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Professional Attire

The following are a guidelines for these areas: 1. Clothes 2. Hair style / colour / cleanliness 3. Accessor...

The following are a guidelines for these areas:
1. Clothes
2. Hair style / colour / cleanliness
3. Accessories
4. Make-up
5. Posture

Describe your personal appearance at work by using the five guidelines listed above.

CLOTHES
· Clothes communicate a lot about you, whether or not you want them to.
· Keep the company’s dress code in mind.
· If the company does not have a dress code, create one.
· Wear clothes that fit and suit your figure.
· Remember: when dealing with the public, dress a bit more formal.
· Your best judgement is important.


Professional Attire
POSTURE
‘Stand up straight!’ ‘Pull your shoulders back!’ A good posture can be described as above, however you will not be able to keep that up the whole day.

Therefore make sure you follow the basics listed below:
· Do not sit on a desk or on any office equipment; sit on a chair.
· Place your body ‘in’ the chair, put your back up against the back of the chair and your bottom firmly on the seat.
· Keep your legs together, whether you are male or female.
· Do not slouch in the office.
· Lift your feet when walking.
· Keep your shoes on when you are in the office.
· Do not put your feet up on the table.
· Keep your elbows off the furniture.
· Walk up straight, but comfortable in stride.

ATTIRE AND GROOMING
The way you dress determines a lot about your company’s image as well as your own. If you have a uniform to wear, wonderful, if not, always dress one-step ahead of the rest.

When buying outfits for the office consider your business environment, think about the type of company you work for and the kind of work you do. If you are going to be tramping around a construction site with a hard hat on your head you should not be wearing high heels on your feet.

Always make sure you feel comfortable enough in your outfit, so that you can meet with clients, even if they did not make an appointment. If you are still unsure of what to wear, ask the human resource department for advice.

An item that may be perfect for working in the garden, going on a picnic or playing sports aren’t appropriate for the office. Nor is clothing that is too revealing. Regardless of the item, it is essential to avoid wearing anything to the office that is excessively worn, frayed or wrinkled.

There are times when traditional business attire is to be worn on casual days. Take your day’s schedule into account when you are dressing. If you have a meeting scheduled with visitors, or if you are advised that others in the company will have visitors with whom you will come in contact, you will want to dress in business attire. And of course, business attire is always acceptable.

If you a have specific dress code due to your religious belief, discuss the matter with the human resources department. Most organisations will allow staff to wear clothing that forms part of a religious belief. Respect colleagues who wear clothing for religious purposes. Ask your colleague what the meaning is of the item worn for religious purposes. Never be afraid to ask.

MEN AND WOMEN
· Ensure your clothes fit well.
· Avoid out-of-date clothes.
· Ensure that your clothes are neat and pressed, with no marks, holes, dandruff, loose hair or animal fur, missing buttons, fallen hems or frayed cuffs visible.
· Wear polished shoes that show no sign of wear and tear such as worn heels or scuff marks.
· Common sense and good taste are the best guides in selecting clothing for work.
· Keep jewellery tasteful.
· Ensure that your clothing is always comfortable.
· Remember, clothing is an investment, rather buy fewer items of good quality, than more items of bad quality.
· Buy clothes that you can mix and match.
· Buy clothing that is made with good quality fabrics, whether they are man-made or natural.
· Wear colours that flatter your complexion.
· Ensure that your handbag or briefcase, purse or wallet is of excellent quality. This is a once in a lifetime investment. Buy the best you can afford.
· Wear black shoes with dark (black, charcoal and navy) or grey-coloured trousers, slacks or skirts.
· Wear brown shoes with brown or light-coloured trousers, slacks or skirts.
· Avoid wearing shoes with thick soles on semi-formal or formal occasions.
· If they are different colours, ensure that the two colours harmonise.
· When wearing similar shades of the same colour, ensure that the lower garment is darker than the top garment.

Men
· Beards and moustaches should always be neat and trimmed.
· Protruding nose and ear hair should be trimmed.
· Avoid brightly coloured, white or patterned socks.
· Ensure your socks are long enough to cover your ankles.
· Wear leather belts which match your shoes
· Overweight men should wear braces rather than belts.
· Ensure that the length of your trousers is acceptable; they should touch the front of your shoe and be about two centimetres above the shoe heel.
· Avoid filling your pockets until they bulge.
· When wearing a long-sleeved shirt without a tie at an informal occasion, you could roll up your sleeves, preferably no further than mid-forearm.
· To appear informally dressed, undo the first one or two shirt buttons and splay your collar.
· Wear a plain tie with a striped or patterned shirt, and vice versa.
· Neatly knot your tie, leaving no more than half a centimetre of space between your top button and the knot
· Make sure your tie is the correct length when knotted; the broad end of your tie should just touch your belt.
· Remember your tie is your signature; it reflects your personality.
· Ensure that your tie harmonises with the rest of your clothing.

Women
· Ensure that if you wear nail polish, it is not chipped.
· Most women choose to remove armpit hair and hair from their legs, however, this is an individual decision. If you do, always keep it a clean, neat shave.
· Do not wear a hairstyle that puts most of the focus on your head, such as punk, afro and teased-up hair styles.
· Avoid wearing clothing that reveal a lot of flesh.
· Do not show your cleavage.
· Keep your short skirts a maximum of four fingers above your knee.
· Do not wear coloured underwear, keep it natural, or matching your outfit.
· Keep your underwear under your clothing; you should not be revealing your g-string or bra straps.
· Wear underwear every day, e.g. a bra and panties.
· Ensure your clothes are not too tight-fitting.
· Your shoes should match your outfit.
· You need to be able to walk on your shoes the whole day.
· If you wear open-toed shoes, make sure you have well-groomed feet.
· As a general rule, make sure when you bend in front of the mirror that people are not able to see your bra and panties.

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