Dress for Success


Workplace readiness is not just one skill, but it involves many different components  outside the knowledge and the prerequisites to enter into a particular field. According to Menchville’s Economics and Personal Finance teacher, Adrienne Caldwell, workplace readiness is ” being well equipped with the skills needed to be successful in a professional environment, and being prepared to execute those skills.”

One important skill is understanding how to properly to dress for the work environment. Many people, especially teenagers do not want to sacrifice their personal style and fashion sense to splurge (wear) on bland, tasteless clothing they despise all for an interview or for their jobs uniform requirements. Some places of employment are very lenient about their code of dress while others are very particular in what is expected of your clothing attire. While it may take time to find what works best for you, there are many ways to bring your own personalized and stylish wardrobe and alter and enhance it to make it appropriate for the work environment.

Caldwell advises that when getting dressed you should think of what your grandmother, or someone older than you would think of your outfit. She says, “You have to remember they are the ones interviewing you, so you have to consider how they would view your outfit”. For professional attire, she says “you should wear a business suit, but if the dress is business casual a polo is fine”.  She mentions that some things you should avoid are short skirts, anything low cut, or flashy. Sometimes a strict dress code is inevitable she says, “Unfortunately, sometimes you may loose your personal style depending on the job, as with some fields a uniform is specific to the type of work you’re required to do, for example the shipyard”.  She advises that you make sure you look neat and presentable, and take the time to put more effort into your appearance than you normally would.

While it may seem like there are many restrictions on what you can wear, there are many ways to spice up your outfit and still be dressed appropriately for the workplace. When trying to spruce up up your outfit, you can play with accessories, color and patterns to enhance your look. You don’t want anything that is extravagant, or that draws too much attention however, there are ways to add your own personal touch to your work wardrobe, within reason.









When assessing how to use color to brighten up your wardrobe, you first must consider the type of environment you work in. By doing this you can create a wardrobe for yourself that is functional, fashionable and specific to your workplace code of dress. Take note of what colors look best against your skin and what colors are unflattering. You can create a wardrobe centered around the colors that look best against your complexion and play around with different shade ranges to make a normal outfit  become vibrant.

Texture and Pattern









Texture and pattern are great ways to add subtle touches to your outfit without requiring any effort besides searching for items that utilize these two compnents when you go shopping. You want to avoid things that clash together or that are too attention drawing. Texture is a great way to add life into your outfit. For example blouses with silky fabric and lace trimming, coats with fur, or even a velvety blazer or all example of ways texture can put extra emphasis on your outfit. With texture you are able to give our outfit some dimension to take it to the next level. Pattern helps to create outfits that are unique to you. You can choose bolder patterns like plaid in a suit to add more emphasis on the central pieces in your outfit, or you could go with more subtle patterns such as tiny houndstooth to still make a statement in a less obvious way.








Accessories are a great way to add a finishing touch to your outfit in a subtle way. Accessories are anything extra added to your outfit for decorative purposes, that can make your outfit more attractive. Accessories include things such as scarves, hats, belts, and jewelry. When accessorizing out can be very easy to get carried away however, you must remember especially in the workplace, that less is more. In a professional environment you want to refrain from items that are too flashy and attention drawing. Small things such as watches or scarves or small pearl earrings can take your ordinary outfit and make it personal and reflective of who you are.