Thursday, 22 September 2016 05:37

First Day at Work

Don't dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.

Hello fellow winners! I am sure you are making progress towards being bosses, and finding new pathways everyday for changing the world. In what style are you doing it, though? Particularly, are you dressed for the part? Don't dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want. If you want to be a manager, check out what the successful managers wear. Just because you have an entry-level position doesn't mean that your presence is any less important.

It is important to keep a fine line between what you think is proper for a Friday night out and for the workplace. Where you work and what job you do influence what you wear, but there are some general rules. Style at work has more value than what is seen: it influences relationships with your workmates and can go a long way in helping you to grow in your career. That ‘halo effect’ can make your workmates and bosses trust you to represent them. Prints are never going to go out of style and a great way to incorporate them into your wardrobe is to use African prints!

If you're about to start your first job and have no idea where to begin, here are 5 styling tips that apply across most fields.

Explore different ways to rock African fabric (also called “ankara”, “kente”, or “dutch wax” depending on where you are) effortlessly with items already in your closet. Feel free to go head to toe if you’re really feeling it.

Pinstripes and polka dots are a professional print, plus, they’ll instantly lengthen your frame. Nothing says power player like a pinstripe or polka dots, the look works just as well for an after-hours event. This is just in case you want to cool off the long day with a drink.

If you choose to wear a jumpsuit, bring it up to dress code by topping it with a smart blazer. It doesn’t only create a visual interest, but also lends a professional air to the jumpsuit. Add a personal touch like adorning with vintage pins.

A simple hairstyle like the neat-looking sock bun always looks professional. Leaving your hair down is okay too, as is the half up/half down look.

When it comes to makeup, wear your natural-looking makeup face for your first day. All you need is a neutral eye shadow and a few strokes of mascara. When it comes to your lips, stay in the realm of neutrals and light pinks. As much as we love a good classic red lip, it’s far too bold of a statement for the workplace — especially for the first day! Remember, you aren’t going to the prom.

And here are 5 blunders that will make you appear as the newbie that sucks at fashion.

Wearing your highest heels. So you've mastered the art of walking in heels? Great! Just remember that the office isn't a runway.

Showing off labels. Much as you spent an entire summer saving up for a new Ralph Lauren trouser, try not to let labels pop up all over your outfit.

Too confident in bodycon. I'm all about a figure-hugging dress, but anything too tight is unprofessional at work.

Showing off your undergarments. Trust me, they'll be plenty of other opportunities to display your cute new bra. A slightly transparent dress or skirt is just not right for a professional setting.

Going strapless. If you need a strapless bra, it should be left at home as dealing with a strapless bra during an 8-hour workday sounds like struggle city.


Don't Forget Where You Work
If you work in an African Magazine’s Fashion Department, and wear Ankara all the way to work one day, people are more likely to look at you and think, "Oh, fashion people," and move on without thinking twice. However, if you’re into politics business and come to work Ankara the very same day you’re supposed to interview a politician, your co-workers are more likely to think it is another incident of Coming to America

For choice of material for your work clothes, I’ll also steal this from Jacqueline Whitmore, famous etiquette trainer: ‘lightweight, breathable fabrics like wool or wool blend that don’t wrinkle easily.’

About Being ‘Overdressed’
Remember If you like to dress up, dress up. Take pride in looking your best, and don’t worry about what your peers think of you. Like they say, those peers are probably not the ones handing out promotions.

What did I wear on my first day?
I wore a just-above-the-knee pleated, patterned skirt with black leather booties, a silky blouse and a red blazer. My fingernails were manicured and I did my hair and makeup to the best of my 18-year-old abilities. As for jewelry, I had a vintage pin on my blazer matching my earrings. I felt simple but elegant. Trust me, I noticed the impression I made!

What is your #WorkdayFashion? Send us a tweet @myafricanroots


Tibba Murungi Kabugu

“I’m a child of Uganda from the kingdom of Ankole, living in Aurora, CO. Engineering Coordinator for a Starwood Hotel. I love film and fashion, aspects of which have influenced a bigger part of my life. Wisdom does not come overnight. So I am still learning.”


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