The first day of a new job is usually filled with mixed emotions – from the excitement of starting a new role to the nerves and anxiety associated with fitting in and impressing your new colleagues. Now as important as it is to be judged on your ability within the role itself, first impressions are crucial and your appearance will play a large role in forming these.

We’ve looked at what you should consider when trying to make the best impressions on your first day at work.

Stick to the dress code

This might sound obvious but make sure you stick to the dress code. If the role requires a formal dress code then make sure you’ve got a freshly pressed pair of trousers and shirt at the ready, on the other hand if it leans more towards smart casual then a sweater and chinos might be better suited. Remember that there are varying degrees to both formal and informal dress. For example, are you required to wear a full suit or will a shirt and trousers suffice? Or is a tie required? Or which accessories are acceptable? These are things you need to ask yourself since you’ll be wanting to slide in alongside your colleagues and the last thing you want to do is not be dressed appropriately.

When you’re choosing your outfit think back to your interview and the general feel you got for the work environment along with what others were wearing. Use this to get a better idea of what to wear on your first day while also keeping in mind that you’ll be wanting to impress.

Better to overdress than underdress

If you’re stuck in a predicament where you simply aren’t sure what the exact dress code is then play it safe and over dress a little. If you think you require a formal dress but aren’t sure if a tie is required then just throw it on anyway, at the very least you’ll come off as showing you care about the role and how you present yourself. If the culture is generally more relaxed and a business casual attire is the norm then try keeping it as smart as possible by opting for things like an open collared shirt as opposed to a polo shirt.

Transition into dressing casually

This is particularly relevant in roles where the dress code is business casual as it’s a term which can be interpreted in different ways in different organisations. While the typical outfit would generally involve a pair of khakis teamed up with an open collar shirt, other organisations might be a little more lax and allow for jeans and polo shirts. In these situations, give yourself time to settle in before you stretch as far as throwing on jeans for work.

Show a bit of personality

If you care about what you wear outside of work then feel free to allow this to reflect in your outfit for work. Take the opportunity to show glimpses of your personality through striking socks or novelty cufflinks. This is a great way of personalising your look and allowing others to get a better feel for you on a personal level.

Ease up on the piercings and accessories

While your outfit will play a massive part in people’s first impression of you, you need to also ensure that your accessories don’t ruin it for you. We’d recommend throwing on a nice watch and the odd bit of jewellery, however if you’re a fan of piercings, then you might be forced to compromise on how much you wear. Lip piercings are an obvious no go for many work environments while other piercings should be toned down to begin with at least.

Play it safe in the first week and get a feel for the dress code and what is considered acceptable. Once you feel yourself settling in you can then ease things up a little if you feel there is room to do so.

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