When you’re dressing up for work, keep in mind that you have to look like you mean business. But it doesn’t mean you have to look like the corporate ice princess. You can look stylish, smart, and approachable at the same time with these work wear tips.

  1. Hold back the fashion. It’s fun to make a fashion statement with avant-grade pieces that become conversation-starters – but you’ve got to be more discerning with your clothing choices when you’re at work. Though Lady Gaga’s outlandish outfits inspire you, you can’t exactly channel her when you’re picking out an ensemble for your company meeting.
  2. Ditch the war paint. Don’t make the mistake of caking on makeup to cover up skin blemishes. Put on just enough makeup to enhance your best features. Add a hint of color to your cheeks or lips. Give your skin a smooth finish with primer or liquid foundation. Lightly line your eyes. Highlight your lashes with a light coat of mascara. Less is more in this case. You want to stand out – not attract attention for all the wrong reasons.
  3. Go easy on the bling. Jewelry serves no purpose in workplace fashion. But if you’re going to wear some, stick to those that won’t encumber your movements. For instance, you can’t wear bracelets that would hamper your ability to type or chunky, clunky earrings that may get in the way of you holding a decent phone conversation. Remember: You don’t need all that glitter to shine in the workplace.
  4. Cover up. Skimpy or provocative outfits may give the wrong impressions at work. You don’t want to get noticed in the most uncomfortable way. Keep your skirts at knee-length. Avoid tops or dresses with plunging necklines. Stay away from sheer material and tight-fitting pieces. You can be chic and sassy without being revealing.
  5. Fit it right. Clothes that don’t fit right don’t do anything for you. They make you look sloppy and, at times, unkempt. Take the pieces that you bought off the rack to a seamstress or tailor who can further customize their fit to suit you best.
  6. Invest in good shoes. Shopping for work wear on the cheap is great – but there are things you really should splurge for. One of them is shoes. Go for comfortable-yet-versatile shoes that look elegant. The way your shoes fit or feel often affect your mood, so make sure to get the best pair possible. Consider them as investments.
  7. Care for your clothes. Mend any rips or tears on your work wear before they lead to embarrassing situations. Don’t settle for any repair shortcuts like safety pins or duct tape. Prevent any tears from getting any bigger, keep loose threads from unraveling, and sew popped buttons back on. You don’t want your boss thinking that you’re an untidy or careless person. Don’t wait for the day when he or she points out that your zipper has come undone.

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