Does Your Work Wardrobe Match Your Career Stage? Here's How to Tell

Street, office, bright style

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Kayla Heisler
Kayla Heisler1.16k

It can be easy to fall into a pattern of dressing at a certain level, but when you earn a promotion, you should promote your style, too. 

As you move up the ranks of  your business, don’t let your wardrobe stay on one level. Every company has their own dress code (official or unofficial), of course, so let that and your own taste be your guide. But within those confines, there are ways to make sure your fashion choices convey your position, like these five looks below.

1. Intern

Stepping into your first professional role may feel intimidating, so put together looks that help you channel and project confidence. Take cues from how those you work with style themselves, but keep things simple overall. Create looks that are crisp and put together to show that you take the job seriously enough that they’ll rush to offer you a position after you graduate. 

2. Entry-level

Get a feel for what you want your workwear vibe to be early on, and build from there. Incorporate pieces that are versatile, so as you progress you can reach for fun accessories to create different tones. Button-downs and slacks are an ideal combo because they are easy t to put together while still looking professional. Experiment with color, but keep your look polished and promotion-ready. 

3. Supervisor

After your hard work is noticed and you’ve earned the opportunity to move up a rung, put together outfits that are slightly more elevated than the standard for your supervisees. Seek out options that are chic and show that you mean business. A simple pencil skirt is a winning addition to any supervisor closet.

4. Director

Step up your game again when you have a larger team to leave. Show that you’re ready to lead by rocking a structured look that is together and authoritative. Incorporate powerful staples like a textured blazer or large statement bag. 

5. Executive

Find your metaphorical (or literal) "power suit" by opting for a style that is equally smart and sophisticated. A sleek set paired with a neutral heel is guaranteed to convey that you’re ready to take on anything that the workday may throw at you. And if there's ever a time where you've earned the right to rock especially bold colors to work, the C-suite is it! Just keep it polished still by opting for strong shapes and clean lines. Add on a serious watch and power through your day. 

Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. She is an MFA candidate at Columbia University, and her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets 2017 anthology.

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