Have you ever wished for a check-off sheet for choosing what to wear on any given day? Many of us have become used to “top-dressing,” that is, looking professional or stylish from the waist up as we attend video conferences from home.
But with the launch back into the physical world where a complete outfit is more appropriate, choosing clothing items that fit various situations feels like a whole new challenge.
When you receive an invitation to a gathering, or you are visiting a client and know what the expected dress code is, deciding what to wear is no big deal. You’ve probably seen these people many times and know what you’ll wear before the event is posted on your calendar.
But if there is no specific dress code, and you’re entering unfamiliar territory, it’s best to research as much as you can and answer the following questions:
The information you gain from your research process may not always yield the perfect outfit, but it will at least land you on middle ground.
One suggestion for always having the right outfit for any occasion is to find one dress or one suit that you can adjust for casual to dressy depending on how you accessorize it. For example, a dress made of a light material with which you can wear sandals or heels, add a jacket for a more professional look, festive jewelry, or a scarf for a night out, or minimal accessories for a first date.
Choose a suit that can be worn with or without a jacket and with or without a tie. You can also adjust the level of casual to dressy with your choice of shoes.
Having one piece that you can wear for most occasions keeps your wardrobe simple and will help a great deal when the inevitable “what should I wear?” question arises.
Making an effort with your appearance is applicable whether you are going out for a quick coffee or attending a formal gala. The outfit may vary, but the care and attention you give it should not.
How you dress expresses much about who you are, even when you might tend to default to “it shouldn’t matter.” Even the most casual outfit enhances your look when it is clean, unwrinkled, has all the necessary buttons and clasps, and fits you well.
People form impressions that you have no control over within the first few seconds of seeing you from any angle. Whether you are attending a gathering to look for a date, a mate, or a job, it is important that you be aware of the impression others may form about you from the way you are dressed.
Having a signature outfit or outfits that will carry you through various occasions makes deciding what to wear so much easier. And it saves you a lot of stress as well.
Wearing something appropriate for the occasion demonstrates that you are sensitive to the need for common courtesy and your respect for the occasion, the organizers and the people who attend.