Job Search & Career Advice

Dos and Don’ts of Professional Attire (even in a remote setting)

You might want to think again before putting on your sweats today. Instead, head to your closet and try something that makes you feel good and look good in front of your camera. It will do wonders for your productivity, motivation and may even impress your colleagues along the way. Some industries are more formal than others and need a more professional look for their day-to-day meetings. Whatever your environment is, though, there are guidelines for dressing for the workplace, even in a remote setting

First, make sure you know what your company’s dress code policy is and follow that, even if you’re at home. While no one might know what you’re wearing off camera, what you decide to wear for the workday can help set the tone and boost your productivity for the day. 

Simple Dos and Don’ts for Workplace Attire  

If you’ve been a little confused lately with how to dress at work, here are some simple tips to get you started. 

Do: Find a balance between professional and comfortable 

You don’t need to wear a three-piece suit every day – especially if you work from home. However, you also don’t want to wear something so casual you wouldn’t even leave the house in it. When you’re in front of the camera, make it a habit to wear something more presentable – a clean and ironed shirt or dress that makes you look and feel good. Additionally, if you’re off camera you could wear something more casual, but make sure it’s something that will make you feel prepared for the workday.  

Don’t: Opt for loungewear 

As mentioned, ditch the loungewear like pajamas, big t-shirts or anything else you wore to bed. You want to feel fresh and ready to take on the new day. While you obviously shouldn’t be wearing your sleepwear if you go into the office, even if you’re at home wearing too-casual clothes can make you appear unkempt even through a Zoom call. What you wear can give you confidence for the day, so change out of the clothes you wear to bed and wear something that will boost your mood for the day. 

Do: Take a shower 

Keeping a routine during the week brings order and structure to your workdays, which in turn boosts productivity. This includes taking a shower every day! Whether you shower in the morning or night doesn’t matter, but keeping up with your hygiene routine does. Not only is this good for when you interact with people in person, but also helps you feel fresh and look presentable over video chats. 

Don’t: Wear graphic tees or sweatshirts 

While you may be able to get away with this if you have no meetings during the day and are working from home, it might be a good idea to change into something a little less casual. Graphic trees can be distracting and might not be the most appropriate in a work setting. 

Do: Keep your hair tidy 

Here’s a reminder to take a good look in the mirror before your morning meetings. You don’t want to look like you just woke up before a meeting. Brush your hair and make it look presentable before interacting with your colleagues. Taking a moment to look neat shows professionalism and respect for your coworkers. 

Don’t: Wear a hat or distracting accessories 

Having a bad hair day? Don’t rely on your favorite baseball cap, but rather put some product in it or tie it up. A hat can be distracting to others and may come across as too casual. Additionally, it can hide your face which further distracts the team from being able to talk to you. This goes for jewelry, too. Try not to wear something too Large or distracting that could draw attention away from what you’re communicating at a meeting. 

Do: Switch it up 

Have fun with your outfits! Try new colors and play around with your personal style every now and then. You may discover certain types of outfits that boost your mood and make you more productive during the day. If you work from home, this is the perfect time to take a little risk and figure out what boosts your confidence and keeps you motivated during the day. 

Don’t: Wear the same thing all week 

When working remotely, it can be easy to get lazy and slip into the same item of clothing day in and day out. Try to pick out a different outfit every day. Do your laundry and stay presentable during the week. If you’re feeling like dressing up, put on a little makeup, or wear your favorite outfit to further enhance your confidence and mood for the day. 

Do: Turn your camera on 

Turn on your camera to be more engaged with your colleagues. Having the camera on will also motivate you to wear neat clothing and get you out of those sweats.  

Don’t: Let your background get messy 

When you do turn your camera on, do a background check beforehand to make sure your environment is free of clutter or people walking around. If your background is too cluttered, use a default background or, better yet, a company-designed background to keep your setting professional. 

Do: Wear clothes that put you in a good mood 

Everyone has outfits, styles and colors that instantly put them in a good mood! Play around with your favorite colors and wear outfits that make you happy. You spend most of your week working, so you should wear something that will boost your mood and keep you content all day! 

As a reminder, every industry and workplace is different. Some may require you to be more formal than others. You have to keep this in mind when you’re getting ready for the day, even if you are working from home.

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