Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Tue, Dec 07 2004

Dressed For Clubbing But Not For Work?

A recent article in USA Today talked about the unfortunate clothing choices of some people in the workplace. It doesn't really surprise me that young people, in particular, have little sense of what should and shouldn't be worn in office settings. Many of them grew up as "mall rats" and were exposed to one trendy thing after another. And they grew up watching music videos. You can learn a lot of things from watching music videos, but a sense of classic style is not one of them.

So where does a person go to learn about what to wear to a job interview, and what to wear once they secure the job? It isn't as though there is some arbitrary list of accepted styles and colors. It's almost as though the people who know what to wear, just know. Even in California, where casual Fridays blended into Mondays and Tuesdays for awhile, there seems to be an unspoken sort of line most know they should not cross in the workplace. So how do you find the line?

I don't think you should have to pay an image consultant to figure out what to wear to work. The first thing you have to do is figure out how much you want a particular position and then decide if you're willing to make the moves it takes to get that position. One of those moves might, or might not, include dressing appropriately for an office. If your sense of personal identity is too fragile to go to work in conservative clothing, maybe the office world isn't for you. You will need to face that hurdle and deal with it honestly. If you decide you're willing to save the extreme fashion for other activities, there are a few basics that will at least get you through an interview. Even a quick search on Google will get you links to quick checklists like this one.

Here's one extra tip. When you go for an interview, you'll probably be catching at least a glimpse of other people at the workplace. Note the general trend of clothing among the workers already there. It's a good hint as to what kind of work clothes you'll probably want to stock your closet with if you get the job.

The truth is that it's a lot easier to recover from over-dressing than to correct a too-casual look. And that goes for most social situations, as well as the workplace.

posted at: 09:22 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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