Two tips for new graduates who are buying workwear for their first office job

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If you graduated recently, are about to begin your first office job and need workwear for this role, here are some tips to follow.

Consider whether certain garments will make you look younger or older

One of the concerns that many young graduates have when first starting their careers is that they might not be taken as seriously as their older colleagues due to their youthful appearance. If you have been told many times that you look young and you'd like to project an air of authority and maturity in your new office job, you should keep this in mind when selecting your workwear and aim to buy items that will help you to create this look.

For example, even if the business you're joining allows people to wear slightly quirkier styles of workwear, it might be best to avoid wearing things like novelty ties that feature patterns of food or cartoon images on them (even if these images are very small and can only be seen close-up), as whilst it might make people view you as good-humoured and fun, it could also potentially give your work outfit a childish look.

Similarly, it might be best to stick with darker or neutral coloured workwear for now as, for instance, wearing a bright pink blazer and pencil skirt might give you the youthful, playful aesthetic that you are trying to avoid whilst you find your feet in your workplace and develop a reputation as a mature, reliable employee.

Consider how long you plan to remain in your new role

As a graduate, you might want to spend the first few years of your career trying out a few different roles, in different businesses, so that you can gain experience and widen your skill-set. If this is the case, you should keep this in mind when choosing your workwear budget. For example, if you think you'll probably leave your new job within a couple of years, and this business has specific workwear guidelines that you are unlikely to need to follow in any other roles you take on in the future, then it might be best to stock up on inexpensive workwear.

The reason for this is that there is little point in blowing your (probably quite small) graduate salary on high-end workwear for a role that you're only planning to stay in for a relatively short time, particularly if the style of workwear you need to wear for this role is not one that you will need to wear in your future jobs.

Purchasing, for example, four mid-priced suits and seven shirts will allow you to look sharp without overspending. You can always add a little variety to your work outfits by getting a dozen or so inexpensive polyester ties (or secondhand higher-quality ones) in several colours.

For more information on workwear, contact a professional near you.