Dress for Success

Clean Up Your Fall Wardrobe

stk325045rknAs the summer heat fades away and the chill of fall fills the air, you’ve likely already started adjusting your wardrobe to match the weather. While it’s necessary to change up your clothing choices for different seasons, it’s important to first take stock of what you have, reorganize, and have a plan for cooler days.

If you’re a college student in your final year of school, fall is also a great time to start building a professional wardrobe before entering the professional job search.

Regardless of whether you’re just starting out or well into your working years, here are a few tips to help you clean up your fall wardrobe and make a strong impression in the workplace.

Store, donate, or toss.
With summer in the rear view mirror, it’s time to take stock of which warm-weather pieces can transition appropriately into fall. Store things like short-sleeved items and lighter jackets, and bring out heavier jackets, long-sleeved blouses or shirts, scarves, etc. For those still in school, this is a great time to shop after-season sales. Look for work-appropriate summer attire at discounted rates. Shopping a season “behind” can help you build your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Assess options.
Think about where you were last year during this season. Are your wardrobe staples still appropriate in your current position? Over the course of changing seasons, perhaps you, too, have transformed professionally. Fall is a great time to re-evaluate your wardrobe and make appropriate changes to better fit your current role or company culture.

Make a shopping list and budget.
Which pieces do you need for this new season? How much are you willing to spend? One of the best ways to build a solid collection of work clothes—regardless of season—is to save a set amount of money each month solely for wardrobe purchases. On your shopping list, make sure you include versatile basics that can go with multiple other pieces.

If you’re a college student, think strategically about what you want to buy. If you can only afford one or two items, start with key items like dress pants, pencil skirts, practical shoes, etc. Again, versatile pieces that can be paired with various other items can allow you to build a great foundation for your fall wardrobe.

What other tips do you have for cleaning up your fall wardrobe? Let us know in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Tidy Up Your Work Wardrobe

Pile of clothes_blog1When spring arrives, the urge to purge unwanted clutter hits, and homes everywhere get a thorough dose of spring cleaning. Though we may organize and clean out our closets, tossing a few pieces of clothing out along the way, we sometimes keep outdated, ill-fitting work clothes, or just add more to our wardrobes without assessing what looks sharp and professional.

Before purchasing new clothes or wearing outdated looks, try these simple tips to tidy up your work wardrobe without spending much money.

Minimize What You Have
Most people have too many items in their closets that they don’t wear, don’t feel comfortable in, or don’t even remember having.

Take an afternoon to go through every piece of clothing and purge what you haven’t worn in a year. Consider donating those pieces to charity, especially charities that help individuals who may need a little extra help when searching for jobs.

Keep only those pieces you feel good wearing and identify which cuts and colors of clothes compliment your skin tone and body type.

When you’re finished tidying up your work wardrobe, clean the clothes you have left, and iron them so they are sharp and ready to impress.

Add Color
Adding color to business suits and dresses can make old outfits seem brand new, and help you avoid wardrobe monotony.

Identify which colors work for you, and choose simple pieces like a nice button-down shirt, a tie, or an undershirt to pop with color. Women can use accessories like purses, shoes, and jewelry to brighten up the classic black suit or dress.

Hot colors for men and women in 2016, according to InStyle.com, are rose, buttercup, fiesta red, and blue.

Don’t Do Trendy
Trends in work fashion may be cute and exciting, but they do not last and you could end up spending too much money on clothing that will be out of style before the end of the year. Stick with classic cuts, traditional suits, and basic skirts for your wardrobe foundation.

Invest in Quality Pieces
Quality over quantity is the name of the game for a sharp work wardrobe. You can make your clothing budget go further by investing in quality clothing, especially staple pieces like dress pants, blazers, suits, or black skirts.

Invest in a pair of shoes that can last for years. Find a suit that goes with most things in your closet. Buy quality clothes that promise not only fashion, but long-term comfort as well.

By investing in a few key pieces, you’ll avoid having to replace them yearly and will not have to worry about the look going out of style.

When in Doubt, Accessorize
Don’t underestimate the power of a colorful scarf, statement jewelry, or different handbag to transform an ensemble with the smallest of effort. Oversized necklaces and bracelets add a pop of style to a work outfit, and most of these accessories can be found on sales racks or in clearance bins.

For guys looking to accessorize, try experimenting with colorful ties, fun socks, or a bright-colored shirt. Adding these little touches freshens up stale fashions by transforming an old look into a new one.

How do you tidy up your work wardrobe? Share your best tips with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How To Tie a Simple Knot

windsor_knotLooking professional both in interviews and on the job is an important element of your professional life. To help add a professional look to your wardrobe, we want to share easy how-to instructions for wearing common tie knots.

Recently, we shared instructions for completing the Windsor knotKelvin knot, and bow tie. This month, check out how to tie a Simple knot below.

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Step One: Start with the wide end of the tie on your right side and the narrow end on your left.

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Step Two: Cross the wide end over the narrow end.

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Step Three: Bring the wide end under the narrow end.

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Step Four: Cross the wide end over the narrow end again.

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Step Five: Bring the wide end through the loop you’ve created.

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Step Six: Pull the wide end through.

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Step Seven: Making sure the wide end is on top, begin to straighten out the tie.

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Step Eight: Before you head out the door, check out your new tie in the mirror and make sure it’s ready to go!

Were you able to conquer the Simple knot? Share these how-to instructions with friends or on social media by sending them this article or by using the image below. Keep watching Movin’ On Up for more tie tricks!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

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How to Tie a Bow Tie

windsor_knotLooking professional both in interviews and on the job is an important element of your professional life. To help add a professional look to your wardrobe, we want to share easy how-to instructions for wearing common tie knots.

Recently, we shared instructions for completing the Windsor knot and Kelvin knot. This month, check out how to tie a bow-tie knot below.

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Step One: Before you start, make sure that one end of the bow tie is longer than the other by a few inches.

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Step Two: Cross the longer end of the tie over the shorter end.

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Steps Three Through Five: Bring the longer end of the tie underneath the shorter end.

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Step Six: Lay the long end flat again.

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Step Seven: Place the long end over your shoulder.

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Step Eight: Fold the shorter end of the tie horizontally.

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Step Nine: Place the longer end of the tie over the shorter end.

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Step 10: Pull the longer end down.

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Step 11: Fold the longer end of the tie horizontally and begin to bring it underneath the shorter end.

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Steps 12 Through 14: Insert the longer end of the bow tie through the loop at the back of the shorter end.

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Step 15: Pull on both ends to secure the knot.

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Step 16: Check out your bow tie in the mirror. If it looks good, you’re ready for your interview or workplace!

Were you able to conquer the bow-tie knot? Share these how-to instructions with friends or on social media by sending them this article or by using the image below. Keep watching Movin’ On Up for more tie tricks!

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Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How To Tie a Windsor Knot

windsor_knotLooking professional both in interviews and on the job is an important element of your career life. To help you add a professional look to your wardrobe, we want to share easy how-to instructions for wearing common tie knots. In the first of our series, check out how to tie the Windsor knot below.

 

 

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Step One: Start with the wide end of your necktie on the right. The wide end should extend a few inches below the narrow end.

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Step Two: Cross the wide end over the narrow end.

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Steps Three and Four: Bring the wide end through the loop created between your collar and tie.

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Step Five: Pull the wide end back down.

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Step Six: Pull the wide end underneath the narrow end. Pull to the right.

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Step Seven: Then bring the wide end back to the left.

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Step Eight: Pull the wide end through the loop again.

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Step Nine: Pull the wide end all the way up through the loop.

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Step 10: Then, pull the wide end down through the knot in the front of the tie.

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Step 11: Using both hands, tighten the knot.

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Step 12: Carefully draw the knot up closer to your collar.

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Step 13: Give the finished product a look over before you head out the door.

Were you able to conquer the Windsor knot? Share these how-to instructions with friends or on social media by sending them this article or by using the image below. And, keep watching Movin’ On Up for more tie tricks!

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Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Instant Makeover: Look More Professional In Minutes

professional_in_an_instant_webLooking your best in job interviews is an essential part of showing potential employers that you’re professional and serious about the opportunity. The same goes for maintaining a level of professionalism and success in the workplace. And, doing so doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there are a number of things you can do right now to make your professional image look even more professional. Here are nine tips for an instant professional make-over.

Embrace the power of a neck tie
Gentlemen, if you’re heading to a job interview, don’t forget to throw on a nice tie. Wearing a tie instantly shows professionalism and lets the interviewer know you’re taking this opportunity seriously. If you aren’t sure how to tie a tie, don’t worry! Check out these how-to tips and you’ll be an expert in no time.

Polish your shoes
It’s amazing how a freshly-polished pair of nice shoes can pull together an interview outfit. Though it’s a step often missed, polishing your shoes is an important part of looking professional in interviews or at work. If you don’t have the extra time or money to have your shoes shined professionally, invest in some inexpensive polish and get to work yourself. GQ has some tips for do-it-yourself shoe polishing to help you step up your interview game.

Make sure you’re well-groomed
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to look your best during interviews or while on the job. This includes your overall personal hygiene, too. You can dress well, prepare for the interview, and speak professionally, but neglecting personal hygiene can instantly ruin the image you want to project. If you have an interview scheduled, make sure you’re ready by showering, fixing your hair, and maintaining a clean-shaven appearance.

Dress to impress
Whether at work or in a job interview, the way you dress says a lot about you. If you’re going to an interview, what you wear can make or break your chances of landing the job. Before you head out of the house, make sure you’re dressed in clean, unwrinkled clothes. Take your interview outfit to the dry cleaners a few days before if you need to, and be sure to use a lint roller if you have animals that shed in your home. To help you understand what to wear to an interview, research the company’s culture before you arrive.

Invest in comfortable shoes
With any job, chances are you’ll spend a good deal of time on your feet. So, invest in a pair of comfortable, work-appropriate shoes to get you through the day. If your shoes are old, worn, and damaged, you could not only be hurting your image, but also your feet and posture.

Practice your speech
Speaking in front of others can be nerve-racking, which may lead you to use words like “um,” or “uh” far more frequently than interviewers would like to hear. To help you eliminate such words and gain better control over your speech, try speaking into a recording device and playing it back. When you listen to the recording, take notes on your natural speaking habits and try to adjust. Do this as much as you need to until you’ve gained better control and confidence over your speech.

Be positive, respectful, and reliable
Being professional isn’t just about how you look or speak. The way you behave can also play a big role in how you appear to interviewers, managers, or co-workers. Especially in interviews, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude and be respectful. Be courteous to everyone you meet during an interview, from the person at the front desk to the interviewer. And, focus on being reliable from the start. Show up on time and perform any job-related interview assignments requested of you afterwards. At work, showing up on time, working diligently, and completing projects with accuracy and efficiency can help boost your professional image instantly.

Stay organized
If you have a workspace at your job, it’s important to keep it neat. Professionalism doesn’t look like a messy, disorganized desk, but rather a tidy, clean space conducive to learning and working. When you clean your desk, don’t forget about your computer. Keeping your desktop clean and organized can show a level of professionalism that is sometimes overlooked.

Make your private life private again
Social media is beneficial for many reasons, including helping you in your job search. But, your online presence can also cost you the interview or the job. It’s important to keep your social media profiles clean and professional in case an interviewer, manager, or co-worker finds them. To take greater control of your personal life, be sure to adjust your social media privacy settings and maintain a professional look on all of your accounts. Need help? Check out these tips for detoxing your social media.

How do you make sure you look as professional as possible on the job or in interviews? Share your tips in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How to Say Yes to a Summer Work Wardrobe

summerwardrobe_webBuilding your work wardrobe is never easy. Between the hassles of finding reasonable prices and making sure your new clothes fit the dress code policies of your office, sometimes staying up-to-date with the current season and fashion trends can fall by the wayside. However, looking your best is something we sometimes take for granted. As it’s frequently said, first impressions mean the most, and what you are wearing is commonly the initial thing that others notice about you. That’s why Movin’ On Up has compiled a list of ways to say yes to a summer work wardrobe; to help you stay fashionable while keeping your professional appearance intact.

Say Yes to Modesty

Summer is hot. We all dream of lounging at the pool in our bathing suits or taking a stroll in shorts and flip flops. However, when you’re at the office, it’s crucial to keep covered. A great way to accomplish this while still staying cool is to add some lighter materials to your ensemble. Pack up the heavy, thick pieces you used to keep warm in the winter and bring in some breathable clothes, like cotton dresses and dressy tank tops for women (as long as your dress policy allows for them) and cotton button-down shirts for men.

Say Yes to Color

Summer is fun! There’s no need to keep all your colors neutral and boring. Take advantage of the fact that it’s bright outside and bring some of that into the office. For women, simple colored blouses or fun patterns can add a little cheer to your workday, along with white trousers and jackets, and neutral nails. On the men’s side, staying classic is best, and adding small pops of color is encouraged.

Say Yes to Accessories

Summer is exciting. That’s why you shouldn’t leave your wardrobe looking dull and lifeless. Make sure to jazz it up with some simple finishing touches that really bring everything together. The skinny gold bangle is a surefire win for women this summer, as are perforated leather totes and statement necklaces. Men don’t have as many accessory options as women, but a nice summer watch can do wonders for adding some charm to your outfit.

Say Yes to Professionalism

Summer is still a time to work. As with everything, the set guidelines for dress in your office are the ultimate say-so. Even if you find the perfect sandal wedges or dangly earrings for the season, if your clothing policy says no, don’t break or even bend the rules. Save the shorts, capris, and sheer tanks for the weekend. Even if it’s listed in this article, it doesn’t necessarily mean your boss will agree. Always strive to look your best and represent your workplace the way it intends to be represented. There are always ways to look good, no matter what the policies dictate!

Choosing your wardrobe for the summer is a time to express yourself and look your best. Since trends tend to change year-by-year, the more timeless you can keep your outfit, the more money it will save you in the long run. Stay modest, stay colorful, stay accessorized, and stay professional.

Do you have any tips for a summer work wardrobe? Are there more summer trends that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.