In the previous graduate guide, I focused on how to adapt to life after university as a graduate in a new job; if you missed it check it out at this link here. So in this one, I will be looking at what to wear and how to make an excellent first impression on the very first day.
If you work in the city, or for an industry where you have to wear a suit; you won’t have many options about where to shop for clothes.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be rigid and stuck wearing the same thing every day! Mix it up with different coloured shirts and ties; and make accessories your new best friend. Wear a watch one day, bracelet another; or mix it up with some funky socks.
I cover suits and formal-wear a lot for StyleCartel; it’s my kryptonite; but the key things to know are:
- Make sure you try on the suit and that it fits. A lot of places offer tailoring services for free or a small fee, make the most of this.
- Shiny shoes are a must, buy some shoe polish.
- If you wear a belt, the colour has to match that of the shoes. Never mix and match colours; it looks tacky.
River Island do a great selection of suits at an entry level price-point, and I'm a big fan of this 3 piece blue suit below. The blazer, waistcoat and trousers can be bought separately, so the waistcoat isn't a necessary purpose if you feel it will be too formal.
If your work policy is flexible, you will find that your options open up greatly. The common term is smart casual, and that usually refers to anything up to wearing a full suit to the office. However, it must also look professional, so don’t attempt to wear shorts and sliders unless your workplace is very lax with the dress code.When in doubt, if you’re in an industry where you have client meetings, always overdress rather than under-dress.
- Jeans are considered more casual than chinos, however both are acceptable in the workplace.
- Utilise layers to mix up your work place looks. Adding a shirt over a tee, or a jumper over a shirt can change a look completely without having to buy more clothes.
This shirt from Reiss (see below) is the perfect balance between casual and smart, perfect for that first work meeting and the first evening drinks. Pair with a pair of jeans from Mango, and this jacket from Jaeger for the perfect smart-casual look.