You nailed the interview. Got a reasonably decent offer in a promising company. This could be your first step to a successful career path, until you thought about that very first day in the office. We all have been there and dreaded the awkward episodes of our “first day”. Whether you are starting out as an intern or a budding mid level manager, we all go through it like baptism in a new company.
Keeping it low key is the name of the game. People don’t like newbies who try to hard. Like bribing your colleagues with Krispy Kremes might do more harm than good. And don’t ever expect someone will invite you out for lunch right away, don’t take it personally, really. Ask the receptionist or administrative person where to get a decent lunch in your area. This is just to avoid eating in a toilet cubicle on your desk. Try out some of these suggestions to make a good impression amongst your new comrades. There’s a new animal in the jungle and you should dress like a killer.
1. Know your Playground
As like any territory in the jungle, one must know how to play the part and integrate oneself into the community. The first thing one must know (other than locating the coffee machine and learning how to make a macchiato) is to be observant of the company’s culture and adapt to it. Follow before you lead.
Observe what the people are wearing. They are your radar on how far you can stretch your style. If people are wearing suits, go ahead and pull out that cashmere-wool navy suit of yours. If the office is more laid back and people treat casual Fridays religiously, then it’s okay to loosen up your tie and put on a pair of dark denim jeans. Just make sure to stay away from torn up jeans. We mean casual, not skater boy.
2. Industry Practice
The old cliché goes if one looks like a banker, then he must be banker. Be familiar with your industry. You have to determine on how formal or casual you can be. However, don’t ever let this hamper your style. You can always bend the rules in the office and see how far you can get away with it minus the memo from Gina of Human Resource.
If you work in finance, law or medicine field, most probably you have to take the serious approach. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. Take for example, a lawyer is expected to wear a white shirt and a dark suit to court. Well, instead of the predictable Oxford shirt with a spread collar, how about giving a club collar a shot? Still appropriate yet it adds a quirk of character to you in court. It might even get the judge’s attention. Be well dressed but not overly dressed.
3. Fit, Color, Match
Get the right fit. If you are wearing dress shirts, make sure it’s darted on the waist. Just enough to give you a nice V shape but not body-hugging. Know that there is a huge difference between fitted and tight (yes, it’s more than just a few centimeters). If you need to refresh your memory with colors and contrast, click here. Get to know your colors and what hues work for you. Understand your contrast and utilize it by means of your clothing. White, blue and pink are the trinity colors of office wear for men. Black, navy and Charcoal grey are for your trousers. Push the boundaries of these primary colors. So the next time you are the tailors, instead of getting another navy blue, opt for a hybrid of blue and grey. Introduce subtle checks and patterns to keep the ladies looking at your bottoms, by that I mean pants.
Accessories can make a huge difference in your outfit. Fortunately, men don’t need many ornaments as opposed to the ladies. So there’s no reason for you not to complete your outfit without accessorizing. A nice dress watch like a piece from Vacheron Constantine, or a chunky Bell and Ross for a sportier take. Leave the stacked up bracelets to the hipsters and let’s stay away from S&M leather bracelets. Keep it simple and understated, pieces from Miansai and gold or silver cuffs from Le Gramme would be good suggestions.
Wear a belt or not. Slap on some braces (buttons or clips), just remember sans the belt, of course. You don’t want to be the next fashion faux pas in your office. Keep the Louis Vuitton monograms and other flashy branded logos to a minimum. Wearing branded goods doesn’t equate to style, dressing appropriately with flair and finesse does.
I understand that it could be difficult to put an extra effort to dress up in the morning. I do, at times feel that way too. Yet, I believe in empowering yourself through dressing. The more I dread (or lazy) to go to work, the more I dress up for it. Hence, you would see me looking sharp and spiffed up on Mondays. It doesn’t mean that you work in a place where people don’t dress up that you should be sloppy. You dress up for that man you see in the mirror and not to impress anybody else. Well, maybe your boss, at most. At the end of the day, it’s the best-dressed man who gets ahead. Not because he is superficial or spends tremendous amounts of money in clothing, but it’s about self respect. If you are dressed for success, people notice it on you and it’s very attractive. Take pride being in your job and career. If you fail, I am sure somebody would be willing to give you a hand to dust off that Armani suit of yours.