Picking the best outfit for your new job

For that great, confident feeling on the first day at a new job

Starting a new job is always a bit stressful, and one of the most annoying stresses isn’t how well you can do the job or what your co-workers are like — it is deciphering what your new employer meant by saying the dress code is ‘smart casual’. That is possibly the most unhelpful phrase ever, but don’t despair. The trick is to be more smart than casual, at least until you’ve had a chance to observe what your new colleagues are wearing. Here’s how.

Angelina princess pearl necklace and Lucy Neige pearl ear studs by Jacqueline Shaw

Invest in quality basics. Fabric matters. Don’t stock up on cheap black polyester trousers thinking you can add interesting tops to make them work. Go for fewer, better quality skirts and trousers, and avoid trendy styles and bright colours. Classic is the key here.

You can’t go wrong with court shoes, although you’re safe going for something a little more interesting. Avoid trainers, sandals and stilettoes and you should be fine. Well, avoid thigh high boots too.

Jewellery should enhance your professional image, not distract. Jewellery is an elegant accessory, but do avoid oversized statement pieces. A single strand pearl necklace and pearl stud earrings is always just right.

Save the bling nail art for the weekends, at least until you have proven yourself on the job. Keep nails simple and elegant. A bit of simple nail art is okay, but don’t go overboard.

One of the biggest mistakes people make with ‘smart casual’ is thinking it is the green light to mix and match business suits and more fun and funky pieces from their wardrobe. Wrong! Another is wearing trainers or sandals. Wrong again! Outfits need to work as a whole, and you can add some extra personality with the right accessories, such as some classy pearl jewellery.

Courtesy @JShawPearls

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