Dressing Your Best For The Job You Have Or The Job You Want

Fashion Crossroads and FC Outlet specialize in work clothing, but in today's work world there is a wide range of what is appropriate to wear to work.  In this blog, I thought I would address some basic good practices about choosing a great work wardrobe.

First, it is important to realize that there are two essential categories of work dress code: business professional and business casual.  Here in Wyoming, I would also add a third category that I will call business general.   

Business professional usually means you will be expected to wear either pant and skirt suits or dresses to work.  For Casper, there are fewer and fewer companies requiring business professional clothing.  Those who work for corporations, banks, legal firms, and some accounting firms are the most likely to have this type of career clothing requirment. 

Business casual usually means professional looking clothing that does not require a suit jacket.  Some examples include dress slacks and a nice sweater, blouse or vest.  Business casual also includes coordinating jackets and slacks that are not a matched set.  Generally, jeans are not optional in this category.  Most of the businesses in Casper require buisness casual clothing. 

The third category which I have added includes nice looking or colored jeans as an acceptable bottom paired with a sweater, vest, top or jacket.  For many of our customers, colored Not Your Daughter's Jeans can be worn to work but denim colored jeans cannot. 

So, with so many options, how do you choose what to wear?  Here it is very important to consider your image in the eyes of your customer.  For example, if you work in a legal firm or a bank, you need to present an image of put together and trustworthy.  Overly loud clothing, too many accessories, short hemlines, plunging necklines, and very trendy clothing woud not be apprpriate in this arena. 

Similarly, consider your image when you choose a work wardrobe for a more casual office or setting.  If you are selling a product, you need to appear professional and knowledgeable.  If you sell makeup for example, you should make sure your makeup always looks fresh and well applied.  Why would a customer buy makeup from someone who doesn't apply it well?  Similarly, if you are selling clothing, a customer will not trust your opinion if your clothing looks out of date or out of place.  In both of the previous two examples it would be important to stay up to date with the trends.  Remember, your clothing choices are about selling yourself as someone whose opinion and knowledge can be trusted.

If you are applying for a job, consider these same guidelines in choosing your interview outfit.  First, determine the category the business falls into.  That will help you narrow down your options.  ALWAYS look professional and well dressed EVERY time you enter the buisness – when you request an application, when you bring it back and when you are called into an interview.  NEVER go to a potential job in sweats and a tee shirt or without your hair or makeup looking clean and fresh.  

Likewise, never show up for a job in wrinkled, worn out or stained clothing.  Make sure strings are trimmed, buttons are sewn, and arm lengths and hemlines are appropriate.  If your sweaters or tees are balled or pilled, replace them.  If the colors are faded, replace them.  Make sure your hair is clean and well styled.  Be sure there are no unpleasant odors in your clothing – body odor, overly strong perfume, food smells and cigarette smoke smells are offensive to many. 

A bad first impression is hard to overcome, whether it be as a job applicant or as a representative for your place of work.  Don't risk it!  Spend some time considering a well chosen work wardrobe that says "I am good at my job, I believe in myself and you can trust me!"

Buying Quality is the Financially Smart Choice

Recently one of our customers brought in a pair of her favorite Not Your Daughter's Jeans.  Eight years old and washed 1,000 times, the jeans looked amazingly new.  The only sign of their age and wear was a a few rough edges and a seam coming apart on the inner thigh.  Why did she bring them in, you ask?  She wanted us to be able to demonstrate to other customers that quality counts. 

Not Your Daughter's JeansSince then, I've been thinking about how true that is.  At a $110 original purchase price, those jeans cost her about $13.75 a year.  And during those 8 years of wearing her NYDJs she was able to enjoy an incredibly comfortable jean that stretches with her every move yet never stretches out.  She also looked slimmer because the tummy tuck feature helped smooth her mid section.  That is an amazing value. 

Much of the time, it seems that we live in a throw away society.  Everything, from electronics to appliances and yes, clothing are made cheaply and sold cheaply.  It seems the American consumer has forgotten what quality buys her.  Yes, you may have to pay more up front.  Your top may be $60 instead of $35.99 or your jeans may be $110 instead of $40.00 but consider the benefit to you over time.  When you buy quality, you are getting better fabrics and better construction.  The print patterns match all the way around the garment rather than coming together at the seams at odd angles.  The seams are sewn well.  The fabric is a higher grade and will resist pilling.  The garmet has extra features like a tummy tuck or special details and embellishments.  Taken care of properly, it will last longer while still looking new. 

New Not Your Daughter's Jeans

Take this as a hypothetical- your bargain top for $35.99 will likely need replaced at the end of the year, while your more expensive top will still be in your closet several years from now.  Even if the more expensive top lasted 3 years, it will have cost you $20 a year.  That's a savings of $31.00 ($35.99 – $20 =$15.99.  $15.99 times 2 years = $31) over the less expensive top that fell apart.  So in the end, it was less expensive to buy the more expensive top! 

Now, to be fair, sometimes you can get a really good deal on a high quality item.  When this happens, celebrate!  You are getting the best of both worlds – quality and price.  However, be very suspicious of a garmet that is very inexpensive to begin with.  There is a reason clothing is priced what it is.  Fabrics like rayon are inexpensive and tempermental when you wash them.  Pay attention to the way the item is made.  Are the seams sewn well?  Are the buttons sewn well?  Is the fabric light weight or heavy? Does the print match up?  Is it lined?  What is the fabric?  All of these factors go into determining price. 

Be assured, pricing is not arbitrary and you really do get what you pay for.