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Professional Dress Tips for the Millennial

You’ve completed your education & training and you’re ready to jump start a career. Now, what to wear?

According to Pew Research Center, today’s young professional enters the job market with 56 million Millennials (those ages 21 to 36 in 2017) working or looking for work. With key social trends online interrupting our previous ideas of image and representation, how are we to make the best choices when it comes to dressing for the all-important interview, or selecting garments/outfits to build a workwear wardrobe from?

Although the new “rules” appear to be becoming no rules, there remain a few constants to consider, and follow, as you plan a wardrobe and ‘look’ to support you in your plan for career success.

Be True to You – and the industry that you have chosen to work in. Many a time we have chosen a career that resonates with who we are, in our likes, talents, and desires. Define a style that is authentic to you personally, and that aligns with the level of dress for the industry.

Fit and Fabric – many a great look was spoiled by poor fit and too many wrinkles! Buy by fit, not size, and consider the qualities of the fabric that the garment is made from. Align care and prep needs with your personal interest, and tools (e.g. and iron) and time available.

The Details of Finishing – avoid colors that become the focus of attention vs. your face and eyes. Think Classic looks, until you are in the door and know the true dress standards of the company. Know that there is a difference between dressing up for the club/date night and dressing for a career. Also, know that the more skin shown, the more casual (or potentially in-appropriate) the look becomes.

Build a Strong Foundation – smart initial garment purchases can grow a base for a solid long- term use wardrobe. Purchase quality workmanship and use neutral base colors like navy and medium charcoal grey for suiting, pants, & jackets, in
solid colors.

Implement these tips and you will positively set yourself apart as a professional to be considered for employment and career opportunity.

Kelly Duggan is an Image Consultant specializing in executive and personal image development, etiquette & communication skills. She is a certified member of the Association of Image Consultants International. Contact Kelly at: www.kellyduggan.com.

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