How to Dress Professionally

In your natural transformation from a wild youth to a responsible adult, your wardrobe also tends to transform. As the time comes for a real job, you'll also need real job clothes. You need to learn how to dress professionally.

Professional attire is the most formal category of all business clothing styles. Dressing professionally means wearing a slightly toned down and modest version of your usual fashions. You don't have to give up your personal style, you just have to keep it strictly in check with current social rules.

A professional look can be trendy and chic, but should never stand out. Cuts can be sexy, as long as they remain modest. Colors can be fun and bright, as long as they don't appear outright garish.

Men
Men's professional garments fall into one basic section: the suit. A suit and tie is by far the most common and most expected attire for a professional male. However, men can sometimes also get away with just dress pants, a nice shirt and a great tie.

Regardless of the exact garments you wear, your clothes should always fit you perfectly. Nothing creates a less-impressive business look than an obviously ill-fitting suit jacket or suit pants.

Women
Women's professional garments usually consist of a pantsuit, modest dress or matching skirt and top. Sweaters can be a gray area and tend to look more casual than dressy. Legs should never be left bare, so wear hose with any dress or skirt.

Avoid open-toe shoes, as they appear much too casual. Try to wear nice dress shoes instead of casual ones. Dress shoes doesn't have to mean high heels or Italian leather, they just mean finished styles with a formal look.

Finishing Touches
Remember that dressing professionally isn't just about the clothes. Any jewelry or accessories should be small and tasteful. Non-traditional piercings, such as nose or tongue, should be removed.

Tattoos and any other body decorations, such as branding, should remain covered. Your hair should appear clean and neat, as should your nails. For the best overall impression, make sure to keep any perfumes or colognes to a minimum.

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