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Realism: What to Wear on Your First Day

Woman smiling outside office

There are lots and lots of articles out there about what to wear to an interview. And depending on the job you are interviewing for, this can be very good and applicable advice. However, there is much less advice on how to dress for that first day once you have landed the new job. Obviously, if you have certain jobs, you will need to dress accordingly, such as a nurse in scrubs or a construction site manager in jeans.

Hopefully, you were able to get a good feel for the general attire of your new colleagues during your interview process. Use what you can remember and try to aim a step or so higher. Here are a few quick guidelines for various office environments.

Corporate Environment
If you will be working in a truly corporate office, your interview suit might be your best bet. Once you have a better feel for the general dress code as well as the policy manual restrictions, you can adjust accordingly (i.e., hose must be worn with skirts or no open-toed shoes). A pop of color or personality is always good, such as a brightly colored shell under your suit or a statement necklace with a cream camisole.

Business Casual Environment
This is much harder to navigate. When in doubt, try a pair or nice black or grey slacks with the same personality touches as above – a brightly colored top or a bold statement necklace, and moderately heeled shoes.

Casual Environment
If you are absolutely confident that you will be working in a ‘jeans’ office, still try to step it up just a little on the first day. Pair your dark-rinse jeans with a blazer and a smart pair of loafers or flats.

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