery of ill-fitting tights.)
Other factors can complicate the simple technique. If I’m cycling an hour to work, I need to wear sports clothes and separately assemble an outfit to put on at the office (my classic mistake is to forget footwear). But that is still made easier by having all my work clothes in one place. The flipside of the reorganization, meanwhile, is that because my “free time” clothes are separate, I wear the flamboyant pieces more often.
Via The Ladders : 4 quick tips to put together an outfit for the office in a hurry
Life gets hectic and it can feel like there’s not enough time to look put together and professional, but that is simply not the case. I promise that if you put in some prep work, you can absolutely look polished and professional even when you’re rushing out of the house in the morning. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and swapping out a few items in your wardrobe will make a huge difference in how you look and feel. Instantly amp up your style while still getting dressing quickly! Here are four quick tips to help you put together an outfit for the office in a hurry.
When time is of the essence, opt for one piece outfits
When you’re trying to put together an outfit for the office in a hurry, there’s nothing better than a one-piece outfit. A shirt dress is a perfect one-piece outfit that can be worn in almost any office environment. To keep things a little more modern, try out a midi dress like the one I’m wearing. As the seasons change, sweater dresses and jumpsuits are also great options that save on time. Any time you can reduce the number of items you have to style together, you’ll likely be able to get ready more quickly.
Swap out your cotton shirt for a blouse or a nice sweater
While cotton is comfortable and easy to throw on, it can often appear extremely casual and a bit frumpy. Swapping out your cotton top for something a little more polished but just as comfortable will instantly make you appear more put together while still effortlessly chic.
There are so many blouse options out there that look great and don’t break the bank. Opting for a top in a silk or chiffon material will create a more dressed up appearance while still giving you the ease of throwing on a cotton top.
A nice sweater is also a great option, especially as the weather cools off! Try a bell sleeve sweater for a trendy take on a classic garment.
Invest in a great pair of shoes
Investing in great shoes that you can wear with various outfits will help you put together an outfit for the office in a hurry.
If you’re looking for comfortable flats that look great as well, I’m a firm believer that Cole Haan flats are the absolute best. They sell a variety of flats made with Nike air technology, and they’re all super comfortable. I tend to invest in a good pair of Cole Haan’s every few years, and they have become pretty much the only brand of flats I wear. I love how comfortable they are, and they are made really well, which means that they last.
If you’re into boots, chestnut brown boots work well because you can pair them with pretty much any color including black.
Swapping out your flip flops or casual sneakers for a comfortable pair of flats or boots will make you appear more polished and less like you’re a school kid. Something about sneakers always makes me think of being on the playground as a child, and that’s not the impression I want my style to give off.
Swap out your blue jeans for colored denim
While I’m a huge fan of blue jeans, swapping out your basic blue denim for colored denim can make your look a bit more formal and less casual. Dark jeans can definitely be dressed up, however, a pair of black skinny jeans appear more chic and professional. I always love black, but if you like color, mix things up! So many brands offer a wide range of color options that instantly bump up the style of your outfit.
Colored denim is a great option for something a little more formal than traditional blue jeans, but still more casual than a pair of slacks. Colored denim is especially great for business casual offices where you want to look a bit more professional, but still, want the ease of throwing on your favorite jeans in the morning.
Via Fast Company : 6 things to consider when choosing a job interview outfit
Figuring out just how formally to dress is tricky—and when you’re up for a big job, it’s a high-stakes decision.
While it may seem like the interview suit is a thing of the past, a fair number of hiring managers may disagree.
In a new Accountemps survey of senior managers, the overwhelming majority (94%) said what you wear to a job interview matters. But managers were split on how to get the attire right. More than one-third said candidates should always wear formal suits, while an almost equal number said it all depends on the position or department at the company.
Figuring out just how formally to dress can be tricky, because industries and companies vary wildly when it comes to what people wear to work, says Michael Steinitz, senior executive director for professional staffing services at Robert Half and the global executive director of Accountemps. If you show up completely out of step with company norms, you could risk leaving the impression that you’re not a cultural fit.
“Depending on that dress code, we still recommend, and what hiring managers tend to say is, you don’t necessarily have to be a 100% match, but maybe one step above,” he says.
Determining what “one step above” might mean is another challenge, though. And even that might not be right for very conservative industries. So, before you attempt to plan your dress for a successful interview, keep these six tips in mind:
1. GET MORE INFORMATION
Today, you have more options than ever to do some sleuthing beforehand, says image consultant Sylvie di Giusto, author of The Image of Leadership. If you’re working with a recruiter, ask that person for some insight about what to wear. Look into industry norms; dressing for a job as a financial analyst will likely be different than dressing for a job as a retail buyer or creative director.
Geography may also play a role in what you wear. The Accountemps survey found that, in New York, Miami, and Washington, D.C., more than half of hiring managers (54%) want to see you in a suit when you show up for an interview. The size of the company may matter, too: 40% of managers at companies with more than 250 employees prefer suited candidates, while just 31% of managers at organizations with 20 to 99 employees expect to see you dress formally for an interview.
Get some insight by checking out the company website and social media accounts. Consult websites and social media accounts of industry events that company employees have attended to get a sense of what people wear in different environments. You have various avenues available to gather information, di Giusto says. Use them.
2. DRESS “ASPIRATIONALLY”
You want the people interviewing you to see you as capable of doing the job for which you’re being hired and then some. “Your appearance is your logo,” says Sheila A. Anderson, founder of Image Power Play, an image branding agency, and author of I.C.U.: The Comprehensive Guide to Breathing Life Back Into Your Personal Brand. “Your clothing is the first filter. It gives clues to what you believe in. Think of the clothes you wear in terms of visual data. They help others makes sense of who you are and what you stand for.”
So, think about the requirements of the job you’re seeking, and dress to be appropriate for the most professional circumstances you’ll face. For example, will you be going on sales calls to new clients? Show up as you would for such meetings. You want the hiring manager to feel comfortable that you’ll represent the company well, Anderson says.
3. CHOOSE CLOTHES THAT FIT
It may be tempting to reach for the old standby outfit, but if it’s too big or small, that may be a mistake. The importance of wearing clothes that fit you can’t be overstated, Anderson says. If your clothes are too big or long, they may look sloppy. If they’re too tight, they may be unflattering and make you uncomfortable, which can be distracting and have a negative effect on interview performance or body language.
4. MIND THE DETAILS
Regardless of how formally you dress, details matter, Anderson says. Clothes should be neat and pressed. Avoid scuffed shoes, pilled sweaters, or clothes with other signs of wear and tear.
And, while some suggest wearing a memorable statement piece, di Giusto advises caution here: “On the one hand, I say yes, you can show your personality.” That may mean a great silk pocket square in a suit, a pop of color on your socks, or a great piece of jewelry to show your creativity and style. But, if the piece is too over the top, it could backfire. Opt for tasteful instead of attention-getting.
5. REFLECT YOUR STYLE
This generally isn’t the time to test out a whole new look or a style that isn’t comfortable for you, Anderson says. Buying a very on-trend outfit that isn’t really representative of who you are could leave your interviewer with the wrong impression. “Stand out for who you are not with what you are wearing. You want the interviewer to focus on you and not be distracted by what you have on,” she says. At the same time, update your look to reflect trends. Choose cuts of clothing and shoes that reflect a modern style.
6. BOTTOM-LINE OPTIONS
Still stumped? Unless your industry has specific expectations—such as a “suits-only” culture or other specific dress requirements—there are some classic options that almost always work. Anderson says most people can’t go wrong with dark trousers, a collared shirt, and a stylish jacket. You can always take off the jacket if you feel overdressed and accessorize the outfit to reflect your style, she says. But avoid jewelry, belts, or other items that will be cumbersome or noisy, as they may be distracting.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for choosing a great interview outfit. But, if you do your homework and reflect the best version of the company’s style, you’ll make a good impression before you say a word, Anderson says.
Via Daily Californian : Dress to impress: tips on what to wear for an interview
Interviews can be stressful enough without the added stress of having to think about what to wear. Is your “casual” blazer too casual? Can you wear sneakers with dress pants? Should you try to shake things up by wearing a UC Berkeley T-shirt or is that unprofessional? It’s difficult to gauge whether you’re over or underdressed, especially if you’re interviewing at a company that boasts a relaxed work environment. If you’re unable to strike that perfect balance between hip and smart and committing a grave fashion faux pas, follow our handy guide to understanding interview wardrobes.
Business attire sounds straightforward: formal wear was made for this exact purpose. It shouldn’t be hard to throw on a suit and look polished and ready for an interview. “Business” is a wide umbrella, however, so we recommend a quick search to make sure that you aren’t overdressing. If you’re interviewing for a marketing position, you can probably lose the pinstriped suit, but if you’re a future strategy consultant or banker, don’t skimp on a tie.
Make sure you spend some time looking up the company environment and culture. You can read reviews on Glassdoor or other websites that break down company reviews. Or you could simply pay attention to the photos on their website and social media channels to get a better sense of what people in the workplace dress like on a daily basis. If you know what to expect going in, you won’t be worried or in for a surprise on interview day.
Whether it’s art, design or interior design, creative fields are all about expression, and you should feel free to use your outfit to reflect the innovation and individuality you aspire to bring to the job.
Play with styles, colors and fabrics. Unlike a traditional business role, creative fields aren’t always as structured and external-facing, so you can use your own judgment to decide what’s appropriate and whether or not it fits the company culture and projects that you hope to work on.
Are you applying for a research or teaching position? Is your interview to get into graduate school? Take care to look sharp and demonstrate that you’re serious. You can opt for something similar to regular business attire, but keep in mind the department that you want to work for. A liberal arts school might be more traditional, but an engineering department’s daily environment could mirror a technology company instead.
Mark Zuckerberg wears jeans — technology companies are notoriously flip-flop compatible, and your technical interviewer might show up in cargo shorts — but that definitely doesn’t mean you need to fish for an old, ratty T-shirt before your interview. Opt for black jeans and a nice blouse or a collared shirt instead.
You don’t have to put in the effort to dress up, but it doesn’t hurt to dress well. If you’re ever unsure about how far you can push the gray area in interview fashion, consider reaching out to your recruiter to ask if there’s a preferred dress code. Ask your friends for constructive criticism if you want a second eye on your ensemble. If a close friend says you really need to change, you should probably take their advice and switch it up.
At the end of the day, if a company or interviewer judges your capabilities based on what you’re wearing, that’s a clear red flag on their end and you should focus your energy on other places that value your qualifications instead of your physical appearance. Remember that there is so much more to offer a company than the clothes you wear. But don’t think that you can just show up anywhere with a T-shirt and jeans. Yes, comfort is key, but you want to make the company know that you mean business and that you’re serious about whatever job you’re interviewing for.
Dressing up and looking smart for an interview can boost your confidence and make you feel better about yourself, but it can also show a person that you’re taking the opportunity seriously and have researched the company thoroughly. Keep in mind that your clothing should never be a disqualifier, and it’s fair game to wear whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.
Via The Cut : How to Dress for Work When You’re Always Traveling
As Director of National Partnerships for Airbnb, Janaye Ingram is always traveling. Ingram’s job involves helping Airbnb create an inclusive experience for both hosts and users, and fight discriminatory practices. So on any given day, she might be flying off to speak at a conference on the other side of the country — or possibly the other side of the world.
It’s a big job, but she’s used to it. Prior to Airbnb, Ingram was the national executive director at National Action Network, a civil-rights organization. She’s also one of the founding members of the Women’s March, where she served as head of logistics for the first march in 2017. And before that, she cut her teeth working at nonprofits across New York and New Jersey.
The Cut managed to catch up with Ingram recently at Airbnb’s offices in New York. Read on to hear about her best packing tips, the shoe she’ll always wear, and why she doesn’t look to clothes to give her confidence.
On the shoes she wears every day: I hate overpacking. Shoes take up a lot of space in a suitcase, so I bring one good pair of boots. Last fall, I wore Hudson London’s Crispin ankle booties everywhere. I also found a pair of Seven Dials over-the-knee boots that were so comfortable and versatile that I bought another pair towards the end of the season — plus pairs for my mom and sister!
On going out after work: Back when I was in Washington, D.C., I’d go to politico events, and they’re usually the same dress code as what I wore to work. But now that I’m in tech, it’s more relaxed and my outfits skew casual. If I have to go out, I’ll dress for the day and change my shoes and accessories. I love chunky bracelets. While they’re annoying when you’re typing away, they’re great for after-hours.
On big meeting outfits: I remember speaking on a panel at the White House with Michelle Obama, and one of my friends was trying to help me pick out an outfit. She kept showing me pantsuits, but none of them felt right. They might radiate a certain power but I’m more comfortable in a sleek dress, and that’s what I wound up wearing. I typically shop at department stores with lots of options and don’t look for a specific designer. That said, I find that Amanda Uprichard, Dress the Population, and Black Halo work well for my body and the types of events I attend.
On traveling for work: After I left my job as national executive director at National Action Network, I spent a lot of time hopping between countries. I learned how to pack for longer periods of time in a carry-on. And with my current job, I’m usually going from plane straight to my first meeting. For the sake of efficiency, I have a time-consuming ritual where I try everything on before I pack — that’s how I know my pieces work well together, especially if I’ve never worn them together before. I also love packing cubes! They help me separate my clothes in a way that also allows me to stay neat while traveling.
On speaking engagements: When I need to speak, a jumpsuit and a great pair of pumps is my first option. It makes moving around a lot easier and is better for sitting on a stage. I use Rent the Runway a lot. Typically, there are a lot of photos at those types of events and I don’t want to be photographed in the same outfit, so Rent the Runway has been super helpful.
On who she dresses for: While I dress for me, I know first impressions matter. I don’t want my clothing to be a distraction for me or others, so I try to be slightly more formal than what an occasion calls for. My outfits are also determined by my mood and the weather. I sometimes dress up just because it makes me feel good or because the weather is nice — even if I don’t see anyone outside of my 15 or so work colleagues.
On her style evolution: My look is classic but still on-trend. I actually still have pieces in my closet that are over a decade old and they don’t look outdated! But as I’ve grown professionally and personally, my style has become more sophisticated. In high school and college I used to wear a lot of black and my friends would joke that my uniform was a black shirt and jeans. Now, I like to play with colors and patterns. I incorporate pieces that are bolder than what I would have worn previously.
One lesson that I learned was to invest in certain pieces. I’m a bargain shopper and hate paying full price for anything. When I was younger, I’d buy a lot of disposable, cheap pieces that last a season or less. I’d do it with purses especially. I’d buy a cute handbag that wasn’t made of quality materials and a month in, it would start falling apart. Now I spend a bit more and I have a few Kate Spade and Rebecca Minkoff bags that I really love.
On the last three things she bought: I recently returned from a trip to Ghana for the Year of Return and I wanted to wear Ankara prints while there, so before my trip I bought some items from a retailer called D’IYANU. The fit was really great and I received tons of compliments. I also ordered Schutz mules and wedges. I love their shoes and even though summer is over, I’d been eyeing the sandals for a while and they were on sale! And then I bought a sparkly dress by Rizzo. It’s for a photo with my sorority sisters in celebration of membership anniversary.
On the one item that gives her the most confidence: When I was younger, I used to reach for my Louis Vuitton Lussac (with matching wallet!) or my Christian Louboutin Maudissima pumps. But they were gifts and I felt inauthentic in them — it wasn’t something I thought I could afford. Now that I’m making more money, I’d rather donate to nonprofits or invest it instead of buying luxury accessories.
I think the most impressive thing I can wear isn’t an item of clothing or an accessory but my smile. It sounds trite, but it’s true. I love fashion and I love looking pulled together. But I think I can still be stylish and impressive even if I don’t have the most expensive shoes, bag, or piece of jewelry. If I show up wearing my smile and being true to who I am, I’m hopeful that my inner light will impress people.