How to Dress on Your First Day at a New Job

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On your first day of work, you only get one chance to make a first impression. The wrong professional clothing can leave you feeling uncomfortable and out of place; the right outfit can increase your confidence. With an appropriate, comfortable outfit, you'll be able to focus more on the job and less on your clothing.

According to Forbes magazine, appropriate professional clothing varies by industry and company. If you saw employees during your interview, consider what they were wearing. Alternatively, you can call a human resources manager or a contact at the company to ask what new hires usually wear. As you are choosing an outfit, look for options that are slightly more formal than the day-to-day apparel of a standard employee. If employees usually wear jeans and polo shirts, for example, you might wear dress jeans, a blazer and dress shoes. This strategy helps you fit in with the company culture but also shows that you made an effort. For new hires, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed.

When you are starting a new job, it is not uncommon to invest in new professional clothing. The first day is not the time to wear a new outfit for the first time—if it is uncomfortable or ill-fitting, you might spend the entire day distracted. Give each of your new clothing items a test run in advance to eliminate any embarrassing first-day mishaps.

Consider your comfort when you are choosing professional clothing. The first day of work is stressful all on its own; a too-tight jacket or restrictive pants can make matters worse. Choose clothing that is not too tight or too loose—that way, you can focus on the job rather than on the shirt that keeps riding up. If the job involves a great deal of walking, don't wear stilettos. If you expect to spend a good amount of time sitting, choose clothing that won't wrinkle easily.

Before you choose first-day professional clothing, consult the company's dress code. Pay special attention to sections about visible tattoos or the acceptable number of piercings. Select clothing that falls within the parameters of the dress code, even if current employees disregard it. If you can't find the company's policies, err on the side of conservatism. Avoid plunging necklines or overly trendy styles; instead, choose classic pieces. Women should stay away from high hemlines, and men should choose shirts that are not too tight. Add personality with jewelry, shoes or other accessories. When you are more established, you can adopt a more flexible style.

On the first day of work, the professional clothing you choose can dictate the way you feel and how you perform. By showing up in a comfortable, put-together outfit, you'll make a positive, confident first impression.


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