Heading into a job for the first time can be both an exciting and stressful experience. From adjusting to a new schedule to adapting to your on-the-job training, there are many things to consider before your first day at the office. One of the best items to check off your list early on is your attire. If you’re wondering where to begin as you head out to shop for the perfect first-day outfit or even update your professional wardrobe, try these tips below when buying clothes for your first job.
Check the Dress Code
The first point of reference to consider as you shop for professional attire is your company’s dress code. Before arriving on your first day, be sure to consult your company’s handbook or request dress code information in advance if you’re unsure. If you’ve already walked through the office during your interview, think back to what you noticed your future office mates wearing. While some companies like to keep things casual when it comes to the dress code, others can be significantly more formal, so always keep this in mind as you shop.
Don’t Overthink It
Sometimes the excitement of a new job can cloud your judgment. It’s important to not overthink things. While it might be tempting to branch out to new styles you’ve never tried before and rebrand yourself, a good rule of thumb is to stick with what you know works. Generally speaking, the outfit you wore for your interview will be the most representative of a professional look that works best for you. Make good use of colors and styles that you know are the most flattering on you.
Invest in Quality
The clothes you purchase for your first job will most likely stick with you should you transition to another job in the future, so it’s important to invest in quality brands. Buy for longevity and don’t pass on the best of the best simply because of the price. Chances are the cheaper items you end up purchasing won’t last you as long, so be mindful of companies you don’t recognize. As you shop, use trusted names as your gold standard. If you know you can’t afford to completely splurge on new business attire, be sure to look for more cost-effective options by shopping gently used brand names like Ann Taylor, known for both their professional and reliable attire, online for a better price. The bottom line is that investing in quality brands will keep you looking professional and poised on your first day.
Buy for Versatility
While those polka dot dress pants might be tempting, try and keep versatility in mind with every purchase you make. The items you know you’ll only be able to wear with one specific top or bottom should be of lowest priority on your list. Instead, look to buy neutral items that can be worn with several different pieces you already have. Buying for versatility will allow you to rotate your favorite wardrobe essentials throughout the workweek, helping your style to appear broader than most.
Last but not least, always do a comfort test for each item you try on. An itchy sweater or an extra tight pair of slacks can have a negative impact on your workday by making you irritable and distracted. Remember that you can still look good and feel good in professional attire. Make it your mission to find styles that are both comforting and flattering for your first day. If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to comfort, begin by trying on items one size larger than usual as this will give you a bit more breathing room. However you prioritize comfort, always make sure you’re investing in attire that feels just as good as it looks.