What should I wear to my first office job?
So, you've just landed your first corporate job (congratulations), but now you're looking at your wardrobe, wondering, "What on earth should I wear on my first day?"
Knowing what to wear will help you feel more comfortable when you arrive at work on day one with the confidence to meet your new team. You want to make a good impression, right? 9 times out of 10; you will have had an office tour, meeting everyone from the Receptionist to the Executives and like most people starting a new job, you are probably feeling quite nervous. Hopefully, you got a good look around the office at the interview so that you will have a reasonably good idea of the dress code. If you need more clarification, email HR or the person who interviewed you and ask the question. But what does formal entail? What are the rules for Casual Fridays? Stress less; we're here to help!
Formal Dress Code
So, the Human Resources Officer has replied to your email, and the dress code is… formal *dun* *dun* *dun*
"I don't own a tuxedo."
"This is going to cost an arm and a leg."
"How do I tie a tie?"
Slow your roll; we've got you. Also, nobody wears a tuxedo to work.
First things first, male or female, you can't go wrong with a suit. A classic dark colour suit with a buttoned shirt underneath would be suitable. Steve Harvey is famous for his suits, and he has a shopping list for those at the start of their suit-wearing journey:
1x Black Suit
1x Navy Suit
1x Grey Suit
1x Brown Suit
1x Tan Suit
2x White Shirts
2x Cream Shirts
2x Powder-Blue Shirts
Through the incredible power of mixing and matching, you will have 75 different suit combinations! (That's almost three months of no outfit repeats)
Ladies, you can get away with adding a bit of personality here, whether that's a more vibrant colour, a skinnier cut of pants, palazzo pants, or a skirt.
BONUS TIP: Don't forget to unpick the pockets and snip the tacking stitches on the jacket's vent (the flappy part on the back) if it's stitched together.
Guys, you'll probably need a selection of ties and some work socks to go with your new suits. This is your opportunity to add a little personality and flair (but keep it tasteful). If you've never tied a tie, now is the time to learn; you don't want to be late on your first day because you were trying to follow a YouTube tutorial.
Shoes maketh man... or woman.
Gents, your bread and butter will be some leather dress shoes, black or brown. Keep them clean and polished, and be sure to match the leather of your belt to them.
For the females in the room, depending on your preference, a closed toe, pair of heels, or a pair of flats will be the most suitable for a formal workplace.
These are the offices with a little more casual and less rigid dress code, but we're still professionals here, so how do we show that?
Girls, the world is your oyster here! Pants, skirts, blouses, tops, dresses, try pairing any of these with a bold blazer over the top, and you're onto a winner. Pick a hero piece and style everything else around it.
Like our formal shoe recommendations, a heel or flat would be a good choice for your feet. For the boys, you'd typically wear dress pants or chinos paired with either a collared shirt or a polo. However, it would be best to double-check that polos are acceptable before buying one for every day of the week.
Again, some leather dress shoes or an excellent Chelsea boot would be good options. Be sure to own a blazer or sportscoat for client meetings, networking events, or sundowners.
The rules of 'Casual Friday' differ from person to person; some see it as a chance to wear casual attire, and others see it as an opportunity for self-expression.
It generally means dressing more comfortably and adding a dash of your personality. Give shorts, running shoes, activewear, tank tops, flip flops, and offensive graphics a wide berth. Ladies maybe also stay away from thin 'spaghetti style' strappy tops.
If your office has a 'causal Friday' tradition, clarify what that means before showing up to work in jeans and sandals. Sometimes casual Friday means simply wearing your business' polo shirt with a pair of pants or jeans.
Taking all of this into consideration, if you still aren't sure, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. For affordable clothing in Australia, check out Oxford, Country Road, Zara, H&M, Portmans, Witchery and Target, or there is always The Iconic online, which has plenty of options.
Otherwise, if you have a wardrobe to show off and need an office to wear it to. Head to our opportunities page and see all of the fantastic roles we have available!