Whether you like it or not, being professional at work is not only about getting your work done, it’s also about exuding a professional appearance when you’re at the office. It’s a harsh reality—work is stressful enough, and having to dress professional each and every day just adds to that.
But there are a few easy things you can do to make yourself look more professional at work. Would you believe that making only a few adjustments to one or two clothing items can make a world of difference? Here’s how to change your fashion, your lifestyle, and your mindset to let your colleagues know that you mean business.
Make Your Mornings Count
If you want to show up at work looking your best, then you’ve got to make your mornings count. Most of the time that you go to work looking unprofessional, it’s because you didn’t give yourself enough time in the morning to put on your business face. Maybe you woke up too late and you had to throw on whatever clothes you found on the floor of your room. Or maybe you stayed up too late the night before, so you woke up feeling groggy and had big bags under your eyes. Whatever the case, you’ve got to develop a morning routine that gives you the time to prepare yourself for a day’s work, both mentally and fashion-wise.
First, be sure to wake up early enough so that you have time to don all your professional gear and makeup. You might have to change your evening routine if you’re used to staying up late at night. If you like to have breakfast every day, definitely give yourself time to not only prepare breakfast, but enjoy it, too. Nobody likes to rush through a meal. If you like to exercise, give yourself time to have a morning gym session or morning run. No matter how you like to spend your morning, always make sure you give yourself enough time in the morning to pick out your best professional wear, to do your makeup, and to do your hair.
If you’re not rushing out the door, you’ll have time to tend to all those little appearance details that help you make a statement in the office. And you’ll also give your brain enough time to wake up and be ready to tackle the day’s tasks.
Wear Pointed Shoes
What kind of shoes should you wear to work? Heels are no doubt a statement of power and class—but who wants to wear heels for all of an 8-hour work day? Some offices allow employees to wear casual shoes, like sneakers or walking shoes. But these don’t look great in business meetings.
Truthfully, nothing looks more professional in the workplace than pointed toe flats. Pointed flats encompass the best of all worlds. They’re much more comfortable than heels are, and yet they have a simple elegance that’s lacking in sneakers. There’s something about the pointed toe that gives the impression of toughness, intelligence, and class. Add 2 or 3 pairs of pointed flats to your wardrobe if you’re dedicated to being a serious businesswoman.
Keep a Clean Handbag
You probably know that keeping a clean and uncluttered desk is key to appearing professional. The very same logic applies to your purse or handbag. Businesspersons like to keep their desk clean because a clean desk implies that you’re prompt, organized, and in control of your workload. A clean handbag gives the very same impression. So if your handbag is messy or filled with too many unessential items, clean it out and reorganize it!
Maintain Good Posture
Your professional appearance isn’t only influenced by your fashion. It’s also influenced by the way that you carry yourself. Maintaining a good posture will help you appear confident, intelligent, and powerful. Whether you’re sitting or standing, remember to keep your back straight, your shoulders back, and your head held high. Your colleagues will think that you’re astute and capable of handling any obstacles that come your way. Posture, after all, demonstrates your physical stability, which in turn gives the impression of professional strength.
Now that wasn’t too hard, was it? To look more professional at work, just remember to give yourself ample morning time, wear pointed shoes, keep a clean handbag, and maintain a good posture. You’ll impress both yourself and your colleagues with your workplace know-how in no time!