Campus Life / Featured / Opinion & Editorial

8 tips for women on professional appearance: Transitioning your wardrobe from college to the office


by T’ney Stallings

After graduating from college, getting a job is next on the to-do list. Transitioning your closet and your appearance is very important. Ladies, I know you love miniskirts and short dresses, but for the work place let’s try to keep them fingertip or even knee length.

“A lot of women are oversexualized in the office,” says Nicole Williams, a career expert at LinkedIn. Save the sexy for a night out.

When transitioning your wardrobe and appearance, here are eight tips that can be very helpful.

1. Find a professional style that best fits you. The key to creating this look begins with identifying what kind of style personality you have. Buy different color blazers that you can mix and match with skirts, dress pants and button down shirts to create a professional look.

2. Make sure your clothes fit. All women are shaped differently, so what may look nice on a woman that is a size 6, may not look the same on a woman that is a size 16. Wardrobe is all about fit and proportion. Clothing that pulls or buckles are signs that your clothes are too small.

3. Remember to stay well groomed. Winter is finally leaving, so feel free ladies to leave those uncomfortable stockings behind. During the spring and summer, it is okay to show off your bare legs, just make sure they are well groomed.

4. Cover up any tattoos and body piercing. Many people think that they are protected by the First Amendment in their freedom of expression. Unfortunately, this is not always true in the workplace. Tattoos should be covered up along with body piercings. If you have a facial piercing, it should be taken out before entering the office.

5. Minimal accessories are highly appreciated. Accessories are meant to complement your outfit, not overpower it. Make sure your jewelry does not make noise as you walk or move; you don’t want to be a distraction.

6. Pick the right shoes for you. Heels can complement your outfit; however, flats are more comfortable. The choice is yours. If you decide to wear heels, make sure that they are comfortable to walk in and keep the heel limited to 3″ or less.

7. Always keep your hair neat and clean. Solid natural colors are preferred. If you are not a fan of solid color hair, you can add highlights, but still use natural colors. For example, brown hair with blonde highlights would be acceptable.

8. Makeup should be limited and natural. Don’t use bright eye shadows or colorful lipstick. Strive for neutral tones and complementary colors. Regardless of your skin tone, choose warm tones for your eye shadows such as golden, beige, peach, plum, chocolate and brown shades. This also applies to lipstick.

Appearance is critical to first impressions in networking and interviewing. Cosmetics, clothing and grooming really do matter. With that being said, you don’t have to drastically change appearance, just tone it down and look like a professional.

Leonardo da Vinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”